This response to the SU Hi-Po Challenge is from Luca S – from SaabWay Club, Italy
In my opinion, a Saab still has to be considered as a comfortable and practical car, even if equipped with a rough and sporty character. A car that can drive you home safely and comfortably every evening after work, but which can also get a sporty astonishing driving experience. For that reason I’m not going to suggest a naked Saab, without carpets or electrical windows (Saab is not a Lotus); My idea is to upgrade the sporty side of a Saab, as they do in the past with the Viggen version, extending the work made with the Turbo-X, which for many people who love sporty cars, is thought to be not completely ended.
The model would be the 9-3 MY11,5 so we can make a limited “end-life” edition giving to the 9-3 model a glorious end life while waiting for the New 9-3 MY13. My idea is based on existing technology and components, which have already been tested and developed to solve money. Fantastic would be to have also the same version of the Cabrio Model, but what about the XWD? Also, I can’t imagine how the press could talk about a 350hp FWD car… For practicality I’ll consider the 9-3 Sport Sedan.
The car must have 350hp minimum…..
The better choice for Saab, due to it’s heritage and also to make some noise on the market would be the 2.0L Engine equipped obviously with XWD Transmission. Manual gearbox and also Automatic gearbox (with limited torque to conserve the reliability). This version should be properly tuned to achieve the requested power. The other choice could be obviously the return of the 2.8V6 on the Model 9-3 which can give a more powerful base to work on.
How you’ll achieve that sort of power, where you’ll source the engine from….
As I said on the previous point the engine would be a Saab Engine but it should be properly tuned to achieve the power. I’d work together with one of the most popular Saab Tuners which is MapTun. MapTun has already developed a performance kit which can obtain 325Hp on the 2,0L model and 340hp on the 2,8V6. I’m sure that with a minimal adjustment would it be possibile to obtain only 25 extra bhp on the 2,0L or 10 extra bhp on the 2,8V6, but I think that also the “standard” power offered by MapTun could be enough (Those are 45-60Hp more than the Turbo-X, not little).
MapTun has already made research & development to achieve that power so maybe only a little work together with Saab engineers could perfect the tuning.
Modifications you’ll do to the interior, exterior, suspension, etc…
For the interior I’d choose as supplier Hirsch. They have wonderful and High-Quality components.
Timeframe for testing this car….
Some months. The car is equipped all with already tested and known componente so it needs only a minimum time to test that everything works properly with minimum adjustment only for the engine compart.
Warrant the vehicle in all markets with confidence….
I think it could be done without big problems. We all know the good work done from the most popular Saab tuners.
Expected sale price, based on current pricing in your market….
The Sale price is calculated on the list price in Italy for a 9-3 Sport-Sedan 2,0T XWD 210hp M6 adding the list price of the supplier’s kits (MapTun & Hirsch).
Car list price (VAT Excl.) (35.300€) + MapTun Engine Tuning kit (VAT Excl.): 5.450€ + Hirsch components (VAT Excl.): 3300€. Total: 44,050€ + VAT. In Italy it would be circa 53.000€ VAT incl.
53.000€ for a Saab 9-3 Sport-Sedan 2,0T XWD M6 325(350?)hp and 430-450Nm with wonderful exterior and interior Look and materials with incredibile performance and incredibile appeal; with its only 2,0L engine it could make again a big noise on the market. “The Saab Turbo is back!”.
I think also that the suppliers could make better prices for a big quantity of parts so the price could be lower or it can stay at that level giving some profit to Saab; But I think that a car like this should be made more for the marketing than the profit.
How many of these vehicles you think Saab could realistically sell….
No idea, but for sure it would sell more than the Turbo-X or that the Aero 2,8XWD because of the insurance and petrol costs (especially in Europe). I’m Sure that an angry 2,0L Turbocharged High Performance Engine would be more successful in opposite to a “not so angry” 2,8V6 (Sorry V6 owners.. 😉
How you’re going to fund the engineering, development and testing of this project….
As I said before I think that those costs should be very minimal, so maybe Saab can afford the cost by its actual limited finance.
You have to fit it in to the current program by telling us which current priority is less important than a performance car….
The same. Anyway I think that at this moment Saab hasn’t really a low priority project compared to a Hi-Po Car. For this reason a think that Saab should buy existing components and already tested and developed performance kits to obtain a good result without a big investement. We’re lucky about that.
To make the Saab buildable and marketable….
I think that my proposal doesn’t need a specific answer to this question. The actual structure should be good enough.