Speeding Irresistible in a 9-5 Aero?

One of the best stories ever recounted to me by a customer was in late 1985 by an owner of 1986 9000T, when the 9000 was new to the American market. He told me how he was on his way from Boston to New York, and somewhere between the Massachusetts border and Hartford, Connecticut, on Interstate 84, he decided to see how fast the 9000 would go. Not a wise decision. Then, as now, I always regarded that stretch of highway as one massive speed trap.

Nevertheless, that is what this customer did. Pedal to the floor in 5th gear, he crested a hill and on the far side, radar gun aimed, was a state trooper. Our customer glanced down at the speedometer at that moment and noted that he was a tad past an indicated 135 mph. The speed limit was 55. Figuring he was doomed, and not wanting to add to the troopers rage, he wound the speed down, pulled safely off the roadway and awaited the trooper’s arrival. His registration and driver’s license were ready.

When the trooper arrived, he was animated. Rather than berating our customer, however, he wanted to know, “What the hell kind of car is that? Do you know how fast you were going?” Our customer then treated the trooper to a roadside walk-around. He explained about the turbocharging, had the trooper sit behind the wheel, peek under the hood, look in the back seat and then in the trunk. The trooper was impressed! So impressed that he let our intrepid customer walk away with nothing but a verbal warning, and an admonishment to never try such a thing again in Connecticut.

I was reminded of that story today when I received this email from an old customer who had taken a 9-5 for a loaner car today, and got himself in a bit of trouble with it.

Hey Pierre:
So I got to check out the 2010 9-5 again as a loaner car, and I was impressed. But this thing is less a car, and more like a projectile on the open interstate, yeesh! I got pulled over twice on Route 3 in New Hampshire yesterday, but managed to talk my way out of a ticket in both cases as they could see the car was new, and not mine. Wow!

It is a really good and solid feeling ride, I must admit, but I want the turbo four, for certain now, because that’s just too much freakin’ power for a dufus like me!

Perhaps I should program the Speed Warning in all our loaner cars.

till72
Guest
till72
5 years 7 months ago

You can really get into trouble because speeding by mistake is not difficult with the Aero. I was quite happy that I had the HUD in the loaner I got so I was reminded of my speed permanently…

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

+1 I said that back in September when I wrote my driving impression of the 9-5. Lots of speeding tickets will be handed out to new 9-5 owners.

My SC Aero has been well over 100mph a few times… quite effortlessly I must say.

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 7 months ago

Definitely. Groups of 3 people at a time had a chance to take the 9-5 Aero on a short test drive at the North America Saab Owners Convention last summer and it is VERY easy to exceed the speed limit in the Aero due to both the power and how quiet it is. I generally judge my speed by sense of speed and the sound of the engine, but the Aero was so quiet and smooth that it was easy to be going much faster than you thought.

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 7 months ago

As Till says, the HUD is a very useful feature to protect you from yourself. 🙂

900SE
Guest
900SE
5 years 7 months ago

I wonder if the policeman bought a Saab afterwards.

StefanH STHLM
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StefanH STHLM
5 years 7 months ago

Some real “feel good” stories. 🙂

Doctor Donk
Guest
Doctor Donk
5 years 7 months ago

Back in 90s my friend was driving his tuned 9000 with huge over speeding. Around 250km/h+ (with limit 90). He was “shoot” by cop with his radar several times but was not stopped while cop was running closer to road. He did it several times on that road (his way to work) and was never stopped. Later he found out that radars which cops used here in 90s could not check speeds higher than 200.

ivo 71
Guest
ivo 71
5 years 7 months ago

250+ on a Russian road? Your friend had a dead wish?

Ivo

fred in nh
Guest
fred in nh
5 years 7 months ago

About a month ago i came accross a news story in the u.s. about a teenager who was clocked going over 150 mph in his friends new to him 5 rear old saab. didn’t say which model. the driver commented to the reporter that he had it up over 160 before the cop clocked him. stupid, but impressive.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

The speed warning on my 9-3SS was programmed at 93mph by the previous owner. Not to difficult to hit speeds like that in a Saab quite easily but it def makes you slow down as that ‘bong, bong’ is just annoying. Cant help but wonder what a cop would do in this day and age if he/she caught you doing 135mph in a 55mph zone. You probably get tasered and set upon by a German Shepherd here in Canada so Im not even gonna try as tempting as it must be. 😉

Rune
Guest
Rune
5 years 7 months ago

I am always impressed when I see a fellow Saab driver on the road who is NOT speeding.

