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by Rune

Crashtesting the TurboX

August 29, 2012 in Fan Stuff

The wheel refused to budge

A few hours ago we received word from Sapan that although he is ok, his car unfortunately isn’t.

Good Example of Swedish Safety

On our way home from Swedish Car Day My Girlfriend and I were driving back on the NJ Turnpike.

We were in the 2nd to most Left lane while a driver next to us was in the left most lane, she was on her cell phone with her head down and started veering to the left shoulder. She panicked, and then snapped her steering wheel to the right and did the PIT maneuver that police often use to knock a vehicle out of balance into a 360 to my vehicle. This started the process of me doing a 360 turn at around 65 to 70mph, during this time I managed to counter steer and start correcting the vehicle but by the time I did we were already on a crash course with the jersey wall. I remember clearly counter steering as to not go into a spin and holding onto the steering wheel until the end getting airbag burns. The Vehicle that did the damage was the corolla.

By the time it was done I as already on the shoulder fully stopped with emergency hazards, airbags deployed, and OnStar contacting me saying they are sending EMS to my location(yes I did pay for the subscription and its worth every penny for that fraction of a second for your life). We were both majorly uninjured and walked away living and breathing mind you not the most comfortable of experiences.

So Based on the Pictures the Drivers and Passengers side can with stand this sever of a impact. I will be trying my best to buy another Saab very soon no matter what the service or parts scenario looks like. As Jeremy Clarkson said, no one could understand why a Saab Cost so much until they crashed them…

IIHS only recently started testing small overlap frontal collisions. I have a strong feeling most Saabs would excel at those tests. Didn’t SAAB discuss this scenario back in the late 80s?

In any case, we are glad to see that Sapan is OK and we hope he will find a (reasonably) new SAAB soon. It is my understanding that the parts situation is improving every day, so hopefully that should not be a factor to be concerned with anymore (9-4X owners OTOH are still cautioned to not break anything just yet).

I would also like to remind everyone that there is an open thread in our forums dedicated to news stories about crashes involving Saabs.

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by Rune

APB: Turbo-X gone missing in Sweden

June 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Registration number: FBG-122
VIN: YS3FM47R481133062

This Turbo-X got stolen from Kungsbacka Bilcentrum AB last weekend.

Please keep your eyes and ears open. That V6 can’t be too difficult to hear.

Leave a comment here or contact Kungsbacka Bilcentrum directly if you see/hear anything. I understand Saab appeals to a lot of people, but this is not the way to acquire one!

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by Swade

Saab O The Week – Turbo X

February 9, 2011 in Saabology

I don’t do Saab O The Week entries much anymore, but when I saw this image on Flickr today, I just had to share it.

Eggs n Grits likes to post the occasional ‘Saab moment of Zen’ on his Twitter account. I’d like to take a leaf from Eggs’ book and offer this as your Saab moment of Zen for today.

The Turbo X really is getting better and better with age. I know there was some fuss back in 2008, with feelings that it wasn’t extreme enough on the road. But having a look back at it now, it really does look the goods and anyone I know who’s owned one has been over the moon with the driving experience.

I think I just put a Turbo X on my bucket list.

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by Red J

Would you buy a car with this license plate?

February 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

In Germany the license plate have this structure XX-X 000. The first 1 till three Letters behind the hyphen belong to the town where you live. So if you know which letters belong to your city, you also know which letter after the hyphen you should avoid, as the combination of those letters may create a word or a pseudo-word which might look weird on your car. And yes you can choose the letters and numbers(as long as that combination is unused) after the hyphen.

In this case the car is a Saab 9-3 TurboX sedan, and the car is registered in Düren, which has the letter-code DN.

Which 3rd letter is on the license plate?

Solution after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry →

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by Swade

Saab Turbo X Euromeeting 2011

January 7, 2011 in Saabology

Do you have a Saab Turbo X?

Are you one of the unfortunate Sith Lords who bought the wrong car, something other than a Turbo X?

Do you not have a Saab Turbo X but lust after Saab’s modern Black Turbo?

Do you just enjoy the thought of a bunch of Saab Turbo X’s gathering in the same place?

Some Turbo X owners in France are hosting the first ever Saab Turbo X Euromeeting in May. You don’t have to own a Turbo X to go along, though obviously that’s the focus of the gathering.

They have a website (in French) and a Facebook page alrady set up for the event and invite anyone interested in the Turbo X to check out the event and come along.

The following information was sent along by Leigh M, one of the organisers.

——

THE PROGRAM:

SATURDAY 21st of May 2011 from 11am to 6pm :

-> Meeting nearby to the Lac du Der, which is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, offering numerous activities for children, adults, individuals & families. A private meeting area will be reserved close to the lake (50m) and close to the local lake harbour.

