sponsored by Volvo
I can't help but enjoy the irony of this article being sponsored by Volvo.
Was that deliberate, El Reg?
A Tasmanian-based Saab enthusiast blogger has pulled off a social media coup, scoring a global role with the car manufacturer and being touted as the man who "saved Saab". Steven Wade, a self-confessed publishing novice, started his site dedicated to all things SAAB in 2005, which was then called Trollhättan Saab. It has since …
Just ... you'd have had to have had one to understand. They were quoted as being faster than Ferraris from 30 to 70, and from experience of both I can go along with that.
No trouble with the handling either - the Carlsson was a ton and a half's worth of go-kart, and although the ride was bumpy (very hard suspension!) it was a wonderful car.
If they want to sell more Saabs then they have already taken a step in the right direction, stop selling a rebadged Vectra. God those things are boring pieces of turd, I would rather have to drive a bloody G-Wiz than a Vauxhall (General Motors).
Yes, go back to building interesting cars, Saab used to do interesting stuff like putting fuel injection on cars (even if the engine was a Triumph 1850) way before the boring gits at GM and Ford did, pehaps they can find the money to get back into motorsport at some point as well?
Please oh please come and put a real car in the BTCC instead of the round up of chavmobiles collected from the Halfords car park that make it unwatchable now.
The Cube, your characteristic of modern Saabs is more than a bit unfair.
The new 9-5 e.g. was 100% designed by the engineers in Trollhättan. Most of its parts are not shared with other GM brands. The exciting bits, such as XWD, DriveSense and HiPer-strut, are Saab's own innovations within the GM system. Trollhättan was a major engineering center within GM Europe. (Fair enough, GM had them scheduled to be put to sleep many years ago, but they're still alive)
The current generation 9-3 certainly bares no resemblance to a Vectra. (the very first 9-3 OTOH had some ...issues, but even then it was different enough to stop other GM plants from taking over production)
The next 9-3... Well... Google "PhoeniX" and you'll see the concept they say the next 9-3 will inherit from. You cannot get any less Vectra than that.
Someone mentioned the 9000. Yes, I know the feeling. I have the 1997 anniversary model myself. :) Overtaking other cars is a hoot. The new 9-5 weighs a bit more, and is much quieter. As a result the 220 bhp version of the 9-5 doesn't quite deliver the punch of its ancestor, but the difference is not more than what you can solve by a little chip trimming. (or possibly upgrade to the V6) Alternatively check out a 9-3 for that rocket sled sensation (even on snow/ice -- which is the big difference to other cars).
Finally, a 9-3 costs less than a 3-series. A 9-5 costs less than a 5-series. Historically Saab has bested all German brands on real world safety (http://www.folksam.se/polopoly_fs/1.11226!/webbversioneng_R6546.pdf). If you ever want a car that isn't exactly the same as what everyone else is driving, then take a look at Saabs. Especially if you want to go moose hunting.
The vectra is more saab then vice versa, and there are fundamental differences in the suspension, most noticably the passive steering rear-axle in the ssab. Besides, the same thing can be said about a R8 and a Gaillardo. :-)
And both the vectra, and the saab even more so, are known for their reliability. There is something to be said for proven technology.
It seems you are right about all that (having done a bit of checking), but someone did a poor job of quashing the belief that Saabs were to Vectras what Jaguar X-types were to Mondeos. I'm a car enthusiast through and through, and a rally fan, but even I was under the impression that Saabs from the GM era were just badge-engineered rep-wagons.
I'd suggest that this is one of the things that Saab need to deal with quickly if they are to be reunited with their core market of people that like fast, interesting cars (along with making sure that routine spare parts are not silly expensive).
Saabs have never been re-badged Vectras. True, they shared the chassis and some (but not all) components and engines, but were still far from classical re-badging.
Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_engineering and inform yourself what re-badging is for something. Then please point me to a Saab which looks exactly the same as a Vauxhall/Opel apart from a different badge.
(guess where does my nickname come from)
The latest Saab to be released is the 9-5 in 2010. That is based on the GM Epsilon 2 platform. Other cars using that platform: (shameless c&p here)
2008 Opel Insignia, Buick Regal (SWB) 2010 Buick LaCrosse/GM Daewoo Alpheon (LWB) 2010 Saab 9-5 (LWB) 2013 Opel Calibra (SWB)
The original Epsilon 1 platform supported the 2002 Vauxhall Vectra and the 2003 Saab 9-3
Before 2003 the Saab 900 which was rebadged as the 9-3 was based on the Vauxhall Caviler. Unfortunately when used for the Saab it created a problem where the bulkhead where the steering rack attached would crack where the rack was clamped to the car. That is an instant MOT failure and the chassis has to be welded which is an expensive repair. Another problem was snapped coil springs at the front. Same as the Caviler. If the cars were different I don't understand how they could have the same suspension issue.
Aside from the more serious mechanical defects the GM series of Saabs were awful. The only people who deffend them are the people who own them.
The other problem was the self-destructing engines. After modification while under GM's stewardship the engine in the 9-5 developed a fault relating to the oil breather system and oil pickup tube. The oil pickup tube was too close to the bottom of the sump. The oil breather system wasn't clearing oil vapours from the engine and the oil was sludging in the bottom of the sump. Because the pickup tube was so close to the bottom of the sump sludge would get into the small gap where the oil was supposed to flow into the oil pickup tube and that blocked flow to the oil pump. At any given point the oil would stop flowing into the rest of the engine which caused fairly instant engine destruction. Saab were replacing these engines free of charge for the first few years. Many Saab 9-5 owners have retrofitted the engine parts from the earlier Saab 9000 as a way to work around the problem.
If Saab release a new Saab which is made by Saab and has some of the original magic then I might be interested in buying a new one.
I had the Saab 9000 and mine didn't lift at the front when accelerating. It was very fast. Probably the fastest car I've owned. At the moment I have 4 Saab's but they are all 99's and 900's - Pre 1994 - real Saab's.
but they can be made to go a lot faster ;-) I find that when I put my foot on the pedal I'm pushed back in my seat!
My new shape 9-3 Aero convertible was a very nice car. When this unpleasant recession hit and I had to hand it back I opted for a much older 9000. I have to say my 9000 is a very different car but has a lot more 'personality'.
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