Saab Convertible – by the numbers

2011 sees the 25th anniversary of the iconic Saab Convertible. Following are some numbers that relate to the Saab Converible and might be of some interest to the many Saab Convertible fans out there.

25 years of Saab Convertible production:

  • First generation (1986 – 1993) – 48,894 units
  • Second generation (1994 –2002) – 149,145 units
  • Third generation (2003 onwards*) – 99,535 units

*until April 2011

The latest Saab 9-3 Convertible is the result of 25 years’ experience in designing and engineering soft-top automobiles. To celebrate the Saab Convertible’s its first quarter century, here are a few fast facts:

3 – most popular colors are: Black, Steel Grey and Silver

6 – swiveling cross-braces are used in the soft-top to ensure it is tightly stretched in the raised position with a minimum of sagging

7 – hydraulic cylinders are used to execute four different movements in the operation of the soft-top.

11 – manual heat settings replace the automatic climate control when the soft-top is down. When it is back up, the climate control function is automatically reinstated, complete with any previously saved settings.

20 seconds – the time required to fully deploy the powered soft-top with the engine is running, making it among the fastest-acting in the premium convertible segment.

21 degrees – the ideal back-rest inclination for rear passenger comfort and this was a requirement for the 9-3 Convertible, despite the packaging constraints of soft-top stowage in the trunk.

26 meters – the total length of the hydraulic hoses used in the roof system

30 km/h – the maximum vehicle speed at which the soft-top can be raised. There’s no need to come to a stop to raise the roof if it starts to rain.

140 bar – is the hydraulic pressure required to operate the soft-top – 56 times greater than normal tire pressure.

181 – the number of moving parts in the soft-top mechanism. The main roof structure, including the front header rail, is made from magnesium to save weight.

366 – the number of Saab 9-3 Convertible Independence Editions being built.

1,500 liters – of water is sprayed over the Convertible’s soft-top in a special chamber to check weatherproofing.

3,500 kilos – or more than twice the weight of the car, is the impressive load that the windshield header rail and its supporting A-pillars can carry. Necessary strength for rollover protection and good torsional rigidity.

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  1. I’m not sure if this is the right place to aks, but since you’re throwing so many facts and figures at us: do you know (could you ask someone who knows) why the manual states you should not operate the roof when the temperature drops below -4 degrees centigrade?

      1. I would imagine that the viscosity of the hydraulic fluid would be significantly reduced by the ambient temperature. I remember putting the top down on my 1993 900S convertible in -2*C up in Vermont back in the mists of time and it would make all sorts of unhappy sounds in the process.

  2. I had a convertible for the day yesterday,it was the TTiD aero,it was brilliant.I have owned many Saabs over the years but not aconvertible but that is about to change .hope its ok to mention my SAAB dealer who are so helpful Cambridge Saab uk.

    1. Saab convertibles have always been 4-seaters.  I’m pretty sure that’s the way with all manufacturers with modern convertibles.  The roof mechanisms and safety features take up a fair bit of room in the back, which restricts the seating to two in the back.

      Of course, there was a time a few decades ago when all the interesting convertibles were just 2-seaters, until the Saab 900 Convertible came along.  

  3. 85 feet of hoses in a 15 foot long car? Totally
    ridiculous! And how many connections? Every one is a potential
    leak/failure point. I love Saabs (have 4) and think Saab ‘verts are
    great but all the hydraulics will keep me from buying one, especially
    since I keep cars a long time.

  4. Purchased my convertible this past Christmas! From the moment I had my license in hand, I have wanted a convertible. My first SAAB,  an ’87 9000, began my SAAB obsession. Others I’ve owned were ’97 9-5 sedan, 2001 9-5 Wagon. My current is a 2006 9-3 AERO convertible in Chili Red Metallic. My first day with the top down was in February, 65 & sunny–I was stopped by a State Trooper who just wanted to know if it was a fun as it looked!

  5. Ive had a 91 900 SE Turbo convertible, am 01 900SE Turbo and now an 05 9-3 ARC…all three generations. Please keep up the great work at SAAB and I look forward to having a convertible until I can no longer drive!!!

  6. Mostly I like it’s MPV vehicles. It is versatile brand and has some reputation among people. I am really glad to know about these facts about Saab Convertible. One of my uncle purchased 9:3 convertible in silver last year.
    trucking dispatch

  7. I’d like to see a wind tunnel pic(s) or video of the cars, especially my 2005. I drive all year round topless, unless it’s raining (snow is not a problem), but I do have a sheet of acrylic blocking the space between the seats. I still need to block or divert the wind around the headrests though, so some visual fluid dynamics info would help

    On the negative side, I have a break in a hydraulic line. I can only imagine what this is going to cost me. My heated seat died, and I had some injector problems, sometimes I think I should have just cut the top off of my Toyota Corolla (zero problems to 257,000 miles)