2009 ushers in a special edition version of Saab’s 9-3 convertible called the “Hirsch Edition” that would make Jerry Seinfeld proud. Far from just a few slight body modifications, a different set of wheels or special interior packaging, the Hirsch Edition comes with an impressively powerful engine that cranks out 300 horses.
The basic style that makes Saab…Saab, has remained the same since the 80’s. If you are a fan of that look the Hirsch Edition only adds a bit more aggressive styling, but definitely retains the design heritage of the company. In terms of performance, the regular 9-3 that the Hirsch Edition is built around is not exactly a slow poke on the highway and provides a good start to begin with. The standard 9-3 utilizes the same 2.8 V6 engine employed in the Hirsch Edition, although with slightly less, though respectable, 280 hp. Not only does Hirsch Performance squeeze out 20 more horsepower from that engine, but an almost equal amount of torque. As a result, the Hirsch Edition is capable of reaching 62 mph in 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 161 mph. This upgrade in power necessitates an equally upgraded and lowered sport chassis and brake system, which receives new high speed ventilated disks. Aesthetically, the Hirsch Edition employs a new and unique body kit with a rear trunk spoiler and air diffuser, large exhaust tailpipes and a new set of 19 inch alloy wheels. Far from just window dressing the carbon fiber body kit is the result of countless hours by Hirsch to improve an already aerodynamically svelte 9-3 design. Like many special editions, the Hirsch 9-3 comes in only two colors: matte black or satin silver. Inside, the 9-3 has comparable refinements to the offerings from BMW and Mercedes, though at times Saab is dogged by fit and finish issues that seem to follow all of GM’s products.
The price for such Swedish goodness comes at a high price however. With a price tag approaching nearly 60 grand many potential buyers may opt for a similarly powerful and expensive vehicle from one of Europe’s other performance brands.