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RedJ in a 9-5 Turbo6 by Hirsch

April 11, 2011 in Saabology, test drive

Robin asked what we did over the weekend. Well, I was invited by Hirsch to attend the “Continental Tuning Day.” Continental is one of the biggest tyre manufacturers, and we certainly went through a couple of tyres this weekend. :-)

On Saturday evening there was a nice dinner with some known German tuners like AC Schnitzer, Brabus, TechArt, and others, among those there was Hirsch. Each of the tuning companies came with one of their creations, and Hirsch was there with a Saab 9-5 Turbo6 with engine upgrade and the first prototype of the body Kit.

On Sunday we spent most of the day at a handling course, where people were allowed to be a co-driver on cars like this.

A really impressive car, which I could fall in love with if I could spend 3 times the price of a 9-5 Aero Turbo6 with all Hirsch updates for a car. The TechArt Porsche is faster and maybe a little bit more fun than the Saab, but in any case certainly not 3 times as fun as this.

Most of all if you are only allowed to drive the latter one ;-)

To drive that car is a pleasure, and to do it on a handling circuit with lots of curves is it even more fun, but Mr Lenherr from Hirsch told me to step down once the wheels started to squeak. 8-)

But I think most of you aren’t interested in my driving capabilities, but the Hirsched out 9-5. Before I show you some pictures of the new body kit, let me say one thing– the cars need a desperately better gearbox if and only if you want to move it on a closed circuit. On public roads you have a car with a lot of power (the real Vmax is about 270 kph, which is more than twice of the new speed limit in Texas) with a very soft automatic gearbox.

Back to the body kit.

The body kit consists of 4 parts, a front splitter, a side skirt, a rear diffuser and a rear spoiler.

The front splitter gives the car a more mean face, as they have blacked out the centre part like the 9-3 Aero.

The sideskirt gives the car the kind of finish it deserves, as the original car doesn’t have any kind of side skirt, and the fake air outlet also disappears Let’s just say I didn’t miss it.

Moving to the back, there is a rear spoiler on the trunk lid. I don’t know if it really adds efficiency, I only know they were in the wind tunnel with the car and a aerodynamic engineer from Saab.

Apparently he was a little bit surprised when he found out that the real diffuser did really have an effect on the aerodynamics (more down force).

The diffuser won’t be compulsory for the new exhaust system, but it really looks better with it. :-)

Besides of all that the car had a Hirsch chassis, that lowers the car 20 mm in the front and 10 mm in the back (sorry but I forgot to ask if this was relative to the Aero chassis or the standard chassis), and had those marvellous looking forged 20″ wheels.

As for wheels I must say that on Sunday I drove on a bad road with my car (17″ wheels with normal profile) and the Hirsched 9-5 (20″ wheels with low profile tyres) didn’t have much of a difference. But in any case they are also working on 19″ forged wheels for the 9-5.

Let me conclude with this, Hirsch has many projects for the future, and some of them did put a big grin on my face.

/RedJ

31 responses to RedJ in a 9-5 Turbo6 by Hirsch

  1. My first thought… WOW…

    Did they do some updates to the interior?

  2. I love this car and i love what Hirsch have done with it.Great looking car.

  3. Absolutely nobody here is envious… and Marylyn Monroe is alive.
    Love the interior upgrades.

  4. Wow great read. I think body kit is not looking great comparing to Hirsch standards (i mean body kit for 9-5 OG as best looking hirsch body kit), But maybe they did effective kit instead of good looking.

    Of course it is lower than Aero… you can clearly see it on their site pictures.

    Can you tell some words about exhaust? Was it any annoying comparing to stock. Did you hear it in cabin? Did you hear it on idle outside of car?

    And 20 inch wheels not only about comfort. it is also about wheel death on bad roads. And addition mass…
    SO HIRSCH! PLEASE make 18 inch forged wheels with 255/45 tyres and let customers decide if they want 18 19 or 20 inch. 18 inch will be better in dynamic, comfort, durability, noise level ANY DAY. And will not be really worse in handling.

