2005 Saab 9-3

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Building on the success of the 9-3 Convertible’s introduction last year, the 2005 9-3 lineup offers more of the same distinct style, luxurious appointments and uncompromising performance. For 2005 a new, lower-priced 9-3 Linear Convertible model completes the soft-top lineup and a new DVD-based navigation system is available, enabling 9-3 drivers to call up a wealth of travel information at the touch of a button.

2005 Saab 9-3 Convertible2005 Saab 9-3 Convertible

"The 9-3 lineup is unmatched in both functionality and character," Saab Automobile President and CEO Peter Augustsson said. “It’s one of the reasons why Saab is the fastest growing European premium car brand in the North American market in 2003.”

The 9-3 Sport Sedan and 9-3 Convertible launched Saab’s unprecedented product development program last year and it marches in to 2005 with the addition of the 9-2X premium sport compact wagon in June, followed by the 9-7X mid-luxury SUV early in 2005.

This 9-3 is designed to deliver a unique, fun-to-drive experience that sets the standard for its class. With a steeply raked windshield, wedge-like profile and short front and rear overhangs, the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible convey a sense of movement even while standing still. The shape of the windows combines with the sleek integrated headlights and grille to emphasize the distinctive Saab identity.

The 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible are available with a choice of two 2.0L all-aluminum turbocharged engines, ranging in power from 175 to 210 horsepower (131 to 157 kw). The front-wheel-drive transmissions include a five-speed manual gearbox, and a five-speed automatic with Saab Sentronic manual selection and available steering-wheel shift controls on the Aero model.

The 9-3 lineup is the product of the most exhaustive development program in chassis dynamics undertaken by Saab. The kinetics of the rear suspension, for example, are tuned for a unique rear-wheel-steer response to attain optimum handling and stability. The four-link independent rear suspension with high lateral stiffness adds stability and grip; longitudinal compliance enhances ride comfort.

The front suspension system of both 9-3 models features MacPherson struts with lower A-arms mounted on a hydroformed, rubber-isolated sub-frame. Numerous safety and handling systems are employed to derive optimal vehicle control: ESP (electronic stability program), ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), CBC (cornering brake control), MBA (mechanical brake assist) and TCS (traction control system) are standard.

New for 2005

* In-dash navigation system available
* 9-3 Convertible adds 175 hp (131 kw) Linear model
* New exterior colors: Parchment Silver, Smoke Beige and Chili Red

Built around the driver

In addition to its driver-focused chassis dynamics and powertrain performance, the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible are designed to adapt to a wide range of driver needs, establishing a close interaction with the driver.

The Saab 9-3 model lineup is built from “the driver outward.” That means the cabin ergonomics, instrumentation, controls and seating position are all developed from the driver’s perspective. As a result, the advanced safety features benefit all who use these vehicles. A wide range of functions can be pre-set according to personal preference, including: anti-theft alarm, parking assistance, rain-sensitive wipers and automatic climate control.

The instrument panel arcs around the driver, with a logical layout and a highly tactile feel to the controls. The steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach, and green instrument illumination and the Night Panel function contribute to safe night driving.

The Saab Information Display (SID) is located on top of the fascia near the base of the windshield, close to the driver’s natural field of vision. The screen shows radio settings and driver information.

More than a convertible

Saab engineers developed the architecture for the 9-3 Convertible and Sport Sedan concurrently, enabling them to incorporate their demanding requirements for an open-top car from the very start. The result is a premium convertible with a level of structural integrity, build quality and running refinement that positions it at the top of its class.

The 9-3 Convertible includes a supplementary "ring of steel" reinforcement linking the front, rear and side structures. This helps to compensate for the loss of structural rigidity due to the absence of a roof. The supplementary ring of steel also improves ride refinement, handling and crash-impact resistance – the latter benefiting from a series of new structural and occupant protection measures.

Convertible safety features for the front seats include seatbelts integrated into the seat frames, adaptive dual front air bags, two-stage side-impact air bags designed to offer protection for both the torso and the head, and second-generation Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR). Pioneered by Saab, these innovative restraints help prevent neck injury for front-seat occupants during rear-end impacts. Integrated into the seat backs, this safety system is improved for even quicker responsive action. Although rollovers are comparatively rare events, the consequences are quite serious, and Saab has installed an active protection system in the new 9-3 Convertible. Its DynaCage concept combines pop-up rear roll bars, front and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and substantial reinforcement of the A-pillars to help provide an integrated protection system.

The one-touch soft-top operation requires no manual involvement beyond pressing a button. The roof is hydraulically powered, with automatic self-latching to the header rail, and deploys fully in just 20 seconds while the engine is running. This is partly achieved by the Convertible's tonneau, which has a unique two-step cycle. It rises to a full horizontal position, then moves rearward, parallel to the top of the trunk.

Raising the soft top of the Saab 9-3 Convertible automatically increases trunk capacity. The CargoSET (Self-Expanding Trunk) directly links the soft-top's rearmost hinge mechanism to the flexible, "accordion" storage well in the trunk. When the roof is in position, the well is fully retracted, releasing useful storage space.

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