The SU Hi-Po Challenge

I’m away for a couple of days, but this ought to give you something to chew on…..

——

Consider this the oiling of squeaky wheels as far as SU is concerned.

There are a number of people who frequent this site who think that Saab should definitely build a high-powered, performance-oriented halo version of one of its cars. Whilst I count myself as a frequenter of this site, I do not count myself as an extreme halo car advocate at this time.

From my perspective – and noting that I’d love to see a higher spec Saab if it were realistically possible – what Saab need to do at this point in their history is improve, refine and expand their existing product line. They nearly died just 12 months ago and have a lot of basics to cover in order to get to a position where they’re self-supporting, financially healthy and stable for the future. They need to walk before they try to run.

Whilst I personally consider this sort of model to be an extravagance that Saab can’t afford right now, I’m open to being proven wrong.

The SU Hi-Po Challenge.

If you are one of the Hi-Po advocates, then I offer you a front page opportunity to state your case.

We’ve frequently been told by Hi-Po advocates that such a car must have 350hp minimum, so that’s your baseline (but of course, you should always go 50hp more than the expected amount).

I want you to lay out how you’ll achieve that sort of power, where you’ll source the engine from, what other modifications you’ll do to the interior, exterior, suspension, etc, in order to make this car 1) buildable, and 2) marketable.

I want you to state your timeframe for testing this car, to make sure that the company can warrant the vehicle in all markets with confidence.

I want you to tell me the expected sale price, based on current pricing in your market. Along with that, state how many of these vehicles you think Saab could realistically sell, given current challenges and the reduced marketing budget they might have as a result of this project (your decision, see below).

Remember, they had trouble selling 2,000 Turbo X’s in 2008. I’m not sure if they sold many more Viggens than that back in the early parts of the decade, either. Your car is going to have to be more compelling than those (which means $$$$) but for not much, if any, more money.

And speaking of money…… of course, it’s absolutely essential for you to tell me how you’re going to fund the engineering, development and testing of this project. The Saab 9-3 Viggen was based on an existing model but still took several years to develop before coming to market. All that development work has to be paid for somehow.

Saab have a very limited pot of funds, so if we’re to add a Viggen-on-steroids-style performance version, with all of the work such a project entails, then something’s got to go from the current priority list. Given the EIB funds are for efficiency projects only, EIB money is out of the question.

And by the way – this is done as if under Saab’s current circumstances. There’s no “we’ll go and float on the Stockholm exchange” or “Antonov will give us the money” stuff. You have to fit it in to the current program by telling us which current priority is less important than a performance car.

There are no prizes for this challenge. All you get is the satisfaction of being keen enough to rise to the challenge.

Please be aware that your entry may be critiqued with similar vigor as if it were one of Saab’s own plans for a product offering (and if you hang around here frequently enough, you know that that’s pretty tough scrutiny). Please be prepared to accept that level of scrutiny, just as you expect Saab to live with the scrutiny you apply to them.

All entries should be sent to my email address (swade99-at-gmail.com) and I’ll post them here on site, as is. If we get more than half a dozen then I’ll put up a poll and people can vote on them.

Saab is involved in a real business. If you can make a real business case then maybe they’ll see it and act accordingly.

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 7 months ago

While I might join on the fun, I doubt it.

This is gonna be one tough challenge!

Good luck, peeps!

North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Talking about Stacking the Deck! Costings, Blueprints, Sourcing…”given Saab’s current financial position”. Let’s keep the Playing Field level then: What exactly is that? The Business Plan seems to be enormously flexible. I read here [Jan. 26-11 : ‘DI.se cover the Saab sale anniversary’] that even if the Government enforces the 110 million Kroner Debt from the wage guarantee, Victor Muller himself says “we have the money to pay for it” . The Turbo X ran into problems precisely because it was not halo enough! Saab let the car go out the door with less HP than (for instance) it’s Opel… Read more »
John Carter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Well said on the TurboX; Steve Shannon (then head of Saab US) came by our dealership about a month before the car was due to arrive and asked me, as the “young guy” (I was 25 at the time, and sales manager) how super duper I thought the car was going to be. I said, “Steve, I think you guys shorted me about 50 horsepower, and this is coming from the guy who ordered more of those than anybody else in the country.” (I had ordered 15 of them at that time, only 8 made it to us.) “I don’t… Read more »
Mark
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Mark
5 years 7 months ago

I still love my TurboX . By a wide margin the most fun of the six Saabs I’ve owned. I truly enjoy the extra HP, but agree that if you are going to build a vehicle and highlight the HP then you do need to be in at least the 350 range. I’ve still got my eye on a tuning package from Vermont Tuning to bring my TurboX up to that range.

