Posted on

Long Term Project (Part 2): 2011 9-3 Aero XWD

June 2015:

Following my return from Germany and Sweden, having spent almost two weeks around some very heavily modified 9-3s and NG9-5s, I was re-energized with enthusiasm and eager to get busy upgrading the 2011 9-3. My goals were simple: At this point, I wanted to finish off the interior, and begin upgrading the car’s exterior appearance and powertrain.

I set to work disassembling the interior (removing the door panels and glovebox) so I could fit the carbon leather door panel insert trims and the glovebox decor strip. Once I had completed those installations, I measured and drilled the brake and accelerator pedals so that I could fit the Hirsch aluminum pedals (a set that I had previously fitted and removed from my 9-5 Aero). Once those were fitted, I removed the plastic “Aero” branded door sill plates, drilled out the inserts and fitted the Hirsch branded aluminum inserts (a replacement for the long unavailable Hirsch all-aluminum door sill plates). The last piece of the interior upgrades (for now), came in the form of the Hirsch steering wheel which replaced the TurboX steering wheel that came in the car originally.

Carbon leather door panel inserts:


Carbon leather glove box trim:


Hirsch aluminum door sill inserts:


Hirsch steering wheel and pedals:


With the interior finally finished, I could move onto the exterior… Here’s where the fun begins…

You can find links to some of the products used in this car’s build at the links below.

Carbon leather door inserts:

Door Trim Carbon leather, 9-3 II Sedan/Combi

Carbon leather glove box decor trim:

Glove Compartment Trim Carbon leather 9-3 07-

Hirsch aluminum door sill inserts:

Hirsch Performance Door Sill Inlay 9-3 03-

Hirsch steering wheel:

Hirsch Performance Steering Wheel 9-3 MY 06-

3 thoughts on “Long Term Project (Part 2): 2011 9-3 Aero XWD

  1. Hi Brad,

    Your car looks fantastic. It is very similar to mine. I have a 2009 Aero XWD V6. It was first sold new in Australia in 2011, and I got my hands on it in 2015.

    The car had the optional 345mm brakes and 19″ wheels in the TurboX style but silver.

    I have added the Hirsch front splitters, rear carbon Hirsch style diffuser and a turbo X rear spoiler to the outside. Inside, I have added the Hirsch door handles and smart slot/handbrake cover, Hirsch sills, and full carbon leather trim, alongside Hirsch pedals and a custom saab steel footrest.
    In the boot I have added a rubber boot matt, side net, boot floor net, boot loading protector and storage tray. I have removed the emergency goo kit and replaced it with a full spare and tool kit, incorporating spare bulb kit, first aid kit, and emergency triangle. I have also added a fire extinguisher.

    I have the Hirsch 3 piece grill, but have not added it. I really want to leave it off unless I can get hold of the 4th piece for the lower front spolier.

    Are there any plans to restart production of this item. I would definitely be interested in one.



    1. Hi Craig. Your car sounds very similar to mine… I have a Saab 9-3 2.8 Carlsson in Arctic White. It was produced for the UK Market in 2010. It has

      – 19″ ALU85 3 spoke Silver Alloys
      – 345mm uprated brakes
      – 280bhp
      – Auto Transmission
      – Carbon effect interior.

      I have acquired the following items (sourced from CardYourCar

      – Hirsch Steering Wheel
      – Hirsch Honeycomb Grille (piece)
      – Hirsch Aluminium Pedals
      – Hirsch Diffuser
      – Hirsch Sills (ordered late last night!)

      I share your opinion on the grille; the 4th piece makes it look so much more slick.

      1. Thanks for your comments guys, I agree that the lower Honeycomb grille ties everything together perfectly, in my upcoming post, you’ll see the headache I had when it came time to fit it.

        Presently, we don’t have any plans to reproduce the grilles (upper or lower) but don’t count anything out just yet, that may change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *