The SU Hi-Po Challenge

I’m away for a couple of days, but this ought to give you something to chew on…..

——

Consider this the oiling of squeaky wheels as far as SU is concerned.

There are a number of people who frequent this site who think that Saab should definitely build a high-powered, performance-oriented halo version of one of its cars. Whilst I count myself as a frequenter of this site, I do not count myself as an extreme halo car advocate at this time.

From my perspective – and noting that I’d love to see a higher spec Saab if it were realistically possible – what Saab need to do at this point in their history is improve, refine and expand their existing product line. They nearly died just 12 months ago and have a lot of basics to cover in order to get to a position where they’re self-supporting, financially healthy and stable for the future. They need to walk before they try to run.

Whilst I personally consider this sort of model to be an extravagance that Saab can’t afford right now, I’m open to being proven wrong.

The SU Hi-Po Challenge.

If you are one of the Hi-Po advocates, then I offer you a front page opportunity to state your case.

We’ve frequently been told by Hi-Po advocates that such a car must have 350hp minimum, so that’s your baseline (but of course, you should always go 50hp more than the expected amount).

I want you to lay out how you’ll achieve that sort of power, where you’ll source the engine from, what other modifications you’ll do to the interior, exterior, suspension, etc, in order to make this car 1) buildable, and 2) marketable.

I want you to state your timeframe for testing this car, to make sure that the company can warrant the vehicle in all markets with confidence.

I want you to tell me the expected sale price, based on current pricing in your market. Along with that, state how many of these vehicles you think Saab could realistically sell, given current challenges and the reduced marketing budget they might have as a result of this project (your decision, see below).

Remember, they had trouble selling 2,000 Turbo X’s in 2008. I’m not sure if they sold many more Viggens than that back in the early parts of the decade, either. Your car is going to have to be more compelling than those (which means $$$$) but for not much, if any, more money.

And speaking of money…… of course, it’s absolutely essential for you to tell me how you’re going to fund the engineering, development and testing of this project. The Saab 9-3 Viggen was based on an existing model but still took several years to develop before coming to market. All that development work has to be paid for somehow.

Saab have a very limited pot of funds, so if we’re to add a Viggen-on-steroids-style performance version, with all of the work such a project entails, then something’s got to go from the current priority list. Given the EIB funds are for efficiency projects only, EIB money is out of the question.

And by the way – this is done as if under Saab’s current circumstances. There’s no “we’ll go and float on the Stockholm exchange” or “Antonov will give us the money” stuff. You have to fit it in to the current program by telling us which current priority is less important than a performance car.

There are no prizes for this challenge. All you get is the satisfaction of being keen enough to rise to the challenge.

Please be aware that your entry may be critiqued with similar vigor as if it were one of Saab’s own plans for a product offering (and if you hang around here frequently enough, you know that that’s pretty tough scrutiny). Please be prepared to accept that level of scrutiny, just as you expect Saab to live with the scrutiny you apply to them.

All entries should be sent to my email address (swade99-at-gmail.com) and I’ll post them here on site, as is. If we get more than half a dozen then I’ll put up a poll and people can vote on them.

Saab is involved in a real business. If you can make a real business case then maybe they’ll see it and act accordingly.

Notify of
fred diesel
Guest

Actually existing “LNF” engines that put out 260HP and 353Nm could/should be substituted for the 220HP “LDK” in the 95 and the 207HP “LK9” in the 93. Would that make you all happy?
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ecotec_engine#Ecotec

Red J
Guest

The Problem is, LNF do not reach Euro 5 exhaust norm, thus you can’t sell this engine in Europe.

fred diesel
Guest

Forgot to mention an upgrade kit for the LNF that boost HP to 290 and torque to 460Nm! Frigging GM steals Saab Turbo thunder and gives us the Lite versions.

GerritN
Guest
GerritN

Everyone and his dog are making turbo cars nowadays. Impossible for Saab to stick out in that aspect anymore.

Markac
Guest
Markac

I’d like to see a halo car eventually, but it’s more important to get the brand reestablished first. When the 9-3s successor arrives it would be fantastic to see a real new Viggen a year or two after the normal range has been launched, but the volume selling models of what is Saab’s ‘bread and butter’ car have to be given first priority. It should also be remembered that the Viggen as much as we like it, was an inherently flawed car. Too much power/torque for a quite average and somewhat dated platform. Yep, I know you can work around… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Because I’m a little bit bored and crazy, after I got home tonight with friends I decided I’d try to tidy up our insanity a little bit. While I completely understand the intent of this post by Steven to prove just how completely stupid it is for people to complain about Saab not having a performance Hi-Po car given their current situation and frankly agree with him, it’s still a fun exercise to understand the constraints Saab are under and try to find solutions. One of my professors once said that the best designs happen under the maximum amount of… Read more »

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

Now that’s enthusiasm! Jeff, you created a nifty idea of the message board but really….it might just end up as another wasteland of hot headed people who refuse to listen to logic. (named people excluded, but we know if this little demon thing called Troll….not troels,denmark….TROLL)
I’ll jump in just to add some ideas that may be overlooked…. but I never have and I never will say I could do better than Saab.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Sounds good. It just is a fun little diversion and should be a fun place for a few days to gather up some brainstorming. Once Steven posts the proposals he’s received I can put them in there too for a bit to incorporate and refine. Then it will go out to pasture as a fun little design exercise. I’m sure some combination of ideas would actually produce something remotely interesting/viable. It’s fun to speculate even if we end up completely wrong.