Michael
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Michael
5 years 7 months ago
Agree on TurboX, they’ve had trouble selling 2000 of them because it just was not crazy enough (even the interior was pretty much the same!) and people just refused to see why should they pay extra money for the car which is not very different from Aero. I think TurboX should have been added this 50hp, called Aero and non-limited in quantities. This is an Aero level car, not halo. In current circumstances I think a halo car may be built by some semi-foreign company, like Spyker or Hirsch, like AMG used to do this for Mercedes. This should be… Read more »
saabdude
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saabdude
5 years 7 months ago
Spot on with the Turbo X assessment. Also, SAAB were competing with the BMW 335xi with the Turbo X…and the BMW actually cost LESS than the Turbo X. And the BMW had more power. From Car and Driver back then… “Turbo X sedans start at $42,510; add $800 for the SportCombi wagon. At those prices, the Turbo X is by no means the deal of the year, especially with faster cars such as the $41,575 BMW 335xi on the market. But exclusivity always carries a premium, and Saab loyalists will likely snap up the whole lot.” http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/08q2/2008_saab_9-3_turbo_x-first_drive_review I was in… Read more »
BrianL
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BrianL
5 years 7 months ago
John, good job on telling Shannon what he didn’t want to hear. Someone in his position should know that the truth can hurt. You are spot on in your assessment. I love my Turbo X SC, but it is far from being a halo car. It is nothing more than a special edition car perhaps marketed and priced as a halo car, which is where I think they went wrong. It comes off as half baked and full of hype, and when you can get basically the same car in Aero trim, it just erodes credibility. They might be able… Read more »
Iiari
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Iiari
5 years 7 months ago
Wow, miss a day of posting, and you end up on the tail end of 160 comments… I agree about the Turbo-X. I crazy-love my TX SC, but it’s NOT a halo vehicle and, frankly, I think ALL Saabs should drive like the TX out of the factory… So, a true Aero-X or even M3 like halo vehicle right now? Absolutely not, I agree with Swade and others. There are FAR more important things to work on right now… What Saab SHOULD do is the following: Aero: Should be the equivalent of the standard top level A4/6 and 3/5, up… Read more »
Peter Gilbert
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Peter Gilbert
5 years 7 months ago
We can all dream but let us be real. I was at my gym this afternoon and no one was even aware of the NG 95 let alone the 93 Combi and one guy was car shopping. When I purchased my Viggen in October 2001 I went o a couple of dealers to look for one because it was my dream ride. One salesman dressed in check pants and white shoes tried to sell me a 2000 base 93 ,automatic because he thought I was too old for a Viggen. Then Concours Motors, in Glendale, WI were all too happy… Read more »
74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

I think this is a great idea and it should really make people sit and think.

Saabheart
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Saabheart
5 years 7 months ago

+1 !

Tiago do Vale
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Tiago do Vale
5 years 7 months ago

If I recall it correctly, Marchionne made the Alfa 8c possible by subtracting its development budget from Alfa’s marketing/advertising budget: he realized that a halo car such as the 8c would do a brilliant brand advertising job in itself, and didn’t weep for the lost ads…

Not that I think that Saab is in the same position that Alfa was… (though Saab could use Spyker technology in the same way Alfa used Maserati technology to lower the costs). Alfa was in perfect health, with a consolidated range and great products.

As Swade said, now it’s still the moment to relearn to walk.

Patrik B
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Patrik B
5 years 7 months ago

Interesting; I haven’t thought about it in that way before. But such a car must be so much more than a 350 hp version of the ng 9-5.

Michael
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Michael
5 years 7 months ago

Agree with both of you!

Mailr
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Mailr
5 years 7 months ago
If Saab is about to build a halo car, I also think this should be seen as a marketing tool. But I don’t think high power is the mark of a Saab halo care (but may as a side effect of an interesting technology). I think that a Saab halo car should be showcasing tomorrows technolgy and have more in common with what’s popped up from Googles 1 day a week tinkering time, elegantly hidden chrismas tree of gizmos, Citroën SM and the Teslas. Kind of, you can buy our technicians wet dream prototypes, maybe manufactured by Spyker and/or rebuilt… Read more »
signs
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signs
5 years 7 months ago
I’m with you, high power isn’t Saaby on its own, there has to be one or rather several unique ideas, executed very well too. And there’s always so much to learn from Apple – the whole brand is like one big halo! That’s what you get for daring to make choices. If you make something exclusive it should be so because it is doing something new, showing the way, is doing the right decisions in matters nobody even thought of before, but costs more because the technology is new. There should be no fluff. Yes, Saab can’t make everything on… Read more »
zippy
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zippy
5 years 7 months ago

You wont be hearing from me Swade as Im with you on this subject.

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
I’m definitely not anti-halo car, but I’m far more interested in seeing how Saab can build compelling cars that use hybrid tech. For all the diesel lovers out there, I’m sorry, I’m not going to debate you on its merits- Americans don’t like diesel, and electrification is a far more elegant and compelling way to achieve higher mpg in the next few years. Instead of focusing on how Saab can build faster cars with more built in insanity, I’d like to see how many horsepower and XWD tech they can squeeze out of the electrification of their cars. I’m not… Read more »
GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
I was thinking along the same, almost exact same, lines. The first thing that jumped out from Swades challenge was that Saab is not allowed to tap into the EIB funds. That strikes me as rather odd, innovative and efficiency don’t exclude a relatively high power car, many concept are around by now. I also have a bit a problem with describing a halo car as a car which has just a lot of horsepower. This doesn’t have to be the case, a nimble car can be much more satisfying to drive than a huge monster with a big engine.… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

I’m down 🙂 It’s slightly nuts to think that we could do any better than the actual Saab team (read: we can’t), but at the very least we could offer up something different.

Saabluster
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Saabluster
5 years 7 months ago

“What Swade is asking is a feasibility study that simply cannot be pulled off by a single person.”

That’s his point. He is frustrated with so many people making grand statements about Saabs doom if they don’t do (fill-in-the-blank) and yet have no idea ,and can’t , what it would take to see it to market.

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

BINGO! that’s why I love it so much.

Kjellejon
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Kjellejon
5 years 7 months ago

I want that halo car to be the new 9-3. 350 hp is not enough. I want 7-800hp. Let koneigsegg prep the car with their own engine. I want the halo car to trash all the other halo cars, like Nissan Skyline, Bmw M5, Mercedes SLR. Not just be one of them.

Hans H
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Hans H
5 years 7 months ago

Are you serious?
Saab does not have the money for that. Hardly anyone has.

On the other hand, you can beat those cars, but not by adding horsepower, but by adding lightness. As Colin Chapman stipulated.

And to be able to do that, I think Saab needs help from Koenigsegg. Is there still a contact between the two companies?

Kjellejon
Guest
Kjellejon
5 years 7 months ago

Of course I am serious. Koenigsegg are willing to sell their engines, and they will be able to prep the 9-3. Even if it is produced in small numbers, it will be a halo car. Koenigseggs plan for saab was also to introduce a koenigsegg edition of the 9-5. And when they talk about koenigsegg edition, I promise you, its not about 350 or 400 hp.

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

Hahahahahahahahaha.