I hope it’s not because they’re in ‘limp home’ mode, but rather by choice. A week ago I actually drove my 9000 at “Volvo-speed”, because the strap that holds my fuel tank had broken off.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago
I can agree on that… and a majority of the time I’m just kind of crising along. I have found the speedsters are usually young kids speeding in areas not suitable (or smart) for the excessive speed. If I’m gonna zoom zoom a little bit, a open stretch of uncluttered highway is best, not stop lights and in communities. I can’t help but feel a little “Saabish” when a angry BMW / Lexus/ Mercedes driver gets behind me as I “do the limit”…the driver flashes his lights rudely causing me to slow down a little bit more instead of the… Read more »
Rune
Guest
Rune
5 years 7 months ago

I never speed if the speed limit is 60 kph or lower. There are usually good reasons for the lower speed limits.

If you’re doing the limit, and people get annoyed, that could be a sign that your speedometer is not showing the correct speed…? 😉 (speaking of which, I am still curious if other NG 9-5 drivers have compared their speedometer to a GPS unit)

David Z
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

If anyone has an android (or other smartphones I assume) there is a program called “Speedhud” that will give you your speed via GPS. it doesn’t update more than maybe once a second, but if you’re going a constant speed it works great. I use it for checking my speedo all the time.

any NG9-5 owners with an Android wanna try it out?

TTAero
Guest
TTAero
5 years 7 months ago

I bought myself a second car the other day, a -92 9000i. Cheap as hell and some electric things to fix.

But when comparing the speedometer ( a must since the instrument lights was all out,,,) with the 9-5, the difference was 10 kph.

I will check the 9-5 speedometer with a GPS next time.

Tomas TL1000R
Guest
Tomas TL1000R
5 years 7 months ago

Cant help it but I love stories like that! Please some more!

I´m not a speed guy of the stupid kind but 280 km/h on my bike was nothing,
just to try it out. Why do I bother to even write that?

Chip
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

That wasn’t a customer. That was the CEO of Saab-Scania of America, a certain daredevil named Bob Sinclair.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the story has been borrowed, however. Bob wouldn’t mind.

Chip

Pierre
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Could I be that daffy already? Perhaps. While I couldn’t remember the “customer’s” name, I could still picture him and the car, or so I thought. I’d met Sinclair, but not at that time, so it can’t be that…… I don’t know! Mea culpa. Thanks, Chip, for straightening me out.

saabdude
Guest
saabdude
5 years 7 months ago

And it was probably in Tolland, CT…left some money there myself many years ago. 🙁

saabdude
Guest
saabdude
5 years 7 months ago

P.S.

Then I purchasaed my first Valentine One RADAR detector…simply the best.

http://valentineone.com/

Been safe ever since. 😀

Chip
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I’m sure he told others … or it was simply commonplace enough, but that is all Bob. I’ll see if I have it in e-mail form somewhere.

C

Greg Abbott
Guest
Greg Abbott
5 years 7 months ago

Not 10 minutes after I picked up my 2010 9-5 Aero from the dealership (Meyer Garage in Iowa) I was on the interstate driving back home when I looked down at the speedo and discovered I was doing 105 mph. I thought I’d been doing 80-85. Very impressive and it does speak to the build quality of the car.

No tickets yet, thankfully.

Ryan F
Guest
Ryan F
5 years 7 months ago

Great story, Pierre! I’m always surprised by how nimble the 9-5 feels through Boston traffic and I was glad to get to try out the HUD on the loaner car today. The combination of the HUD and the altimeter-style speed readout in the dash gives the car a sort of “speed focus” that provides a solid feel of context/awareness to the driver, and does so quickly.

Meg Haviland
Guest
Meg Haviland
5 years 7 months ago

What a great story!

That stretch of road reminds me of the one on I95 through Stonyfield, Ct. Great to speed on but a speed trap monitored by plane. I was one of the unlucky among 10 other speeders pulled over before my Saab days.

Whenever I come off a road trip coming off the highway, I always feel that I am driving at a snails pace after wards:0 That’s a Saab for you!

100%Saab
Guest
100%Saab
5 years 7 months ago

I suggest you visit Eastern New Mexico.

Just a thought.

BellaAsil
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Where in Eastern NM? This inquiring mind would like to know.

North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Despite his remarking “Nice Car”, I received no such reprieve from Officer when I was caught in the Turbo X last year 40 km over limit (arbitrary 90 KM zone…on a clear day…3 line highway). Not enough leg shown, maybe? The subsequent Kangaroo Court (1 year after ticket issued– and ‘plead down’ to a 60 dollar fine and no points) makes me a cynic about the traffic speed enforcement game (cat and mouse…) Say what you will about ‘The Germans’…but the lane discipline there is extraordinary (in my experience). And I think those (increasingly rare) stretches of unlimited speed autobahn… Read more »
74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

Oh no….. Im good for Interstate driving… no need to flash lights buddy…… and those who do find out real fast that my brakes work VERY well…..

