Till72: My personal Saab
September 30, 2010 in Saabology
People like to dream about their ideal, future Saab. One of our regulars here at SU is Till72. He’s a great supporter of both the brand and his local dealer (check out the graphics he did for his dealer) and he’s put fingers to keyboard in order to visualise the kind of Saab he’d like buy in the future.
I enjoyed reading this because it reflects some of the changed expectations that people are having now. Saab is no longer the company we’ve known for the last few decades. It’s keeping its roots and its core philosophies, but there’s no doubt that Saab is changing.
The car I would like Saab to build
It’s been a long journey for me to get this car together in my mind. Recently I’ve been reading a lot about future car concepts and I have to admit that there are many out there that look quite promising at first glance.
But things get tricky when you look at the details. With hydrogen, for example, the logistics may be difficult. Electricity is a big thing today but as long as most electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels (emissions) or atomic plants (spent fuel issues) it’s not as clean as it looks. E85 is a good thing if the next generation is made from waste, not from food.
Does anyone remember “Back to the future”? Doc Brown had the Delorean running on waste right from the trash bin after he got the technology on a trip to 2015. That’s not too far away, right? Those who are interested may take a look at the Choren website – the things they have developed are quite promising.
I still believe that the easiest way to make a customer use alternative fuels is to offer it at the gas station so they can fill their cars like they always did. Charging batteries takes too much time for those who drive more. I’ve got a delivery car here at my company and I’d happily jump on the electric train but right now, the range is simply not enough.
Right now we have a 9-5SC and a 9-3x in our family garage. Both are diesels. Since we are a tall family we’ll always need a big family car for longer trips but right now I’ll concentrate on a potential follow-up to my superb Saab 9-3x (with Hirsch for added superbness ).
Keeping a hatch would be tempting but I love the idea behind the 9-3x. Utility without carrying the weight of a SUV all the time.
I’d like a classic engine. An internal cumbustion engine that can run on E85, LPG or some BtL (Biomass to Liquid) fuel when it becomes available. Maybe a BtL diesel. I can be quite romantic sometimes so I’d like it to have a 2.3 turbo but I think some 2.0 or 1.6 turbo will do. I read in the last Saab magazine that in the future, the power of a 2 litre engine may be reached by a 1 litre engine. Cargine valve control would be a nice thing on such an engine, too. If torque is right I don’t care too much about the engine size. Start-stop technology is welcome if it works with my 7-speed double clutch auto (or would it be a DSG?). XWD with eLSD and DriveSense gets the power on the road.
A full electric setup won’t do it for me because I often have to travel up to 500 km a day and I’m not sure if the number of fast charging stations (outside the big cities) will grow fast enough here in Germany. Maybe add a hybrid setup or a range extender of some sort? Perhaps the new collaboration with AAM has the answer? I guess it would depend on the weight it adds in relation to the fuel it saves.
The size of my current 9-3 is enough for me but if it becomes a bit bigger it’s not bad either. I won’t get too much into design issues here because I believe that Saab has a team that understands what I like, just like they did in the past. Just let me choose my colors from a big palette, even if I have to pay a bit more. Matte black this time, please.
Same goes for the interior. As long as I get my Saab cockpit I’m happy. Black interior for me with a black roofliner. A Hirsch-made carbon leather dashboard that fits the black and red two-tone ventillated leather seats perfectly. Some gadgets like nav, a Bose sound system, iPod integration…
One thing that I found very interesting to read about is the development of bio-plastics (for example proganic). I don’t know if those materials fit the needs of the automotive industry right now but it would be another step to becoming more independent from oil and to make the car easier to recycle. Another step to a green car.
Sure, it might well be that this particular car costs a bit more than the competition. But I want the Saab. And if I can get that vehicle I described I’ll open my wallet happily.
This may be a very personal view and a quite European view, too. But that’s the way it is – this is my ideal Saab, after all – and I’ll happily jump into the discussion that follows.