    I killed both 225/45R17 and 235/40R18 on my aero after about 5000km. 18 were forged. I would even prefer 255/50R17 on new 9-5 if brembo 355mm was not available…..

  5. Oh i forgot – make some tuning with yellow reflector… smoke tint it or something.

  6. And SAAB and Hirsch, please make Hirsch parts available from factory…. That is stupid to order new car, than remove exhaust from it, springs, wheels, etc… You can’t even sell old parts. since car is new. Same with brakes. Make brembo kit as option.

  7. Btw it looks like they used standard brakes instead of brembos.. strange.

  8. “And let me conclude with this, Hirsch has many projects for the future, and some of them did put a big grin on my face.”

    Are you allowed to talk about this? What did they tell? Any massive power upgrades?

  9. I’ve always wished that my 2010 9-5 Aero was a bit lower to the ground, especially the back end. The diffuser does just that and looks GREAT! The front looks OK but for my money I’d spend for the engine tune and the rear diffuser. The side spoilers just don’t look integrated enough for me. Same goes for the nose.

  10. Folks, if you compare this exquisitely upgraded Hirsched 9-5 with the Panamera it looks a hell of a lot more integrated and smooth !!! A 9-5 Aero Hirsch will raise many eyebrows everywhere and will certainly be a contender to the Ms, AMGs, RSs etc etc. Get this beast around all showrooms in the world and get it fast. Especially now during the current supply crisis. We’ve suffered hugely during the pre Victor/Vladimir crisis when cars were not delivered, we can’t have another similar blockage. This car is a winner but needs to get to consumers urgently. Any Hirsch make up needs to be also promoted heavily.

    • I’m with you on the fact that there’s less 9-5s on the roads than Panameras, which suddenly makes the 9-5 more exclusive.

      Just don’t call it the Victor/Vladimir crisis ;) You could call it the supplier debacle or cash crunch if you want though :)

      • Oh yeah, the 9-5 is so exclusive that you just don’t see them. I’m trying to stay optimistic as far as the 9-5 is concerned, but it is get more and more difficult. I’m spending about a week per month in the Boston area. That I haven’t spotted a new 9-5 on Long Island, well OK, I can live with that. But, during all my driving around through Connecticut and Massachusetts, aka the ol’ Saab country, I didn’t see a single new 9-5 either. This total lack of road presence worries me way more than all the financial issues that Saab has been experiencing lately. The latter can be fixed by new investments, but a lack of buyers interest can’t be fixed.

        • The cars are priced to high, but sell at ridiculously good prices. What do you think would happen if they lowered the list price?

          • Lowering the price to attract new clientele will of course attract new clients/buyers. This will be only one of many corrective measures that Saab needs to do. Amongst these will be to promote the Hirsche u/gs to position this brand as a true/real alternative to the well heeled/established German brands in particular. But at present as GerritN points there is simply little or no visibility. Weather this is in the showrooms, on the streets or even through high profile personalities (in the movies or TV) the public simply passes by Saab as a non existent player. Added to this is the current negative and bad publicity targeting to discredit the achievements made to date and this can be chaos. I waited 7 months from date of deposit to get my TX in 08. Similar horror stories for standard 9-3s were heard not just in OZ but all around the world. The public will not stand for this even from Saab. As much as I hate the A brand I see them everywhere, streets, billboards, shopping centres, Airport Lounges, sponsoring high profile events, driven by all sorts of local and international honeys, by the most successful sports personalities……etc etc. Saab needs to do the same urgently and with a Hirsch badge and create a marketing prestige tag around this.

          • A 9-5 Aero Hirsch will raise many eyebrows everywhere and will certainly be a contender to the Ms, AMGs, RSs etc etc.

            Sorry, Joe. If you can sell a car that can compete with the vehicles mentioned above you DO NOT lower the list price. You start promoting the product for what it is. Giving out your profit margin with a plummeting USD would be very dangerous business. It would be impossible to suddenly ask 5-8k more for the same model in two years time. Saabs should not be bought because their cheap!

