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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Saab 9-5 Griffin Edition

We really feel for the folks at Saab, and not just because we love the 9-5 SportCombi and that we pined for a Turbo 900 with the Aero package for what seemed like all of the '80s. Yet look ahead 20 years – specifically to the 2009 Detroit Auto Show – and all we have to get excited about is the Saab 9-5 Griffin Edition. Frankly, the press release is more exciting.

The grille is spruced up with matte chrome. Besides the fact that it looks like plastic, doesn't a matte finish defeat the purpose of chrome? Inside, as always with Saab, the two-tone seats are terrific places to plop one's rear, and the things covered in leather have the look and feel you want in your quirky luxury sedan. Elsewhere... well, it's the same thing Saab owners have been looking at for years, but with some of the plastic in different places. It isn't bad. It's "Why?"

It comes with almost everything; the only options being metallic paint, ventilated seats and navigation. But when this is everything, and everything in sedan form costs $42,775, who's looking for this? Oh Saab, wherefore art thou? You can read the press release after the jump, and check out the gallery of high-res photos below.


Premiere at North American International Auto Show

2009 Saab 9-5 Griffin Edition Takes Off in Detroit

DETROIT – In the luxurious 9-5 Griffin Edition, making its premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January, Saab offers levels of premium standard equipment that are unprecedented in the 62-year history of the Swedish car brand.

As underlined by its U.S. advertising tagline, "Born From Jets," Saab's illustrious aircraft heritage is part of its design philosophy that runs throughout its range of automobiles. With the vigor of its turbocharged engine and agile road manners, the Saab 9-5 Griffin Edition resonates with its aircraft namesake, the Gripen (Swedish for Griffin) – the first of the new generation of multi-role combat aircraft to enter into active service, developed by Saab Aircraft AB in Sweden.

"With the 9-5 Griffin Edition, Saab reaches a new altitude in terms of premium standard equipment and value," said Steve Shannon, executive director, marketing and product, Saab Automobile USA.

Available in four-door Sedan as well as five-door SportCombi models, all versions feature Saab's signature 2.3L, 260-horsepower (194 kW) four-cylinder engine and can be matched to five-speed manual or automatic transmissions without extra charge.

The exterior of the 9-5 Griffin shows influences from the recently updated Saab 9-3 family, such as the use of matte chrome for the front grill, as well as the frames around the Xenon headlamps. The Sedan has a rear spoiler on the trunk lid, while the SportCombi can be recognized by its roof spoiler and roof rails in matte chrome finish.

Unique five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels, plus Griffin badges on the front fenders adorn both body styles. In addition to Polar White, this special edition Saab 9-5 is available in six metallic colors, including Jet Black, Snow Silver, Nocturne Blue, Pepper Green, plus the new Carbon Grey and Glass Grey.

On the inside, every 9-5 Griffin shines with high-gloss interior trim, floor mats with grey piping, as well as the use of accent color stitching on the steering wheel, shift lever and handbrake. This premium stitching also applies to the Aero-inspired leather-appointed sport seats. They are available in two two-tone variations: black with parchment inserts and parchment with black inserts. Additional standard equipment includes a rear parking assist system, plus heated outside mirrors that are not only power-adjustable and foldable, but also auto-dimming.

Expected to start arriving in Saab dealer showrooms in January 2009, the 9-5 Griffin will be priced starting at U.S. $42,775 for the Sedan and $ 44,045 for the versatile and stylish SportCombi (prices include destination charges). In addition to the rich standard equipment, including an automatic transmission, the only options for the 9-5 Griffin are metallic paint, ventilated seats and a navigation system.

Saab is a division of General Motors Corp. Saab Automobile USA is the importer and/or distributor of the Saab 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For the 2009 model year, Saab offers 7 different models that deliver 27 mpg or better according to EPA Highway fuel economy standards. In addition to 4 years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper warranty, including roadside assistance and courtesy transportation, every new Saab comes with 3 years/36,000 miles no-charge scheduled maintenance plus standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio. Visit www.saabusa.com for more information.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to that 9-3 sportcombi 'subaruized' concept?

