Saab 9-3 Gripen

UPDATE – looks like the consensus opinion is that it’s a done up MY08 in black rather than a done up Turbo X and it’s presence there at the same time as the Turbo X’s debut at the show is coincidental.



Two more photos have come in, from Vaidas. He spoke to the guys there (from City Saab) and here’s the low-down.

It’s a 2008 Saab 9-3 2.0T with a pretty comprehensive makeover with products from Hirsch. Power has been raised to 255hp and as you can see, it’s got the Hirsch 18×8.5 rims, the Hirsch dual exhaust and the mesh grille. Other additions are unknown but it was priced at a whopping GBP29K!!

Basic 500px photos here, but I’ll make them enlargeable later.

Thanks Vaidas!!

9-3 Gripen

9-3 Gripen


Unsure as to what’s going on here but I’m hunting for more info as we speak. This is the Saab on display at the MPH show at Earl’s Court.

Robin M has just received this pic via SMS.

Saab 9-3 Gripen

MPH is the show where the Turbo X is making it’s British debut.

Maybe Saab GB have decided to put a different spin on it, or do it up even more than how it comes from the factory?

That looks like a set of double-blade wheels and it’s definitely a different rear spoiler treatment. It also looks like it’s got a customised Gripen badge on the back where the Turbo X badge should be.

Initial thoughts – there must be an actual Turbo X there as well as I can’t believe that the Brits would debut the Turbo X like this. Not that I don’t like it, but it’s so different to the advance publicity shots etc.

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  1. This has to be Hirsch mods. Round pipes (look familliar), new rear spoiler, diffuser and trunk treatment. I suspect the front photo will have the same metal look front spoiler effect.

  2. I just had another text, no pictures, but andy did say there were at least two other saabs there. and this from a mate who has no interest in saabs. but at least he knows i do. i’m looking forwardto the birmingham edition next weekend.

  3. I dont beleive for a moment this is a Turbo X, All the adverts we have seen show new wheels and a new exhaust pipe etc. This one has been done up by someone, maybe a garage local to the event.

  4. It is Hirsch 18″ wheel and Hirsch dual exhaust system.
    The rea spoiler is the new type of MY2008. I do not like the the rear insert of bumper to be teated with sliver paint as well as rear spoiler.
    It is not Turbo x.

  5. From the back bumper, I think I see a dark blue paint scheme instead of the Jet Black scheme.

    I don’t think this is an Aero-X… Saab UK probably wouldn’t modify one, especially given the limited allocations…

  6. Just back from London 🙂
    I spoke to the guys at this stand (City Saab) and they confirmed me it was a Hirsch-ed up 2.0T with 255 hp.
    I have a few better pictures of the Gripen as well as the Turbo-X which I might send to Swade when I get around to passing them through Lightroom 🙂

  7. that chrome spoiler HAS TO GO!

    otherwise i think its really cool that dealers can sell hirsch-ed up saabs… we dont get that in the usa 🙁

  8. It’s horrible- crass – blinged up – nasty – cheap – and the mesh grille ruins the subtlety of the front end.

    I guess I must be a snob….

  9. one of saab’s problems has been the lack of trying to stand out. it tries too hard to blend in. unfortunately, that type of approach, in today’s marketplace, will leave it “dancing” with oldsmobile or others of similar ilk.

    one of the refreshing things about the concepts, at least the (original) 9-3x, the 9x, and the aero-x, is that saab got away from the mundane; the milquetoast “school” of design mentality.

    to that end, the gripen is a step in the right direction. i’m not saying “bling,” but make things stand out more. saab shouldn’t be seduced or intoxicated by muted designs or performance any longer.

    i would think an integral part of what saab stands for is that it’s different. however, everything since the hatch seems to be more like an apology, rather than an affirmation (of what it’s about).

    my wishes to saab:

    1) define your character, in terms of philosophy and design;

    2) show that character to the world, unabashedly;

    3) make, “assertive,” mandatory in the design equation; and

    4) embrace your heritage, but don’t use it as an excuse to limit your options.

  10. I must have that license plate and custom Gripen badging! I don’t remember getting any royalties for the use of my name. 😉

    May I point-out that this “Gripen” outputs 127 horsepower per liter of displacement versus the Turbo-X’s 100 horsepower per liter of displacement? Therefore, IMHO this is more of an engineering marvel than the Turbo-X. Kudos to Hirsch (and Saab’s 2.0-liter team).

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