Okay Saab, we get it: You’re proud of your aircraft heritage. Now its time to make cars you can be proud of, not just cars celebrating airplanes. Until then, Saab’s big unveil for the Detroit Auto Show will be the 9-5 Griffin Edition, named after Saab’s new Gripen fighter aircraft.
So if it was built to celebrate a fast and maneuverable aircraft, then the car must have engine and suspension upgrades, right? WRONG. The 9-5 Griffen comes with the standard 260 hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine from the regular car. It’s a fine engine, but its no jet fighter.
Instead the 9-5 Griffen goes for luxury add-ons such as a matte chrome for the front grille, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, and rear spoilers for the sedan and wagon. The interior gets high-gloss interior trim (isn’t that something GM has been trying to stop doing?) as well as some special stitching.
If this gets you excited, then grab $42,775 for the sedan ($44,045 for the wagon), and head on down to your Saab dealer this January. The line forms wherever you’re standing.
Press release after the jump.
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.