      Looked pretty sweet from that grainy photo, and seemed like something that would be popular with those looking to downsize their SUVs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I actually like the styling, old or not. The problem here is that it's about 10k overpriced. At 32k this would compete against v6 accords and tsx acuras. In this price range you can get a 335i. Yikes.

      Still like it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What the hell has happened. i wish i had a day with these buffons to give them some insight.

      GM bought SAAB to get their badass turbo engines and squeezed into the solstice redline , and procedurally releases but-ugly cars that have no sense of driving feel and whiplash like the original 900, 9-3, and 9000 cars, especially the aero cars. they were made to run hard adn had ample torque.

      these cars were involving and fun, the 9000 aero was as fast as a ferrari ...but now they're misfitted junk. crap bodywork, engines tuned for HP numbers and not fun. bland interiors. no utility hatchbacks?an SUV?

      somebody totally screwed up this purchase.

      and the suggestion is now that they're(GM) going to sell/permanently quit making SAABs altogether. i'm not surprised since thesame management greenlighted the gmc yukon and the only GMC Yukons I ever rode in cut my hand on the interior door release. as if noone ever considered that a human hand might use it for its intended purpose.

      I hate american capitalist mentality. A car is not a BigMac. Make something that has a soul, GM. and stop putting cheap plasticky chrome all over sh*t. a shiny chrome turd is still turd.

      julian santa-rita

        • 6 Years Ago

        The current 9-5 has the same engine (basically) as my 9000 Aero. 2.3L 4 with 260 lb-ft, available at about 1900 RPM. The newer ones are tuned to rev a bit higher, making 260 HP instead of the original's 225. I've gone more than 500 miles on more than a few 17.X gallon tanks. Things like the under-piston oil sprayers make the engines somewhat exotic, but plenty make it over 200-250K.

        Yes, the 5-spd 9000 Aero was faster than a Testarossa from 50-75mph. It's a sleeper, and it's hugely useful with the fold-down seats and hatch. And the seats, again, are the best I've ever sat in.

        I, for one, hope that Saab gets at least a bit of independence. A ten-year-old car that degraded in fit/finish over the years is ridiculous. Since GM took complete ownership in Saab (more than ten years ago), they've released exactly one all-new model. Huh?
      • 6 Years Ago

      This car...or even SAAB still exist??
      • 6 Years Ago
      People need to stop putting Saab down just because of how outdated they are.

      They're an amazingly comfortable place to sit. You could drive from Miami to New York almost on a full tank, and feel good the whole way.

      (Mind you, I expect more like a tank and a half)

      When I had my 9-5 Aero, it had a 6-Speed, and a Sports Suspension, and it was peppy and fun. I may have only had it for a week, but it certainly was not a car to complain about.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SAABs are so BAAD.

      See what I did there?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is still gives me hope for Saab, the 2010 9-5.

      This rendering looks absolutely stunning!

      • 6 Years Ago
      That is the worst navi screen integration I have ever seen.

      If I wanted a big Swedish car, I'd get an S80. No. Wait. First I would realize that there are no Swedish cars anymore. Then I would get an Audi or BMW or Lexus or Infiniti or . . .

      I wish there were a few more quirky individualistic cars on the market. I loved the rectilinear old Audi 5000, Saab 9000, Alfa 164, Volvo 940, and even the Eagle Premiere in their days. So I do hope that as GM reinvents Saab, some of the quirks remain.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the exterior, meh...... but that is the ugliest interior i have ever seen in a current automobile! and i thought chrysler made ugly interiors :-/

      why so many buttons and knobs everywhere???
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I worked at Saab... I'd have found a new job ages ago.

      Sad considering the brand has so much potential.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...love that Corolla back end....pfft
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looks like Dame Edna. Remember her/him?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Its no more of an excuse than the dozen or so model Ford Mustangs that keep coming out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Flash, it does look like Crown Vic
        • 6 Years Ago

        This looks HORRIBLE. Worse than a Crown Victoria
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, Outside AND in. The ugly headlights, the mismatched tail lights (attempting to ape the 3 series and failing) and that interior, sweet god, I've seen better center clusters on sub 10k compacts than that. If GM doesn't give a damn, then yes, kill it already. How many $42,775 sedans could I name which are more worth the cash than this? Every Single One.

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