It’s around this built up suburban area that smackers ride my bumper and want to drive 60+ in 45mph zones. Sorry, Im not willing to speed up and get a ticket just because some jerk is in a hurry.

Interstate 80 … thats another story

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

+1 to both NTP and 74 on both of those points!!

NTP, it drives me nuts when people drive at the speed limit in the fast lane.

74, our cars do have good brakes dont they? 😉

North Toronto Punter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Of course, it would only be in the final resort that I’d ever flash a fellow Saaber (in either sense…)

Saabseller
Guest
Saabseller
5 years 7 months ago

Freaks in the fast (100 kmph – 62mph) lane doing under or at the limit really are a pain – generally dopes in Korean cars with the rear fog light on …

Oh for a grille mounted scud… surely it couldn’t be a crime!

saabdude
Guest
saabdude
5 years 7 months ago

“Oh no….. Im good for Interstate driving… no need to flash lights buddy…… and those who do find out real fast that my brakes work VERY well…..

It’s around this built up suburban area that smackers ride my bumper and want to drive 60+ in 45mph zones. Sorry, Im not willing to speed up and get a ticket just because some jerk is in a hurry.”

And the thought of simply changing lanes has never occurred to you I suppose?

Nice.

“NTP, it drives me nuts when people drive at the speed limit in the fast lane.”

+10 zippy.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

I’m taking roads where there is only ONE lane in either direction and no passing zones.

saabdude
Guest
saabdude
5 years 7 months ago

That’s fine…understood…and understandable…but try that on a multilane highway (or ANY road really) in some parts of the US, and some wackos just might introduce you to their good friends…Smith & Wesson. It does happen.

And remember…if some clown plows into the back of you when you hit your brakes…it not only ruins his day…but YOUR car as well. You just might want to re-think that “policy” sport.

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 7 months ago

@saabdude… I understand that… Don’t get the idea that it’s SOP for me…..brake check is more tapping of the lights than actually jamming. Trust me, living around Philly, i know the dangers…. ahhh shucks.. you know WTH I’m taking about…

Each situation is different… I sure dont do it on a SUV, 18 wheeler…. pickup with a gun rack in the back window .. ect….

I have friends too … sounds like a law firm

Beretta,(or) Heckler and Koch.

No 9
Guest
No 9
5 years 7 months ago

That highway and others in the region are killers. You just don’t expect 55mph limits on 8 lane highways. Well, now I do. My then new Saturn SL1 didn’t impress the troopers that got me twice within 30 minutes. Ouch!

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 7 months ago

I suspect it had nothing to do with the speed it was because you were driving a Saturn, No 9. 🙂

JTMav
Guest
JTMav
5 years 7 months ago

The HUD is the single biggest reason I can keep my 2010 9-5 Aero within speed tolerance. I noticed the one time I shut off the HUD I was going way faster than I thought. The car is a beast, quiet and handles speed very deceptively. My former Aeros were never like this. Don’t get me wrong they WERE fun but this is a whole different animal.

The bigger challenge is keeping the sh^& eaten grin off my face! A cop would think I don’t take him seriously enough.

JTMav

aussie paddan
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aussie paddan
5 years 7 months ago
Great stories all round. I wish I was so lucky not long after I got my 2002 9-5 Aero, I had to overtake a semi trailer, I forgot to back off once past and continued merrily down the road, only at 140kph but yep still fast enough for our 100kph limit, I noted in the distance far behind flasing headlights, then realised what it was – an unmarked partol car that had been in pursuit for prob 5 kilos+. I pulled over and patiently waited thinking well here is a potential loss of license and big fine. Much relief when… Read more »
Fred in NH
Guest
Fred in NH
5 years 7 months ago

Forgot to mention a recent close call in my 9-3 sc two days before Christmas. State trooper clocked me doing 84 in a 55 zone. Thats an automatic court appearance and possible temporary license revocation here. I had no idea. He actually said he had trouble catching up to me. Because I haven’t had a ticket in over 5 years, he very kindly let me off with a warning.

