A renewed call for the Saab 9-5 Turbo S

The Saab 9-5 Turbo S was my own dreamy idea for a special 9-5 that would send the current model off into the sunset with a bang.

A couple of things emerged from the Saab Signature Colors article I posted last night. One was that there was no consensus signature color for the Saab 9-5. And the second thing was that (to the best of my knowledge) there hasn’t been a special model of the Saab 9-5 in the whole of it’s 10 year existence.

The Griffin badge carried on from the Saab 9000 for a little while and yes, there’s been the anniversary model earlier in 2007 as part of an anniversary model range. But I can’t remember a rip-snorting, tail-wagging balltearer of a model wearing the Saab 9-5 badge.

Is it just me, or does that seem like a crime?

The 99 got special with the release of the Turbo.

The 900 got special with the release of the SPG and the Convertible.

The 9000 had the Airflow and Carlsson models and was capped off with the Aero later on.

The NG900/9-3 got the Viggen

But the 9-5 hasn’t had a special moniker in all its time as Saab’s flagship model. It got an Aero model, which is retained to this day, but that’s part of the standard lineup. Where’s the uber-special model that makes all the Saab nuts go “oooooh” and start to dribble?

So once again, I would like to propose the Saab 9-5 Turbo S. In addition to the features I originally mentioned, it seems appropriate to mandate the creation of a signature color for the car. Better minds than mine can figure out what that should be, but it’s got to be classy, understated and yet pretty darn unique.

A summary of the enhancements in my original proposal follows:

    performance intercooler
    performance air filter
    upgraded intake
    stainless steel dual exhaust system
    uprated fuel pressure regulator
    Hirsch ECU replacement.
    18-inch alloy wheels
    high performance brake kit
    sports chassis – lower, stiffer springs, performance dampers
    limited slip differential
    full bespoke body kit including front and rear spoilers, side skirts and anodised accents
    anodised door trim decor and headlamp surrounds
    Saab sports seats in full, premium black leather with gunmetal trim
    ventilated and heated seats
    leather trimmed steering wheel
    full iPod and Bluetooth integration
    Hirsch sport pedal kit.
    full leather shift knob and gaiter kit as well as leather door inserts.

The important thing would be to fit all this stuff at the factory so that it goes out as a full Saab model to all markets that want it. And if you think this is a fanciful list – ALL of these modifications are available right now, either as accessories from Saab or as modifications from Hirsch.

This car is very do-able.

When I asked Jan-Ake Jonsson about a special model for the 9-5 a few weeks ago he was non-committal on specifics, but seemed positive about the notion that there would be some sort of special edition coming in the next year.

With more and more sources indicating that MY 2008 could be the last full model year for the Saab 9-5, I hope this special edition is something to drool over.

And I hope it comes in a very special, signature color.

You may also like


  1. Is it possible that the special edition 9-5 will probably have XWD, a face-lift or both? To me it would be a similar step to what they are doing with the 9-3. I wonder if it would be cost-prohibited though.

  2. Love the list and it would be amazing to see this 9-5 available in all markets.

    A couple of points…

    I’m not sure Turbo S is the right name. To me the “S” has been used to denote the bottom of the Saab range, 900S comes to mind. How about something like the 9-5 Gripen or Draken?

    To my knowledge, “full iPod integration” is not available from Saab or Hirsch.

  3. Point taken on the iPod int, Aizzo. But the technology is available.

    I chose the Turbo S name as a partner for the Turbo X that will feature in the 9-3 range next year. And rather vainly, so that I could refer to is as the TS edition 😉

  4. “Where’s the uber-special model that makes all the Saab nuts go “oooooh” and start to dribble?” – swade

    It’s the 9-7x Aero!

    [/sarcasm off]

    I for one think it’s a hell of a great idea.

    On a side note, how much power can you exploit from the current 2.3T engine? They’ve managed to take it from a modest 185hp to a monster 260hp, but can more be done? Especially with mods?

  5. Rinspeed Gold BIoPower is a landmark. But not a very tasteful, it seems.
    So if they make a Aero 1,9 TTid in the 9-3, doesn’t a heavier-diesel in the 9-5 makes sense also? But substantial different then the Hirsch option: at the moment a 9-3 1,9 TiD 175 hp hirsch vs. 9-3 Aero TTid 180 hp doesn’t make sense. But how much is the 1,9 diesel strechable with extra torque and horsepower ? Doesn’t the xwd find its way into the 9-5 ? Or does the mean to many changes towards chassis and drivetrain ?

  6. I agree…The 9-5 is overdue. I love my 9-5 Aero, and it still feels special, but there should be a halo 9-5 ala 9-3 Viggen….in fact, why not call it the 9-5 Viggen? Oh, and of course make it a manual tranny ONLY…as was the C900 Commemerative Edition and the new Turbo X.

  7. I think the best thing to do would be drop the 9-5 early to build demand for the next one and the current 9-3, which isn’t that much smaller.