No.

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago
Based on the 9-5 as a big limousine, I would say that halo need not necessarily be i the field of engine power, but interior refinement, sound dampening and specifically picked, smooth running engines (or honed to become smooth). That said, more engine power apears to be possible with the 2.8 l V6 up to 400 hp, as demonstrated by the Aero-X (assuming that this engine would be durable enough,and further assuming that this is a “real” engine). Hoping that such engine requires little additional development costs. As this is an unreasonable car, I would unreasonably un-restrict the top speed.… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

I understand what you’re saying about refinement, but I think it’s walking a shaky line to sell a car with more refinement and charge more for it. Customers might be left scratching their heads thinking, “You’re going to make me pay more for something that should have come standard?”

And as for the speed limiting, I thought that had to do more with the tires than what the engine was capable of?

Thylmuc
Guest
Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

There are a lot of refinement options for cars, like full leather, built-in bars, wood veneer all over etc. that nobody would consider should be standard. I do see however (and that is presumably what you pointed at) a notable absence of sound dampening packages (that could include engine refinement). But as Saab should think out of the box, why not?

Concerning the tyres, they will be more expensive 😉

(speed index Y (300 km/h) instead of W (270 km/h))

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

Addendum: speed index Y will actually limit the speed to 285 km/h in the EU. Considering that the Hirsch V6 already has a maximum speed of above 260 km/h (as seen on a HUD photograph on this site a couple of days ago), and that lowering the drag to 0.25 will give another 10-15 km/h, this speed should easily be possible, maybe even below 400 hp.

Or use speed index ZR.
🙂

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Jeff, the 250 speed-limit of high spec. European cars in Europe is a voluntary limitation of the industry, showing that 250 is enough in most cases. There is no technical background for that limitation in most cases.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

Good to know, thanks for the info. Why do they do the car companies do it, insurance?

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Being that a “German” Problem, the Teutonic 3 started with that voluntary limit, I would expect that it is more like a signal to the politicians; We put a voluntary limit to ourself, and you (the politicians) don’t impose a speed limit on the Autobahn.
Many things work like this here.

Daniel G
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Daniel G
5 years 7 months ago

Autobahn 🙂

Although the supercars (Lambo, Ferrari, …) don’t have this limit…, I think.

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

Good to know.

Must be a nice problem to have, debating whether or not to push past 155mph? I usually have an issue of going 72mph or 80mph so as not to attract radar. 😉

Steve C.
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Steve C.
5 years 7 months ago
The specified engine, 7sp transmission and all-wheel drive that were assoicated with the Aero X concept car were never real. The Aero X was more of a design exercise but the desired powertrain attributes were mentioned in the descriptive materials as part of the vision for the car if it were to be produced. The Aero X does have a nondescript engine and can be driven – but more for taking it from the transporter to where it will be displayed. There is nothing special about the way it drives except to watch it in low-speed motion. And, I agree… Read more »
Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

Sad, that will probably ruin my concept, even though there are upgrade kits avaiable to make V6s biturbo. In the meantime, I failed in finding such tuning kit for the Insignia OPC. Maybe the engine is just not suitable for such high power output and would just explode. Just improving the aerodynamics will probably not be sufficient to impress the masses.

Kanundrum
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Well Guys, this is right up my ally. I am all about performance a lot of show accompanied by a lot of Go. Saab is starting to move in in the right direction by reducing the weight. Next up, adding power, as North Toronto Punter said, these car can handle 325hp all day along with out breaking a sweat from factory with a bit of a retune. Add in some exhaust lighting up the car and you have a formidable fighting machine right there. I am doing my process slowly but surely my self in terms of practicing my driving… Read more »
Kanundrum
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Now if we are actually talking about specs, it really all depends on the options we have. Ideally the best setup in the world would result in something like the Veyron but we need to know out limits, where are parts coming from etc. If we only get to work with what we have then i think that would be a easy place to start otherwise the possibilities are limitless.

TTAero
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TTAero
5 years 7 months ago

This is not my way, but I hear those tuned exaust pipes loooong way. And it doesn’t make me feel warm and fussy…
Any how, I see you all focusing on engines, exaust and roadhandling. All this will ofcoarse give a more fast and firm ride, but what about gearbox? What about drive train from gearbox too the wheels? What about all that stuff that keeps the engines, drive shafts in place. Doesn’t those also need to be stronger? At least if it is going to hold for some time.

Gb9x
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Gb9x
5 years 7 months ago
Steve Sorry about the lack of blueprints in my response – but are you not a little bit pessimistic here? It seems to me that there are opportunities. Sure SAAB have to get back on their feet but when you consider that they are now in the camp of a supercar producer and have the support, in principal – going by what is reported at least, of a number of a number of previous bidders for the marque and genuine enthusiasts – well anything is possible. I think we could see something halo-like at some stage – sure its a… Read more »
SaabHost
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SaabHost
5 years 7 months ago

It would be more useful for SAAB to (re)join WRC with one or two crews.

Red J
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Because it is for free, and not having a car that would meet the challenge, nor a engine that could be used for WRC it is only a lesser problem.

nolltre
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nolltre
5 years 7 months ago

Off topic, this press release, allegadly, from Herb Chambers Saab of Boston has two interesting claims. First is that there will be both diesels and the 1.6t engine available in the US but also that the Adaptive Cruise Control will be made available as an option. Anybody know of if this feature finally will be made available?

LarsJorge
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LarsJorge
5 years 7 months ago
Compete with these? Audi S4 333 hp 55000€ BMW M3 420 hp 73000€ Mercedes C63 AMG 457 hp 72000€ Approx prices in Sweden Saab 9-3 AeroX Hirsch 380 hp 55000€ ??? Saab 9-3 Rally 750 hp 95000€ ??? I think that Per Eklunds car had about 750 hp but what about warranty?
Rune
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Rune
5 years 7 months ago

How far off is the Aero-X from production..?

It has a superior exterior. Probably weighs a bit too much, but not sure how many would mind given the way it looks.

That E100 V6 engine would be an interesting beast to watch in action. In my little world, the development of a green V6 should qualify for some EIB love. 🙂

My personal belief is that nothing can happen until 2012 brings us the new 9-3. The 9-5 is a long way from being a sports car and the existing 9-3 has already been souped up once.

Edis
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Edis
5 years 7 months ago
It’s so far off from production that you would need binoculars to even see it! Aero X is not really a car – it’s more of a sculpture on wheels. The engine and drivetrain only exist on the paper the technical specifications are written. So, to make an Aero X we are basically talking about developing a completly new car. Perhaps one of the aluminum chassis of Spyker can work, then we only need to rebody the car which isn’t that expensive. The Aero X body is made in carbon fibre so it’s shouldn’t be that heavy – but very… Read more »
signs
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signs
5 years 7 months ago

Well Aero X was far from production, but not THAT far – there were several very happy and satisfied test-drivers

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/65985/saab_aero_x.html
http://www.teknikensvarld.se/provkorningar/saab/aero_x/index.xml
http://www.automotorsport.se/biltester/2006/0607/060701.pdf

Nobody was allowed to make a video of it in action or?

Mike P
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Mike P
5 years 7 months ago
This car, to a degree, is already available in the form of Hirsch tuned & more products are on the way for the new 9-5. I think that Saab should offer a factory supplied car with all the Hirsch goodies as part of the model portfolio. This would significantly reduce any investment costs for Saab but give customers a car straight off the shelf. Here in the UK many company car drivers simply have a maximum figure to play with & cannot buy cheaper cars & then add the bits. So we could have a Saab in each model range… Read more »
Fliptop
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Fliptop
5 years 7 months ago
Unsurprisingly my Dad and I are thinking alike on this! No need for any extra engineering, Hirsch already have type approval in Europe and now it seems in the US. The Turbo X didn’t sell well because it was quite expensive, and frankly the colour scheme chosen was not very appealing. It was also too gimicky with the “ready for take off” thing. If it had been available with a red interior like the original 99 turbo, perhaps it would have seemed more special. To my mind, more important than a mega-horsepower “halo” car is a genuinely performance focused range… Read more »
RS
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RS
5 years 7 months ago
Maybe we should clarify the term ‘halo’ to begin with. To me it means an engine level for both 9-3 and 9-5, even the 9-4x. Not a new model or a variant. It’s not about the engine size either, but ‘adequate’ performance to actually compete with Saabs competitors that have been named since the start of the new era. Take on Audi with a 2.8 in a 2 ton car? I just think Saab needs a broader engines range, that wouldn’t change Saabs philosophy in any way. There are Saab tuners all over the place simply because there’s a demand… Read more »
Donkey Dynamite
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Donkey Dynamite
5 years 7 months ago

SAAB was under GM control for years. Now SAAB is free, It is perfect time for SAAB engineers to show everything they can.
If SAAB limited on different kind of agreements or ecology – no problem to sell high power cars under HIRSCH name.

I read somewhere that vtuner 390 HP Turbo X makes 0-100km in 4.4sec under perfect condition. I want my future 9-5 do the same. Some more power, gearbox which switch fast, can handle more than 450Nm and able to make launch control start @ 7000RPM will help

Argosy
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Argosy
5 years 7 months ago
I would go for two Halo cars… One would be based on the Spyker C8 Aileron. This would be a competitor to cars like Audi R8 and Porsche 911, everyday supercars. To avoid competition with Spyker, it would be styled in a entirely different fashion, following the base design of the Aero X concept. It would be RWD and not XWD. Possible engine would be the 2.8 V6 Turbo uprated to around 400-450 hp. Asking price should be around the base price of the 911/R8 V8, even if that means loosing money on every single car produced. This is a… Read more »
Erunas
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Erunas
5 years 7 months ago

I am sorry but RWD is a bad American habit, it’s not even functional. If SAAB were to even consider building a car of the 911/R8 V8 calibre it would NOT be RWD. It is not part of SAAB’s image nor would it fit well into SAAB’s product range.

It would have to practical in some sense and RWD is therefore completely inappropriate.

/End-rant

Tiago do Vale
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Tiago do Vale
5 years 7 months ago

I’m afraid you are right… A RWD Saab doesn’t make sense (I think that’s why there wasn’t a Kappa platform Sonett: they didn’t manage to fit AWD and still have room for a fuel deposit, apparently: RWD was not an option).

74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

How many are you actually working on this plan as Swade suggested and will email him a proposal?

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

crickets chirping…

Doctor Donk
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Doctor Donk
5 years 7 months ago

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT600 – that is perfect example of what 9-5 should be. Not sport car but damn fast

Pat h
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Pat h
5 years 7 months ago

Not enough time to formulate A proper plan, but I’d like to see a ng 9-3 high performance version :).

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

I didnt see a time limit?

Kikaluka
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Kikaluka
5 years 7 months ago

Head up display standard in every Saab is a much more solid image- and sales builder than a halo that will never be on par with those of the much richer competition.

Erunas
Guest
Erunas
5 years 7 months ago
I would like to point out that this is obviously a trap from Swade to make you think about the realism of your demands. I am not even a supporter of the “HALO-car” if it means not putting the absolute main focus on the development of greener tech. We need the cars to become environment friendly rather soon if we are to survive as a species at all. BUT, that said. Could I just point the previous news of SAAB’s planned weight-reduction thoughts(). That should be the obvious basis of a proposed halo-car if it’s to be even remotely possible… Read more »
Erunas
Guest
Erunas
5 years 7 months ago

Failed link try.