            The customers will come ones they realize we have a winning team here.

      • …I do refer as the pre Victor/Vladimir as a period ie prior to Victor/JAJ meaning GM and the supply crisis they left us with !!! You will recall that in the 07-09 period Saab could not deliver sufficient vehicles to even cover demand. Many clients/buyers were lost forever and we are still trying to reclaim these back. At present the current situation is dangerously heading in a similar way. But by no means my response was to refer to the current period as a crisis generated by both of these individuals named with a V.

        • The price matter was not raised by me its Jeff. I fully concur and agree with you in full but at present we are not in a commanding position/role. We need to attract the public and somehow expose the value and virtues of Saab and re-educate. No point in digging our heels now. There is too much ground to cover. In any case anything displaying a price is not final as no one pays the advertised suggested price. I just saw the first press release in OZ of the new 9-5. In typical press style it is bagging this vehicle left right and centre. A tone down on the GM era but the comments from the public is of shear vitriol, anger and dismissal. I am shocked that the audience out there seems to be on a clear mission to make this brand fail at all/any cost. This is pathetic and unless Saab shifts its image this will continue.

  11. That Porsche is uber-ugly wheras that 9-5 is absolutely stunning. I drive a V6 Aero a month back and it is a seriously fast car. Cant imagine even more power.

    • Thied one Hirsched V6 Aero yesterday..Still smiling..

    • Yepp, Porsche Panamera is über-ugly. And with all the the TechArt plastic the car really does look terrible, like it was homebuilt. Terrible! That said; I am looking for a 911 at the moment, 911 is how a Porsche should be :) .

      Replace my 9-5 with a Porsche? Absolutely no, just want to have an ‘older’ sportscar to play with.

      That white Hirsch 9-5 is awesome! If I just could afford it……….

      Cheers from Norway
      -Olav-
      Always on the longest road home when out there with my SAAB. Always!

  12. Looks indeed absolutely stunning!

  13. Is the Hirshed 9-5 Aero that much quicker than a non Hirshed 9-5 Aero? Just curious if it is worth an upgrade to my Aero?

    • Does anyone even know yet? Is it not still all at prototype stage? RedJ, you drove it, correct? Are driving impressions waiting for another post?

      I have to say that the white Hirsch pictured above is one of the best looking cars I’ve seen in a while. Those wheels/rims are pure art and, with the body bits, change the character of the 9-5 substantially.

      My little theory as to why the 9-5 isn’t setting sales charts aflame in the US (aside from the botched launch, non-existant advertising, and a bit too high a price in a size category that isn’t a US favorite to begin with) and possibly the reason it hasn’t been setting Saab fans hearts aflutter is that, as gorgeous as it is, it isn’t nearly as aggressive looking as the model it replaces, the 9-3, or, frankly, most of its competition. It’s the one thing that would keep me from buying one – it just doesn’t look that sporty.

      The Hirsch mods change the whole picture, though, and does for the 9-5 what the RS did for the last generation A4 – change a vaguely feminine design to an aggressive, lustworthy male one.

      That white car is absolutely one I can imagine replacing my Turbo-X with in a few years and that’s something I couldn’t say about the 9-5 yesterday. I think every 9-5 should look this way right from the factory!

      • Liari,
        the wheels , engine management and springs are already available, the body Kit was a prototype, and will be available in a few months. In the US the schedule may be different.

    • Having driven the standard Turbo6 and the Hirsched Turbo6 within a week back in January I’d say the upgrade is worth the bucks. Not that it makes it a different car but the upgrade is the icing on the cake that adds an extra smile to your face. The car is quicker and obviously faster…

      Another great thing is the Hirsch exhaust. I attended a test drive with that car a month ago as the exhaust was just fitted and it gives the 9-5 the tone it deserves.

    • liari, dbv,
      I haven’t driven both cars, so it’s difficult to me to compare the Hirsch and the non-Hirsch version.
      The only thing I can say is that at my “moderate” curve speed the car was absolutely neutral.

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