-> Picnic nearby to the lake (each one is invited to bring all his picnic necessary and some specialties to share with other participants)

-> Optional afternoon activities :

  • A huge choice of individual and/or family activities are possible (6 sand beaches, tree climbing resort, miniature golf, ride on the lake, etc …)
  • A 2 hours roadbook will also be available for all who whish to discover the Champagne country side and numerous points of interest.
  • Full details on the exceptional site of the Lac du Der and the many activities available here: http://www.lacduder.com/

Read the rest of this entry →

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by Swade

Nate gets his Saab Turbo-X dream

October 30, 2010 in Saabology

The headline says it all.

I think it might be high time for some Turbo X appreciation, too. It’s a model that copped a small amount of criticism from some quarters at first, but it’s position in Saab’s history as the first XWD vehicle and quite a special car is pretty well assured now. Hindsight’s a beautiful thing. Best we keep that in mind.

This is Nate’s story, complete with obligatory Saab hug. There’s some good stuff about dealer relationships in here, too. Kudos to Iowa City for doing what they do.

——

I took possession of my Turbo X SportCombi on Tuesday, October 19th, and I could not be happier. I have longed for this car ever since we saw the spy pics of the prototypes that were bashed as looking like Pontiac Sunfires! I am blessed to own my dream car.

My original plan was to purchase one with a manual gearbox. I ended up purchasing the automatic gearbox. My wife and I plan to own this car for some time, so I thought the automatic would be the safer bet. A lifetime of high impact athletics has left me with bad knees and I would hate to have to trade my Turbo X because of my gimpiness! Trust me; it was a battle royal between Macho Nate and Responsible Nate. I even had a manual lined up for purchase at an out-of-state-dealer.

I purchased the Turbo X from my local dealer at Iowa City SAAB. It was purchased sight unseen. I have a lot of trust with my local dealer. If they say the car is clean, then that is good enough for me. They backed that up with a CPO warranty, too. I think that there is a great lesson for any SAAB dealer. Develop trust with your customers and they will buy cars from you. My wife and I have now purchased three cars from this great dealership and I am sure that there will be more in the future.

A side note: This car was traded in for a NG 9-5. I am happy to take one for the team!

The car is GREAT! I have never driven an AWD car before. I have never known what the expression “drives like it is on rails” was meant to describe. I do now! This car is just stuck to the ground. My friends that have driven it have all commented on the firmness of the car and how much control the driver has over it. And this is with the automatic gearbox. They would be even more impressed if they only knew of all the compromises that SAAB to deal with and engineer around.

The exhaust note is great. I actually think that the car is very quiet and the exhaust is subdued in the cabin. I know that this is something that others have complained about. I am very familiar with the interior since it is a lot like my wife’s car. If I have one criticism it is the door handles. I have read other commenters complain about the Cadillac door handles in the past. I often wondered what the big deal was. Now I know. They are clucky when compared to traditional SAAB door handles.

Our financial plan dictates that my wife and I hold onto our cars for some time. Given that, it is quite fitting that we both have black sportcombis. We call them “his” and “hers”! She has a black 2007 9-3 SportCombi 2.0 Anniversary Edition. They make quite a pair in the driveway. Although I will own this for some time I plan to spruce it up once a year with some type of Hirsch goodie. Initially it will likely be the interior. But once Hirsch gets the 300 HP engine tune here in the US I will be all over it. Genuine SAAB also has a 2-point sub frame brace that I am aiming for and of course, a SAAB roof rack for my kayak ☺

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by Swade

Turbo X’s at Saab Fall Festival

October 24, 2010 in Saabology

The Saab Fall Festival at New Salem Saab went well today. Around 120 cars and 200 people came through on the day.

I’ve got a few photos through already but am waiting for a few more from Darryl at NSS before writing a full entry.

In the meantime, what’s the collective noun for a group of Turbo X’s?

A darth of Turbo X’s?

An empire of Turbo X’s?

Here are 5 of them from the Saab Fall Festival today; a rare sight to see this many together.

Click….

Saab Turbo X

Thanks to Ryan F for the photo!

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by Swade

Saab Turbo X tyres

August 22, 2010 in Saabology

Here’s a query for the rare few who managed to pick up a Turbo X.

It comes from Colin C, a Turbo X owner from Townsville, in northern Queensland, right here in Australia.

I need to get some replacements and would like to know what other X owners may have done, what tires they bought, if in fact they have needed to replace them already.

The local prices are nuts so I will possibly buy from overseas and bring them in. Even just doing this could save me around $800.00.

I love the X but I do need to check myself sometimes, especially when highway driving and passing multiple ‘Mexicans’ with caravans and RVs who seem to love doing 80kph in the 100 zone.