It works but looks bad, enjoy 😛

Troels, Denmark
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

In my opinion Saab shall not compete with ugly and vulgare “monster-cars” from the Germans.
Instead they should refine their cars under their motto; “responsible performance” and concentrate on making cars more and more eco-friendly – yet “fun to drive”.
Among the means are:
– Hybrid-technology with 4-wheel-drive
– weight-reduction
– improving of cw-coefficient
– refinement, tuning, optimizing
– new, unknown, innovative, intelligent, unexpected technology, in the true Saab-spirit

Thilo
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

+1

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
Is it just me or isn’t this what most people on here think is the logical way to go and the path Saab is on? I get how annoying it must be for Swade to keep hearing the same arguments from the few “squeaky wheels” but for the most part I don’t think many people take them seriously. Spyker derived RWD halo car? Does anyone seriously think that’s a solid idea? Responsible performance and low break-even point that involves selling and licensing tech is the name of the game now. I’m willing to design our own Saabs United performance car… Read more »
Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

That’s what happens when you write quickly on an ipad folks. Spelling errors ‘r us. In other news the Saab website looks great on an iPad. I was excited to see that wood is the standard material in the 9-5 aero. I think most buyers will end up thinking that’s more premium, fake or not (though I’d rather it be fake obviously).

RS
Guest
RS
5 years 7 months ago

I agree, there’s no need for monster V10 and V12’s. Just something that’s sufficient to keep Saab in the premium-league. Spyker can build the more ‘crazy’ stuff.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

Apparently gm will be building the engines for spyker (LS1). That will be fun to listen to, but definitely does not belong anywhere near a Saab engine bay.

Anders
Guest
Anders
5 years 7 months ago

Now that is exactly the type of car I think SAAB deserves.

Lightweight, part-electrified, turbo-charged, good aerodynamics and still usable when shopping at IKEA 🙂

Red J
Member
5 years 7 months ago

The problem is, this car will be delivered to market by Volvo at least 6 moths before Saab can do it. 🙁

max
Guest
max
5 years 7 months ago

Build a Saab that we can all sell and be profitable. After we have that (profitability) then ok build a dream car, but until then……….

Sandy
Guest
Sandy
5 years 7 months ago
So, are we talking something similar to a Viggen here? I test drove a Viggen and a more in sane (factory made) car I have never driven. The torque steer was out of this world, but I am sure you can get used to that with a bit of experience. I did not buy one due to a lack of funds, but it is now a sought after model, used… I have been searching locally for a well maintained used Turbo X. When they arrived I did not have the funds (again) but got my used 2006 9-3 Aero ss,… Read more »
turbokalle
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turbokalle
5 years 7 months ago

Saab should pull a Lotus if anything. A light twoseater with 150-250 hp (4 cyl) and outstanding roadhandeling. In my dreams they should.

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 7 months ago
Here is a Swedish company that can make Your idea come true Kalle. http://www.s2ab.se/s2ab/home.html The company is managed by ex- Saab Chassis Boss Magnus Roland*, the driving and technical evaluator is done by our very on The REAL Stig, Stig Blomqvist. S2AB are working with state of the art pinnacle automotive technologies. Make sure to look into their webpage. * Magnus work at SAAB 1971 – 1979 Manager Chassis Test & Development 1979 – 1989 Manager Vehicle Test & Development 1989 – 1993 Executive Program Manager Advanced Vehicle Concepts 1993 – 2002 International Service Program at GM Detroit (Corvette rear… Read more »
Mark Orr
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Mark Orr
5 years 7 months ago

I say forget about a Viggen with a hot engine, The next Viggen should have a slightly larger battery and a much larger electric motor. All this stuff will need to be developed for electrics anyway. So keep the BMW engine stock and instead of 15 hp electric motor, dual 30 HP hub motors or something to that effect. Much lower R&D, Euro bank funds can be used for electric dev. Completely unique.

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

While I would generally agree on the future of automobiles, an electric car is just not “right around the corner”, irrespective of what so called pundits and some manufacturers promote. Electric motors and their controls are well understood and no problem at all. Batteries however are far into the future. We will need batteries that store tenfold more energy per weight, reload tenfolf faster, but cost one tenth.

The situation is pretty frustrating, and agrofuels also won’t cut it.

Mark Orr
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Mark Orr
5 years 7 months ago

I am not saying it should be electric, it should be a hybrid, with dual 30 HP hub motors that will bring it to around 310 HP. Add a 2 or 3KWH battery and you will get superb acceleration, superb fuel economy and Euro bank funds for development. Plus this is technology that can be used throughout the SAAB lineup.

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

oops, now understood. You are right! Sorry; and I should get some sleep

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
Again you’re thinking right along the lines I am. The R&D is all on the transmission side of the equation, electric motors are pretty standard creatures, few moving parts and relatively easy to design. It’s the transmission that shifts the power around that holds all the cards. Given that Saab has been working with designing a transmission to give “extra power when needed” I think that this is the strategy we should be examining closer. I can imagine it like an extra boost of power that feels seamless, and adds 150-200NM of torque instantly from 0 revs. You could even… Read more »
GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
If you stick an electric motor on each wheel you don’t have to worry about transmissions anymore. Everything will come down to controlling and feedback from the 4 motors, pretty straightforward. As someone mentioned before the big issue is to have a means of energy storage, batteries are in their infancy still. I’m a big supporter to keep things simple, so storage like hydraulics or pneumatics don’t really appeal to me. A pure electric based on batteries alone doesn’t work yet, doesn’t have enough range. Frankly I would be very nervous to get on the road with a full electric… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
Gracias Gerrit. You can help too, I like the way your Viggen looks, after all, nice wheels 🙂 I’ve been reading pretty intensely about the Boston Power batteries over the past few hours. They seem pretty good but I’d love a real comparison of them vs. all these battery startups (for example Envia which apparently can increase storage by 1/3 at a cheaper price). I know Saab has joined fairly tightly with them, but I hope as groundbreaking technology comes out that allows for more energy densities, Saab hasn’t signed a long term contract that prevents them from using the… Read more »
100%Saab
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100%Saab
5 years 7 months ago

I think I would prefer really good “bread and butter.” Higher price equals harder sell.

Just a thought.

Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago

If they would build this halo car I get the feeling that most people would say the same as with the 9-5 V6, “I would not pay this and that for this car”. Because of the currency they are not doing any profit on the US market. So trying with a Halo car is just out of the scope right now. But of course I’m interrested to see the suggestions Swade will put up here..

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 7 months ago
First things first. Before even talking about performance, the marketing of the brand needs to get a focus on, and not excluding performance. Building this needs to include the rally & racing halo history. Make a performance car parallel with the real competition car. SUHRT are talking to investors and engineers on some interesting new thinking. Sorry, can not reveal more on that here now. All of Saabs market competitors are into competition and performance departments, Hirsch is not really in that division yet — When making performance / halo cars. Here are some musts: If a limited series do… Read more »
Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago

Well it happens with most brands. BMW offering M package and Audi the S-line. And don’t think a M3 buyer is dissapointed becuase other people can buy M-package to their 318i. You still have the wonderful sound, larger breaks, more HP than other 9-3 drivers + some extra bits.

Edis
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Edis
5 years 7 months ago
The difference here is that BMW and Audi never have claimed their M-models and S-models were limited. If it is a limited series, it’s very important to stick to that – if not, don’t claim it to be a limited series (the best solution I would say). Secondly, a M-package or a S-line package don’t make a car and M5 or an S6 it just makes them look a bit more like these cars which is okay given that some buyers just like the look – but aren’t looking for a car with a 500 hp class V10 engine. With… Read more »
andyb
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andyb
5 years 7 months ago

why are people thinking in terms of the halo car being all petrol why not a powerful biopower electric hybrid in aeroX form this would demonstrate Saabs responsible performance credentials and enviromental responsibility,I would like to see Saab make such a car.

Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago
Because people are expecting a car in the near future. Forget about a hybrid halo car within at least the next 5 years. We’ve seen some hybrids from Porsche, Mercedes, Lexus etc but this is only for show off. Responsible performance bla bla to show the public we care for the environment..NOT. If we are talking about halo cars I guess we are talking near future otherwise we could continue this debate in four years and spare us some time. Only realistic halo car right now is a traditional car with a petrol engine. If start to talk about light… Read more »
GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

The reason to go for something environmentally responsible is that this opens up a lot of extra pots of money. Saab already has the EIB loan, I’m sure that, like in the US, there is more EU money for innovative projects.

tmjr
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tmjr
5 years 7 months ago
In terms of a halo car, I remember, a long time ago, a guy with a Ferrari pulled into my shop. I don’t recall the model , but, I do remember looking under the” trunk “and seeing a V-8. But what struck me was that it was like having two SAAB slant 4 engines under the hood? This was a long time ago, but, there were 2 fuel distributors(made of magnesium), 2 warm-up regulators, 2 cold start valves, etc.(Bosch CIS). I remember thinking that Ferrari was powered by 2 SAAB engines .If SAAB could “double-up” on some existing technology, then… Read more »
Gen Jackson
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Gen Jackson
5 years 7 months ago

I would say hirsch 9-5 aero sc and sedan tune the engine 2.8v6 to at least 350 hp or 375 if possible keep xwd in
also make it a stick shift.
I probably would not be aiming it at BMW m3 as it is a different league vehicle
realistic targets are infinity m35/37 with 330 ponies; lexus gs may br is-f
price target should be around 50-52K if possible
I don’t think saab can pull more at this time

Greg Abbott
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Greg Abbott
5 years 7 months ago

Short-term – offer a Hirsch’ed-up 9-5 Aero through the factory. Use Hirsch as Saab’s AMG. Nothing else makes sense financially.

Medium-term – some sort of hi-performance hybrid or electric variant of the 9-3 replacement.

Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
I agree with you on all of that, makes a ton of sense. But then I crunched some numbers Saab and Hirsch would just have and almost insurmountable obstacle to compete with the Germans– a 550HP (578HP next year) BMW M5 sells for around $82-90K off the lot, so I figure a Saab 9-5 Hirsch with its 330HP should go for $60K max). The Mercedes gives you 520 HP, the Saab squeaks out 330. But then I checked and saw that the BMW 550i has 400 HP and goes for $60K, so the 9-5 would even be struggling in that… Read more »
GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Yes , just forget trying to be halo by cranking up the power. The competition has been there and done that already.

RS
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RS
5 years 7 months ago
Gerrit, the competition hasn’t been there, done that. That is where they’re currently sitting and doing very well. Saab doesn’t even offer a 6 cylinder engine for the 9-3 whilst that’s the BASE engine for the C Merc in the US. Saab is honestly the better car of the two especially in the winter but it loses in these two critical areas that people (not car enthusiasts) will notice the most, interior materials and engine spec. Just look which one is doing better in terms of sales. The same thing goes for the 9-5. If you don’t have anything to… Read more »
Jim
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Jim
5 years 7 months ago

Viggen type cars are only needed when your base model is perfected. Saab must first focus on correcting the 9-5 and 9-3’s shortcomings for 2011.5 or 2012. That means improved interior in 9-5 with wood trim, and many improvements for the 9-3.

It is hard to engineer a hi-performance model. My stand is, they should properly engineer their base product first. Then, by all means, please create awesome halo models with incredible styling and performance.

Rob in Loudoun
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Rob in Loudoun
5 years 7 months ago

Here, here! We must have been typing at the same time. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts.

