This beauty makes you feel very special

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Let us face it, some things in life just look better with their tops off.

Take for example that first bottle of beer on a Sunday morning. When its top is unopened it's about as useful as a stripper at a Boy Scout convention.

Open it up and it's a whole new ball game. Then there's Naomi Campbell, who would look better ANY morning of the week with her top off.

Another that would not be out of place in that illustrious company is the new SAAB 93 convertible. Sure, it doesn't carry the same in-ya-face street-cred a TT has, or the perfect lines of an SLK.

"It's definitely an up-market car aimed at those who appreciate quality motoring," says Alf Bennett, premium channel manager for General Motors.

"The car is very popular in Sweden, where it is made, but here in South Africa it is definitely a niche brand.

"Since taking over the SAAB brand in 2003 we have increased our dealerships throughout the country to 10 and it falls into the same stable as our other premium vehicle, the Cadillac."

But who will actually buy the vehicle?

"It appeals to the designing community - interior designers, architects as well as people in the medical profession.

"It is an alternative brand but one that we are currently building on," added Bennett.

With the roof down, it not only projects a sportier image but is a great way of showing off what is a first class interior, and it's those finishing touches that sets it apart from some of its rivals.

The lush cream leather sports seats, the metal-look chrome trim that runs along the top of the doors and a sound system second to none all add to make you feel special while driving.

Throw in colour-coded bumpers and door handles, 17-inch alloy wheels and your usual range of safety features, including ABS brakes and airbags and you soon realise why it carries a R408000 price tag.

Under the bonnet the 2,0-litre turbo engine produces 129kW and has a claimed top speed of 220 km/h.