OliverH
Guest
OliverH
5 years 7 months ago
This old 9000 2.3t are a nightmare.. I did my first ride to 250 km/h in this car. My fathers 9000 was faster than his chief 9000 with tuning kit. The first 10.000 km of driving the car was the key of performance. But comparing a 9000 to 95-I over 200 km/h in a 95 is stress less 😉 A 9000 2.3t is never catched by accelerating. I did a drive out of our city did a full floor and was impressed by 160 km/h in top of the hill (50km/h to 160 km/h in couple of 100 meters). Saab… Read more »
RAK
Guest
RAK
5 years 7 months ago

In my first week of 9-5 Aero ownership in the last week of December, New York State’s finest pulled me over, but reduced the ticket to 80.
The HUD is a wonderful way to let you know that you8 are about to be pulled over!

Mike900
Guest
Mike900
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve had a similar experience late one night, in fact 2am on a Tuesday morning, on a quiet freeway, with my 1988 900 Aero, maxed out RPMs, in 5th gear…. I think it was around 225kph. Made me wish there was a 6th gear!

Reckless behavior, I know, but done as considerately and as safely as I could have done.

Good times 🙂

I <3 Saab

Chris Hansel
Guest
Chris Hansel
5 years 7 months ago

Another funny cop/Saab story: Things not to say part II
I got pulled over in my 2005 Aero last month in Arizona, pushing a yellow light as I was looking for sunglasses. Cop stops me and the first thing out of his month is, ” You got an guns in the car, ( remember this is Arizona) For some reason this just broke me up, So I said,” What? I’m driving a Saab.” I couldn’t stop laughting . Needless to say I didn’t talk my way out of that one.

spidaman
Guest
spidaman
5 years 7 months ago

I learned with my 97 900 SET (two Saabs ago) that the FIRST thing to do upon acquiring a new Saab is to set the speed warning. The turbo rush is just too addicting, too easy to go fast.

Stephen King
Guest
Stephen King
5 years 7 months ago

And just as easy in an ’09 9-3 Vector! Last August- on an empty coastal road in central Queensland, driving toward a village called 1770- Captain James Cook stoped there in that year of discovery of Australia, I received a fine of $645 for doing 137KPH in an 80KPH zone’ Officer to me ” Sir, I know SAABs are very safe cars , but you were going just too fast”

saabdude
Guest
saabdude
5 years 7 months ago
I actually have two stories about high speed runs in a SAAB. Both still make me smile. 😀 The first was in 1978, when we had had our first SAAB (my wife’s car by the way), a ’78 99 Turbo, for a few months. It was fully broken in by this time, and had had some serious tweaking by a SAAB specialist to really improve the performance of the car. It was FAR from stock. My wife & I took the car to the Hamptons (on Long Island, NY) for the day, and on the way home late that night,… Read more »
GerritN
Guest
GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
Sorry, don’t want to spoil the fun for those who like to speed, but DON’T do it IN CONNECTICUT. My colleagues and I commute a lot between Boston and Long Island, of course passing through Connecticut. Many speed tickets were collected there over the years. One colleague wasn’t going that much over the speed limit (well, he’s German so….) and he nearly lost his license. Took him a lot of lawyer fees to convince the courts to let him keep it. Since then I have been driving on cruise control (10mph over the speed limit) through CT. Personally I found… Read more »
Peter F
Guest
Peter F
5 years 7 months ago
I dont know about you but having grown up in CT and a driver of the state doing 90 on my morning commute to Hartford is sorta normal when I was going to Hartford and that was in the right lane and the left lane was anyones game…..mind you thats highway 91 where there are never any troopers…It is worse at night I can recall as few times on a clear night no traffic having some fun with a Infiniti G35 sedan and a 9K aero I was driving and took the speedo all the way it could go now… Read more »
BellaAsil
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
Pierre, I really enjoyed your story! For all of you that enjoy that gas pedal (me included), try the wide empty state of Wyoming, USA. You basically have 750+ miles of high desert and antelope to play in and very few of the states finest. My best time in my 9-3 Aero SC was 130mph playing tag with a Turbo X for over 50 miles. Great fun but know your car and the road! My first ticket was going 78mph in a 35mph in the middle of nowhere at night. Obviously, there was a cop in the middle of nowhere.… Read more »
Kandiru
Guest
Kandiru
5 years 7 months ago
I dunno, my Turbo X must be magic or something, i go all the way to CMH and PIT doing 90 mph and nada! Before i used to get tickets all the time doing 10 over in bright red and blue cars. Lesson learned, daytona and quartz gray, dark blue, or black cars from now on. Also watch out guys with radar detectors. The troopers have detector-detectors, they can send a signal to energize the oscilloscope in your radar detector even if it is turned off when they are behind you, that way you get yourself the max fines just… Read more »
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