MarcB
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MarcB
5 years 7 months ago
I couldn’t agree more … let’s get the company to a point of long term viability first. Finish the 9-5, launch 9-5SC and 9-4X, build the new 9-3 with full Saab DNA, and if the company starts to sell 100,000 cars per year, the new 9-2 is next, and then look at re upping for a new 9-5 in 2015. With all of that going and with cash flowing … now it’s time for the halo model … defining the future and broadening the Saab brand … something along the lines of the Aero X concept car, but now with… Read more »
Jeff
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Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
I agree and I disagree. What I’ve seen about the development process of BMWs M division, I hear that it’s a very small but elite group of the company’s engineers that work hand in hand with the product development team but jump on the process not too far down the line, basically when the car is somewhat defined but not completely. So to say that the base model has to be perfected I don’t think is necessarily right. In fact, the BMW teams often find efficiencies to share with each other in both directions. I remember suggesting something akin to… Read more »
GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

There was an interview with the director of BMW’s M division a couple of weeks ago. What stuck with me is that he said that to attract young and promising engineers etc. you need to have exciting models. I totally agree with him. Improving your base is always commendable but also kind of boring. Saab needs something new to keep the adrenaline flowing. I can’t wait to see their next concept car.

Rob in Loudoun
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Rob in Loudoun
5 years 7 months ago
I like the idea of a SAABish Halo car – one that combines unusual and innovative technology to achieve superior levels of performance while still making a nod to economy, safety, and practicality. I am thinking of how the original SAAB Turbo seemed in the 1970’s. 500 HP monster cars that sacrifice everything to pure performance are completely antithetical to SAAB’s entire ethos. Nonetheless, it is simply too early for SAAB to divert it’s limited financial, engineering, marketing, and managerial resources away from creating a truly world-class next-gen 9-3 and improving the 9-5 and 9-4X. All of SAAB’s “normal” models… Read more »
SAAB + Rugby
Guest
SAAB + Rugby
5 years 7 months ago

Dude your al wrong. Saab has to make a car that blow away a m3 or s4. You must be old. Any1 less than 30 wants to blow away the other dude. Saab has to make a Beemster killer or it will die.

Ken H
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Ken H
5 years 7 months ago

This is irony, right?

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 7 months ago
Hey guys we miss out on the most important issue there is, THE DRIVER component. As with Eriks victories in the 60ies with 70 bhp vs. Eugens 180 bhp in the Merc 220 SE. We can make Saab driver the best drivers. To drive a car safely and when allowed to bring up the speed a bit is also possible with a car that produces less than 400 bhp. There has been activities in the past especially in the US called the AERO/Viggen academy and SAAB in Sweden has invited corporate drivers (leasing drivers) to different drive events. I was… Read more »
Rune
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Rune
5 years 7 months ago

I love the idea of driving events.

Saab do have the arctic adventure tie-in, but… Curiously enough, you have to spend the night at their resort, which means the price automatically doubles. (there is no way you can fly in, attend the event and fly out again the same day – – they seem to have deliverately timed this so that would be impossible)

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
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Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 7 months ago

…. just look at to what countries Audi take their customers to for training experiences. Follow the thread above. Interesting…….

fred diesel
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
The era of throwing a big honkin motor with way too much HP is/has been overdone and its over. When Saab released a V6 XWD in ’08, oil was headed to $150 and looks like it is again.. Bad timing? Poor planning? Bad luck? That dosent mean a puny little(possibly diesel) engine with too many turbos and electric rear-drive is out of the question. And saying Americans dont like diesel cars, is like saying you hate chocolate mint ice cream without ever trying it. On cars that are driven constantly, they rule. Remember when there were Saab cop cars in… Read more »
74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago
Another point to the price of Oil…. There are a few fans here who think that people who buy a $50K+ automobile really isn’t concerned with the price of gas or MPG ratings. While they are free to have that opinion and i respect their thoughts, i disagree. I thought Saab was supposed to be the flagship for the more educated, environmentally concerned and financially aware shopper? I’d love to see a 350+ HP Saab branded street pounder…. but I don’t know how that would fall into the corporate identity. I am not saying they should not / will not… Read more »
RS
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RS
5 years 7 months ago
Stingray, I don’t think we can or should judge Saabs corporate identity based on the last 20 years of GM treatment. The last time we where on a level playing field the M5 had 252 hp (9000T 200 hp and a V8 was ready for the US). BMW is now up to 500! while Saabs ‘best’ model is still under 300, when it should be at least 4 imho. I’m convinced that as long as Saab doesn’t have a 400 hp engine it will not be able to compete image wise against its natural rivals. Fords and Hondas are just… Read more »
74stingray
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74stingray
5 years 7 months ago
I am not too proud to say you have a valid point. OTOH I feel this is not the best time to be nagging Saab for such a car when Saab is gasping for air day in and day out. I think we’re on the same side and just splitting hairs about this topic however. Logical talk is always good but you have to admit in regard to this topic, there has been plenty of unrealistic chatter and demands placed on Saab. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to slap down money on a 350+ HP AWD laser red SS.… Read more »
MarcB
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MarcB
5 years 7 months ago

If the Saab brand makes sense to a segment of the market, why are we worried about who compares us to what?

40,000 cars in the United States in an 11 million unit market represents a market share of 0.0036%. I assume the International Market share at 100,000 units is similar.

Exclusivity is one of the brand values of Saab.

As VM says, to hit our numbers we need to attract Saab and ex Saab enthusiasts. If the company can be profitable at this level of volume, than we really must avoid the comparison game

RS
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RS
5 years 7 months ago

I’m just afraid that too many of the enthusiasts have moved on (got used) to “bigger and better” things and won’t come back to something that’s not on par on paper with their current vehicle. People never downgrade willingly. That’s why comparisons are so important or we need to come up with a completely new smart Saab customer base real quick.

Edis
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Edis
5 years 7 months ago

The cost of gas is not a significant issue for a high end automobiles. Here I can agree with Swade – fuel consumption is from the devil. When you compare the value loss of a high end car with the cost of gasoline the first few years, the cost of gasoline will look insignificant.

ivo 71
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ivo 71
5 years 7 months ago

Robust fuel consumption may perhaps not be significant to the first owner but it certainly will be to the second one and those after that. Which, of course, will negatively affect the resale value.

