How about some good, car-related news for a change?
The Geneva Motor Show is almost upon us. Yes. Saab will be there, and so will SaabsUnited.com.
We’ve managed to secure media-grade entry for our unofficial Saab ambassador to the UK, Robin M. He’ll be there to see Saab’s offerings at the show as well as ask the hard questions of all the Saab executives there.
Robin won’t be alone, either. He’ll be hanging out with the owner of the most elegant Saab convertible in history, our mate from France – Golfhunter, who’ll be there reporting for Etienne’s Saabhuy blog. It should be a fun time and a great moment for Anglo-Franco relations.
Saab will be showing off the new Saab 9-3x in all its glory and I’ll be quite keen to get Robin’s impressions of it.
I think the subtle changes they’ve made to the 9-3 SportCombi are sensational and add that extra bit of personality the car needs. I’m looking forward to driving one sometime in the near future.
The Saab 9-5 Griffin should also be there. Given that Robin’s a 9-5 owner himself I’m sure he’ll have an interest in the car.
The other news out of the show, news that’s been overtaken by recent events to no small degree, is that Saab have tweaked their TiD and TTiD diesel engines in order to reduce emissions.
Linear and Vector specification Sport Sedans, powered by the 150 hp/110 kW, single turbo or the 180 hp/132 kW, two-stage turbo 1.9-liter engine, now produce just 139 gm/km CO2 and impressive fuel consumption of 5.3 l/100 km over the combined cycle. The SportCombi’s figures are also improved, to 144 gm/km and 5.5 l/100 km.
In terms of CO2 grams per horsepower, the two-stage turbo models (badged 1.9TTiD) are now among the top performers in their class.
The efficiency gains, averaging 7 percent, have been achieved by a series of fine-tuning measures including: the use of wider gear ratios, a longer final drive, idle and low engine speed remapping, and an optimized tire and wheel choice. Zero to 100 km/h acceleration is unchanged, while fifth gear 80-120 km/h times are increased by less than one second.
If there’s a downside to this, it’s that these variants are only available with manual transmissions.
Better fuel economy and reduced emissions provide a double-banger benefit for the driver. As most of the countries in which diesels are sold base their vehicle taxes on emissions outputs, that means reduced overheads for the owner as well as reduced running costs through greater economy.