For those who aren’t familiar, Hirsch Performance are Saab’s official tuning house, based in Switzerland. They’re the only performance tuners who can offer the same Saab warranty coverage as you get from the Saab factory.
I don’t want to build this up too much, but a few things that have come to my attention over the last week indicacate that the time is getting closer for Hirsch’s release in the United States.
First, an email from a potential customer that made its way to my inbox said to keep an eye out early in 2011.
Second, the appearance now of US information on the Hirsch website (thanks “Me”!!)
And third, the fact that whilst speaking to a Saab Cars North America staffer this morning, he confirmed to me that staff members there are currently driving some Hirsch tuned vehicles as they evaluate the tuning. In fact, his own vehicle had been upgraded just a few hours earlier!
Hirsch accessories and non-tuning parts have been available in the United States for around a year now. Site sponsor State of Nine is just one of the places in the US where you can get them.
Tuning products have been a different story, however, due to the validation tests that have to take place and the historical reluctance for SaabUSA to promote the products whilst they were under GM ownership. Thankfully, that’s all changing now.
A liitle bit of customer expectation management……
Hirsch Performance products are not inexpensive. They cost more than the aftermarket tuners out there, primarily because they often involve hardware as well as software changes and of course, because they have to be engineered and tested so that everything still performs to factory standards (including emissions, etc).
A ride in a Hirsch modified car, however, will put a grin on your face from ear to ear. A few years ago I took a ride in one of only three authorised Hirsch modified cars in Australia, Jeff B’s fully Hirsch modified Saab 9-5 Sedan – and I mean fully modified – there was barely an item in the catalogue that wasn’t put on the car. It remains the fastest and most aggressive Saab I’ve ever been in, without doubt. And it was total class to look at.
The US are scheduled to get, for 2011 models, Hirsch upgrades to the V6 and the 2.0T versions of the Saab 9-5. That 2.0T tune takes the output up to 260hp and 400Nm and will make the lighter 4-cyl version of the Saab 9-5 even more attractive than it already is.
I’d almost be willing to say – depending on options fitted 🙂 – that a 2011 Saab 9-5 2.0T XWD Premium with this 260HP Hirsch tune could well be the perfect modern Saab. It’ll be that good.
Hmmm. I think I just built it up too much……