Ivo

North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Chirp, Chirp… Would distinguish ‘Halo’ from ‘Gonzo’ too. Gonzo is Aston Martin/Koenigsegg [Spyker?] territory and not at (my) issue. Project Scope: In respect of the 9-3: To be merely competitive (aka refinement of existing platform) with a 335i (never mind M3…) and the Audi and Merc equivalents. Right now we have nothing — and it Dominoes down the line in terms of brand enthusiasm. BTW: The next M3 is likely a twin turbo 6…so to invoke the Spectre of Monsterous Fire Breathing Beasts, Sporting V12s is Ridiculous. As for the 9-5, the same: In this day and age 400 HP… Read more »
Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago
I haven’t heard of a diesel for the 9-3 though I heard about the 1.6 petrol. That engine is meant for the fwd BMW’s. The engines you are talking about isn’t just to be thrown in like that. And just fitting 400hp in a car means that you have to look over the whole car from front to rear. It’s like designing a new car. And the bottom line, what would you like to pay for a new 9-3 halo car. 50k for a 9-5 XWD V6 Aero is too much according to some people here so what would a… Read more »
Aero
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Aero
5 years 7 months ago

Sure I would love to see a production 400hp++ version but for the image I think its even more important to stay off the low power versions like Volvo and Audi has. 106hp in a V70 or 136hp in A6 kills more potential customers than the R or RS versions gives. So please Saab let 180hp be a minimum in the future!

Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 7 months ago
Lets think this over!? Tight budget. Exclusive car. Very Saaby. Hmmm! Does it work in reality! Probably not but I would have tried this! We have the concept car Areo X and it was absolutely gorgeous! That´s where we start, We have the design and we don´t have to change that. How can we go from there? Okey we deside that it has to have 350-400 hp is a 4-cylinder engine. We develop eAAM at this moment and use this of course. It means that we use technology already develop in the house. All that is on the way ,… Read more »
David C
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David C
5 years 7 months ago
I hope Saab can develop and market cars that will increase their volume and fill their factory. Let the Tuners provide extra HP for the small minority that would use it. There seems to be no awareness that the Auto world is moving to smaller 2 liter and below cars. Even racing. This is because of the tighter carbon emission requirements. Yesterday is gone. The overpowered freak hobby cars are a low volume market. Personally I hope to see a sub 3,000 Lb car with all around attractiveness for men and women. I would also like to see Saab make… Read more »
Talladegan
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Talladegan
5 years 7 months ago

Completely off-topic, but I thought you should know that I have today seen my first NG9-5 on the road here in the UK.

Scary that it took so long but great to see it all the same.

Fred in Chicago
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Fred in Chicago
5 years 7 months ago

Halo cars are great and might be something to consider, but being realistic, Saab needs to concentrate on building and marketing the absolute best cars it can that are more than competitive in the market place to build sales momentum. Come on…let’s stick to basics. I ordered a brochure from saabna in early december and nearly two months later still have heard nothing from Saab. If Saab can’t handle the daily function of selling their stock cars…what the he’ll are they doing working on a halo car?

CraigSu
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CraigSu
5 years 7 months ago
The only way I see this happening is for the halo car to be a Spyker Saab. Use the Aero X as the starting point and go from there. I’ve been lobbying for this on Jalopnik.com for some time now since I think the Aero X deserves to live. If Spyker were to take this on it would allow for cost sharing between the two companies. That being said, I completely agree with Swade’s intent with this challenge; that is, it can’t be done, nor should it be. Saab should be focused on making the base models as good as… Read more »
Tomas TL1000R
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Tomas TL1000R
5 years 7 months ago

Could be something! Let Spyker produce the Aero X, and use synergy effects. Se it as the 9-4X Mexican built car. Spyker build and price the car and Saab buy them from Spyker.

Spyker does not sell to many cars and this could be a good deal for both.

But the cost is enormous and it´s just dreams.

(My second post was about Aero X)

J Fan
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J Fan
5 years 7 months ago
lol, Swade, looks like you found a topic to keep us occupied 🙂 Okay, it’s after 3 a.m. here and I’ve just arrived back from a pretty crappy night. I’m a little drunk, but here’s my thoughts. Regarding the halo car, I’m with you. I don’t get it. Even if they had enough money, I still don’t get it. My main problem with Saab doing a ‘Hi-Po’ car is that there would be too many compromises. There is only so much you can do with a big FWD car. You can stick in a turbo and some fancy bodykit. But… Read more »
Chris Hansel
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Chris Hansel
5 years 7 months ago
I agree with Greg Abbott, there is little that can be done until the new model 9-3 is ready. But then I think you might have some fun. I do not agree with the halo car set, however if you think Saab needs a pocket rocket, then like the old British sports cars of old, build it out of your existing parts bin. The factory can jack up the performance as well as anyone else, but if you want to use a tuner, and that helps cost factors then that’s fine. As long as you put more horsepower per buck… Read more »
CJ
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CJ
5 years 7 months ago

Engine source? Trust me, Kjell ac and his team at Saab powertrain can do a twin turbo. They are the best in the business. BMW anyone?

Engine source? Ford has a nifty twin turbo v6, made in Cleveland, that they put in the Taurus SHO. Just below 400hp. Taurus SHO is >$50,000.

I like the Hirsch idea.

Torque sells
Sexy sells,
Finish and quality sell.

Puts Saab back on the map. “Dead cars don’t scream!”

Not as hard or costly as you think and it would make a BIG statement but will only sell in limited numbers.

North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Cowboy Up!

[Lest we forget: One of the few people who got to peek at The Financials in the original bidding process, no?]

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
Guest
Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 7 months ago

CJ,
If just Powertrain was Powertrain.
Now the bulk of old Powertrain is https://www.avl.com/avl-speab-tech-centre-sodertalje-sweden
Saab offered the employees to move 500 km west to Trollhättan, just a fraction moved….
The knowledge is in Europe’s new Tiger economy Sweden.
For chassis and axels Saab should really take a good look at S2AB http://www.s2ab.se/s2ab/home.html They are already spearheading new technologies for one of europes largets and smallest car manufacturers.

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