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.