The Saab 9-3 Convertible Cerulean is a commemorative edition that became available in the UK at the end of February 2006 until around August that year, celebrating 20 years of the Convertible, which was initially produced for the US market in 1986.
In the UK they are all 06, or 56 Registered, although you may find an occasional 07 plate.
This unique model was only available in one colour, Cerulean “sky” blue, and was trimmed in parchment leather with a contrasting blue strip in the centre of each seat, again in Cerulean blue.
All engine options were available including the 1.9 Tid Diesel, and could be specified as a Vector or Aero.
The 17 inch 5-spoke split alloy wheels were unique to this model and were named ‘double bridge’ and while I have seen them on one or two other Saab models as a retro fit, they are quite a rare wheel, and were designed especially for the Cerulean model.
Vector model, from £27979.00 on the road.
Tonneau cover in body colour lacquered finish
Colour match door handles
17 inch 5-spoke split alloy wheels
Aero Leather sports seats in parchment with accents in blue leather
Dual zone ACC
Saab infotainment system (ES1-7)
Driving pack (Saab car computer and cruise control)
Aero model, from £31214.00 on the road.
As Vector, but with ES2-7 Saab infotainment system, sports “Aero” body sill covers, front spoiler and rear bumper valance with visible sports exhaust. The Aero also featured Bi-zenon headlamps and a sports chassis.
I recently discovered a special edition 9-3 that I had been unaware existed.
For the 2002 model year, Saab produced a limited edition 9-3 to celebrate 25 years since the launch of their first turbocharged passenger car, the 99 turbo in 1977.
This Special edition was available in 3-door, 5-door and convertible forms, and featured a new 16” wheel design said to reflect that of a turbine wheel.
The interior specification had special leather and fabric seats, with the word “turbo” embossed into the seat backs, these seats are now probably the most sought after seats amongst enthusiasts of the 1st generation car, I know many owners would love to have a set in their cars!
The dashboard was also treated to a wood grain instrument surround to add a little extra luxury feel.
If you are a fan of the first Generation 9-3 then seeking out and cherishing one of these special edition may be very worthwhile. .
I found this photo showing the models produced from the beginning, up until the Saab 99. Note the Daihatsu 99 on the right!
Back in 2010 Saab launched the 9-3 Carlsson, a performance model limited to just 96 cars. It was a tribute to Eric Carlsson’s first RAC rally win 50 years earlier in 1960 in a Saab 96, with subsequent wins in 1961 and 1962.
The only colours available were black or white – simple choice.
The car featured the Saab XWD system along with turboX style wheels and boot lip spoiler.
The interior featured premium leather seats, DVD navigation, a Bose sound system, and probably every other option available at the time.
Performance was provided by a 280hp 2.8 V6, with a beautiful soundtrack provided by twin exhaust pipes.
The Carlsson was only available with the 6-speed automatic, but this suits the car well, and still manages the 0-60 sprint in 6.9 seconds powering on to a top speed of 155mph!
The four wheel drive system gives plenty of grip and, along with the lowered and stiffened suspension, I’m sure you would back down before you found the car’s limits in both performance and handling.
I’m not going to talk about MPG or the cost of road fund licence – performance never comes cheap, so in my opinion it’s a small price to pay for such a unique Saab, and in truth there will not even be 96 of these cars still in existence.
The launch price of £26,495 was a lot of money back then, but these days they can be bought for less than half that figure, representing fantastic performance car value along with the exclusivity a limited edition car provides.
The often asked question – will today’s modern cars ever become classics? That’s a hard question to answer, I would say yes, but only certain cars, and the 9-3 Carlsson is sure to be one of them.
So in summary, if you like your Saabs fast and furious and value the legendary name that is Eric Carlsson – catch one while you still can!