North Toronto Punter
Guest

@Jeff: You continue to surprise at nearly every post! Bravo!
I can’t believe your Energy (if I had half …).

I’m about to embark on 2 week biz trip (including Sweden) to be able to pay for my favourite commodity fetish…

At the very least I will register too [though I see Stingray has beat us all — damn! 🙂 ] and pipe in every so.

Rune
Guest
Rune

Mark, any business close to THN by any chance? If you’re nearby on a weekend, do feel free to pop by and say ‘hi’! 🙂 (wait, I already asked you this, didn’t I? In that case, treat this as a reminder)

North Toronto Punter
Guest

I remember well your open invite, Brother Rune.
This time it’s the Big City on the West Coast only I’m afraid (and short). Not all work though: Eats with, amongst others, the SUHRT Guys next Friday night at KAK Gala [Swedish Royal Autoclub]. I’m sure Jorgen will have a camera handy though (unless you’re there; open to all who booked).

Not the last visit for sure (damn that there’s no Festival, eh?). Otherwise maybe round the time of the MidSummerRally…
Best ,
MM

North Toronto Punter
Guest

Woops,

Make that the Big City on the East Coast!

[Espresso Infusion…]

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

@ NTP… only reason i was up at such an ungodly hour on a sunday was my youngest Shetland needed to weewee…. and once awake, it’s time for coffee.

I think it can be a lot of fun to engage in conversation off SU….. and not worry so much. I just will NOT engage in rude talk and if it starts, Ill no longer participate. (not that my leaving would concern anyone, just making a point, we should keep it just as civil as here)

North Toronto Punter
Guest

I’ll be on my best behaviour, Sting (Now Jorgen…He can be a loose cannon at times…plays against the Swedish stereotype 🙂 ).
Cheers,
MM

74stingray
Guest
74stingray

It was not you I was referring to 🙂

Coxy900
Guest
Coxy900

Is it just me, or has everyone missed the sarcasm in Swades post?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Nah no one missed it, we’re just having fun. To pretend that we could do a better job than Saab engineers is malarkey. There’s no way in hell anyone could have a firm grasp on what these things truly cost, how warranty plays into it, partnerships, etc. It’s like juggling knives. I think what it should do is give everyone a solid appreciation of just how hard it is to create a compelling product and give each person a firm respect for what Saab engineers and managers do day in and day out.

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

Interesting exercise, but reality:
http://www.e24.se/business/verkstadsindustri/vagar-du-kopa-en-saab_2584509.e24
Translate that for an in depth puls in THN…

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Most of it we all know, and it’s pretty fairly written. The only weird part is:

Saab 9-5 hatchback. A concept where new controller design for Jason Castriota has put his avstryck. In so will many new technologies to be presented. Among other things, electric four-wheel drive and a new infotainment system.

So the concept is based on a midsize sedan/hatch or is this just more speculation? I do like the idea of electric XWD and infotainment, but I wonder just how close to production these technologies are, and when we might see them on real Saabs.

RS
Guest
RS

Okay, one more thing. At least someone’s listening? The new Passat has a much improved sound system (made by the Danish Dynaudio that I believe was referred to here some time ago) and a 3.6L engine with 300 hp. They’d probably gone for more but they have this other brand for the ‘higher’ segment. No wonder journos put Saab in the same basket with… I like the idea of not making low power (or GM interior) Saabs ever again. Maybe that’s one of the niche cards that THN should play to get an edge over A in Europe? (Saab would… Read more »

baas900i
Guest
baas900i

unsure about a Saab halo model but would welcome Lotus to fine tune Saab suspension settings…

Jörgen Trued - SUHRT
Guest
Jörgen Trued - SUHRT

S2AB already works with Lotus. Vladimirs bank Snoras sponsors the Lotus Renault F1 team.
There are some Trollhättan and Russian perspectives.

PT
Guest
PT

If Saab were to work closely with anyone outside I’d propose RenaultSport (sister organisation of Renault F1) who seem to make some of the best FWD cars in the world from quite modest origins and pay their own way as well. Check the CAR magazine archives for a story on RS last year.

Haeving skimmed through the commentary above I’d say we’re still light-on for an actual plan. All the usual claims and demands but no plans to speak of. Hows the message board going Jeff – anything there yet?

mahalo

Darryl
Guest

I would love to give a crack here. Sorry I’m late I was actually away for the weekend racing saabs!! Really. I’m not sure we should do a halo car, but consider a smaller stance that grows into a halo car. I have to dog out tomorrow at work and I’d hope to send an email to swade on this. I’m licking my chops though 🙂

dc

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close