The car has done around 42,000 kms now and the tires should be good for maybe 2k more at the most. I have the 19″ rims with the PZero Nero Tires.

If there’s anyone with a suitable recommendation, please feel free to enlighten us all in comments.

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by Swade

Am I flippin’ out? Saab should send a Turbo X to race Bob Lutz

October 28, 2009 in Saabology

UPDATE below
——
OK, this is a little reckless and stupid. It’s a mission to nowhere, but I can’t help but think it’s a good idea.
Bob Lutz – the guy who pretty much single-handedly killed Saab’s product range at the start of this decade – got on his high horse about the Cadillac CTS-V and dared anyone to come race him. He’d be at the wheel of the Caddy and his carefully selected opponents would run what they brung.
500x_locat_4.jpg Jalopnik are one of those carefully selected opponents and they were scheduled to show up in a Jaguar XFR, but the people at Jaguar have orchestrated a public relations disaster by pulling the big cat out of the event.
Jalopnik are now looking for a new car to take out Maximum Bob and I reckon SaabUSA should call in one of the unsold Turbo X’s and hand it over. If Jalopnik can’t get a factory car from someone then they’ll probably just run the Mitsubishi Evo that they’ll drive to the event in.
The CTS-V has a stonking big LSV supercharged V8 putting out 566hp and the Saab Turbo X puts out 280hp from it’s V6. I reckon Bob’s ego would allow for Saab to throw in a Hirsch tune for the Turbo-X, which would lift its performance a little bit higher (albeit without the needed hardware) to 300hp and 430Nm.
Now those cars would still be a long way apart on paper, but if the track and more importantly, the weather, suited the Saab then it could be closer than you think. If the track had enough corners to suit the XWD system and was at least mildly moist then I think Saab would get maximum props just for turning up when others feared to walk through the door to face Maximum Putz.
This is basically a big show of bravado on Bob’s part. The Saab wouldn’t win and wouldn’t be expected to win but even if the X managed to stay on the track and be mildly competitive then it’d be backslaps all round.
For those who think it’d be an absolute slaughter, I’d like to remind you of the track session SaabUSA held a few years ago, pitting the Turbo X against an Audi S4, a BMW 335xi, a WRX STi and BMW M3.
The Saab was 4 seconds behind the M3 and the STi in the dry, but was bested only by the STi and only by one-tenth of a second when the track was dampened.
What have they got to lose?
The event is only 2 days away now, so it’s probably not even a remote possibility. But I would really love to see Saab step up to that plate and just be part of it. They’ve got a habit of being able to do things people think they shouldn’t be able to do.
Shoving one of his own discarded cars up Bob Lutz’s clacker fits the bill if you ask me.
——
UPDATE
Here’s a format I’d like to see…..
Saab could bring a Hirsched Turbo X to the party but the party is now held over two stages to see which car is more versatile.
5 laps on the track, as they’re doing now.
PLUS
5 laps on a dirt rally circuit.
Aggregate time wins.

UPDATE II
Seth Hosko explains my thoughts better than I do in this video on his branding blog.
Good stuff.

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by Swade

Saab 9-3 Viggen vs Saab Turbo X

October 9, 2009 in Saabology

Oh, what a sweet dilemma….
Seth has sent me an email with the following:
——
Here’s a small back story: I bought my 5 door black on black 2000 Viggen in ’05, & have put over 60k miles on her. I’ve done a lot of work; Viggen rescue kit, rear ARB, upgraded rear brakes, SS brake lines, iPod input, bluetooth kit, etc etc. More recently however, I’ve been doing more repairs, than preventative maintenance. It’s 10 years old, so stuff is starting to break. I’m beginning to wonder if I should trade up…
Do you think a Turbo-X is a worthy “upgrade” from the Viggen? It would be newer, presumably under warranty…but then again, it will eventually be 10yrs old too, just like my Viggen now…
What are your thoughts?

——
I’ll write here what I wrote to him in my email response:
Keep the Viggen and get the Turbo X anyway!!
Unfortunately, Seth’s finances don’t allow for such a dream situation so in tale worthy of the wisdom of Solomon, he has to choose between two awesome machines.
The Saab 9-3 Viggen is an incredibly flawed vehicle, which is why I love it so much. With the right modifications it goes from incredibly flawed to simply incredible and it sounds like Seth has done a lot of that work and added some more creature comforts as well.
The Turbo X is a superior vehicle in every way, but whilst my seat time in an X is limited, I have to wonder if I could love one the way I’ve loved a Viggen. Has it got the personality?
I’m quite sure the big exhaust note, sports seats and incredible grip could wash away the pain eventually, but I’d be moving heaven and earth to keep the Viggen as well as get the Turbo X. At least sell it to a friend so you can keep an eye on it and buy it back in the future.
Get the X. But prepare to miss the Viggen more than you could imagine possible.
Them’s my thoughts. Please provide your own wisdom for Seth in comments.

