SAAB Reviews

Saab 9-3 Cabriolet Hirsch Edition (300hp)

2009 Saab 9-3 cabriolet - Hirsch edition

This weekend we are reminded of perhaps the most beautiful, but certainly the most powerful Saab convertible ever delivered to the market, and it is the Saab 9-3 Cabriolet Hirsch Edition model with exactly 300 horsepower presented in 2008. This was not the first treatment by the official Saab tuner house from Switzerland “Hirsch Performance” for convertible models, but it is certainly the last tuning of Swedish convertibles.

2003 Saab 9-3 Convertible Hirsch Performance (230hp)

Saab’s official tuner “Hirsch Performance” subjected the 9-3 convertible to a power treatment with the first version of the second generation Saab 9-3 from the end of 2003, when this convertible left a technically and visually strong impression after the treatment.

2003 Saab 9-3 Convertible Hirsch Performance

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As Saab’s partner for tuning and improvement, Hirsch Performance presented a complete range of accessories for the then new Saab 9-3 convertible in 2003 (The convertible version of the second-generation 9-3 began with the MY04). Hirsch Performance engine treatment of both the 1.8t engine (150 HP) and the 2.0t (175 HP) made it possible to increase the performance from the factory values to 195 HP and 295 Nm of torque. With this tuning, the 9-3 cabriolet could reach a maximum of 230 km/h and finish the sprint to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds.

The Aero version was not far behind either, so the 9-3 2.0 Aero got an increase in power from 210 HP to 230 HP. And as a result, the maximum speed of the Aero model was increased to 240 km/h, and the Aero sprinted from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds.

Then, in addition to changes in the software of the engine control unit, the “Hirsch Performance” treatment also included changes to the “hardware”, primarily the exhaust system. Hirsch’s Sports exhaust system was made of stainless steel and ensured minimal exhaust gas back pressure and better engine response. In order to optically complete the tuning, there is a sports suspension lowered by 15 millimeters and three-spoke rims with 235 width tires. Interestingly, the tuning treatment at the time was 1100 euros for all three engine variants.

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2009 Saab 9-3 Cabriolet – Hirsch Edition (300hp)

After the Hirsch Performance treatment of Saab’s convertible models from 2003, Hirsch Performance again, after the redesign of the 9-3 model from 2007, does the design and tuning treatment again at the end of 2008.

The special edition Saab 9-3 Cabrio Hirsch Edition was available in very limited quantities, and was offered only in silver body color along with black 19-inch alloy Hirsch wheels. Unfortunately for many Saab convertible fans around the world, this special edition 9-3 was only available to customers in Germany.

9-3 cabriolet - Hirsch edition
9-3 cabriolet – Hirsch edition, Rear end

Unlike its 2003 predecessor, this powerful model was powered by a powerful V6 2.8-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine that offered a maximum power of 300 horsepower (221 kW), torque of 400 Nm. Acceleration from zero to hundred takes 6.4 seconds, the maximum speed is even 260 kilometers per hour. To match the performance, the chassis has been lowered and stiffened. To stop the fast cab, Hirsch has mounted “fat” brake discs. The new ones measure 345 millimeters “from edge to edge” (The Turbo X model also has the same 345mm diameter discs).

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Hirsch Performance 19-inch rims in matte black
Hirsch Performance 19-inch rims in matte black

The exterior of the car has undergone some aerodynamic changes. Among other things, the Swiss have provided the Saab 9-3 Cabriolet Hirsch Edition with a front splitter, honeycomb grille, new side skirts, a rear diffuser surrounded by two “fat” tailpipes and new 19-inch rims in matte black or satin silver.


Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

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