There’s a lot of stuff out there to cover today…..
Popular Mechanics has a road test of the new Saab 9-5. It’s a little schizo, with this:
Cruising along Swedish highways at speed, the 9-5 is most remarkable for what you don’t notice. There is very little wind noise, bumps are absorbed, the engine is quiet, corners don’t slow you down, and downshifts and acceleration are undetectable except in their effectiveness. Noise, vibration and harshness have been utterly exorcised by the supple chassis, a plethora of sound-deadening material and engine and gearbox tuning intended to make progress effortless.
….being balanced by this:
The new 9-5 is a worthy also-ran in an incredibly competitive class. There’s no reason you shouldn’t buy one, but there’s no reason beyond a burning desire to own something with a Saab badge that you should buy one over an Audi A6 or a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, either.
They were cheezed by the blackness of the interior, which I think is going to be an issue for many until its resolved. Once fixed, it’ll go a long way to lifting the premium perception of this car.
CAR Magazine also have a road test – of the Saab 93 driven by Victor Muller in the Mille Miglia.
They were glowing:
What an invigorating drive – the engine dominates the driving experience!
The Saab Museum’s absolutely perfect Saab 95 stroker wagon was also available and is actually a better drive than the 93. I wonder if they drove that one, too.
CAR Magazine also mention that they have an 8 page feature on the new 9-5 in their July issue.
New Saab Design appointee, Jason Castriota, has spoken briefly with the New York Times Wheels blog.
Mr. Castriota pointed to the success of the Mini Cooper as a model for the success that the 9-2 might achieve. “There’s some behind-the-scenes talk going on for platform sharing with other companies,” he said, adding that he will have a voice in Saab’s marketing.
Nick Taliaferro will be speaking at the Saab Owner’s Convention next month.
He’s jotted down some ideas for his presentation and invites your input to help make it better or more relevant to what you want to hear from a US tuning house.
There’s some interesting commentary on ethanol from John McElroy over on Autoblog.
I didn’t realise that despite all the outcry over food shortages a few years ago, food prices are now falling and even though that’s happening, ethanol production has more than doubled.
Even more encouraging is the growth in cellulosic ethanol plants in the US.
As might (or might not) know, Saab will introduce the 4-cylinder version of the new Saab 9-5 as a BioPower vehicle, Saab’s first BioPower car to be released in the US market.
And finally, CarAdvice are reporting on a list of cars compiled here in Australia. The list is intended to guide parents as to what (used) cars are good to buy for their first-car-owning kids. The vehicles are said to be safe and affordable.
The Saab 900/9-3 makes the list, as does the Saab 9000.
What’s interesting is that this list has been compiled by the Victorian state Government, the same government that bans new drivers from owning turbocharged vehicles (there might be wiggle room for an exemption under power/weight ratios, but the exemption has to be applied for and proven).