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by Swade

Saab Turbo X question

September 12, 2009 in Saabology

I trust all you Turbo X owners are enjoying your vehicles. Those who got their X’s first have possibly crossed the 12 month anniversary already. Amazingly, there are still some for sale in some parts of the world and I received a query earlier this week from a guy who’s thinking of picking one up.
Saab Turbo X
His name is Nate and here’s what he’s thinking…..

I am young (26) but I work hard and I am a young professional here in San Diego, CA and saving up for my first new Saab. I currently have a 2004 9-3 Linear (bought with 40k miles) that I have become attached to, it is an amazing car. I know have 105 miles on it and I am ready to upgrade. I know I want to get another Saab for sure. The model I have fallen in love with is the 2008 9-3 Turbo-X since the first time I saw one.
My question to you is, do you think it would be smart to buy a Saab right now or wait? Also, what do you think is a good price point for the X? I know there were only 600 sent here to the US, but I found the exact one I want for $35,900 US Dollars ($47,500 sticker). Do you feel I can work them down at all? I am always one to negotiate but I wanted to ask an expert if they felt this model Saab would be a good buy.

Nah. Far from an expert, but I’m happy to share what I think.
I think the Turbo-X is an absolute ass-kicker of a vehicle. Yes, there are 2009 vehicles with XWD but if I had a chance at an X, I’d grab it.
Practical people who are wise with their money will possibly disagree, but I’m a bit of a sentimentalist. I’d go for the Turbo-X for the same reason I prefer the 99 Turbo over the clasic 900 turbo. Because it’s the first of it’s kind. To me, that’s significant.
I think you could possibly talk them down a little more than that (though to we Aussies, that’s an incredibly cheap price anyway) given that sales are so hard to come by at the moment.
——
More important than my philosophisations (thanks R. Shelton), why not take the thoughts of a real-life Turbo X owner into consideration.
Clive was the first guy in Australia to take delivery of a Turbo X and he’s recently passed his first anniversary with it.
I heard from Clive earlier this week and here are his impressions of 12 months with the Saab Turbo X. You might remember that Clive’s X is Loud, Fast and In Control:

19136 kms in my Turbo X, and l have now officially owned my car for slightly over 12 months.
l still have that Saab smile. Every time l start the Saab from a cold start, as my #2 son in law says, it’s metal mayhem: cam overlap that produces a nice uneven signature from an engine with urge and a delicious raucous exhaust note. And the really nice part is that it seems to be getting that little bit louder; it fits my future plan of growing old disgracefully.
This is a great car. The XWD loves corners. Power in and power out. No braking, just control the car with the accelerator pedal. The V6 torque band is phenomenal , the suspension and braking are set up with perfect balance (to my mind) and the steering is responsive.
Is this the perfect Saab? Maybe, maybe not. However what is the perfect car?
Does it demonstrate that Saab can develop unique cars? Absolutely, and the Turbo X is part of the evolution!
One of my favourite subjects is to reflect on the wonderfully “accurate” – if not bizarre – press reviews. Firstly, l must state that my Turbo X is a manual. To me this car is a car that deserves only the 6 speed manual box. Condemn me to washing my mouth out with soap if you like, but to me that is a fact.
The following is my response to the most negative press reports

  1. Torque steer, the urban legend. The Turbo X has no torque steer, which is actually the point of the XWD… the press should try a 2008 Mazda MP3. It sets a new standard for torque steer.
  2. Poor steering – the steering is in fact very good and precise, l have actually managed to miss trams (a feature of Melbourne’s city and inner suburban roads) , trucks and anything else that you would expect on the road.
  3. Fuel consumption – if you drive it like you stole it then the litres-per-100kms are unfortunately not very good.
  4. Competitors – Yes , the very serious contenders that it has been measured against including ….wait for it ……the very intimidating and performance based Subaru Liberty….. yes they both have 4 wheels however XWD drive and AWD are not the same. Not all 2Wd’s are the same, either, at least in my experience. Also, power per tonne – the Turbo X is right in there amongst its peers including BMW
  5. The dash panel – No, l have not been bored senseless by the apparently less than exciting internal fitout and instrumentation and all that black plastic. The gauges all work, they are not fluoro disco lights, they are Saab instruments and they tell me what l want to know
  6. Noisy – it’s true, this is not a quiet car. It has unique aspects including an exhaust note that is so unSwedish……

This is the future not the past.