The engine that might be

The current TTiD engine used in the Saab 9-5 was/is (from my POV) a little bit of a take it or leave it case. After all, Saab was in need of a more powerful engine than the 160hp TiD engine after GM cancelled the Diesel V6.

My own Djup Strupe told me back then that it was strange that Saab was offering that engine as Opel would wait at least one more year for it. The reason was not that the engine wasn’t ready for the market, but the guys at Opel thought that the TiD160 and the TtiD190 had too similar power values and torque values (350/380 vs. 400).

I have never driven a 9-5 Diesel, so I can’t tell if there is a big or small difference between both, but at least until now Saab was the only brand using that engine. Perhaps this was also a (the) reason why there was no automatic available.

Now, for the MY12, Opel is offering that engine on the Insignia. First of all I have to say that there is almost no difference between this version and the units mounted in a Saab. Max Power is 195hp vs 190hp and the max torque stays unchanged at 400Nm (295 lb ft) but only available at 2.000 rpm vs. 1.750 rpm on the Saab.

I don’t know if this makes the big difference the engineers at Opel where waiting for, but the guys at Opel must know why they have waited an extra year.

And why I am talking about this engine if it is not different from the Saab used version? Well, on the one side Opel is using a Start/stop system on that engine in combination with the manual gearbox as either FWD or AWD and Opel also offers an automatic transmission also with either FWD or AWD.

So, if Saab also uses those updated parts, it will first be able to offer the TTiD engine coupled with an automatic transmission, what many here at SU seems to be interested in. And with the manual transmission the Saab could be on par with BMW and Audi regarding the CO2 values, if the Saab is only as good as the Opel, but I don’t think the Trolls want to only be as good as. 🙂

51 thoughts on “The engine that might be”

    • Yes, this engine was the engine that never happened.
      GM really had their reasons to stop that engine program, but this is part of another story for brighter days.

  1. but at least until now Saab was the only brand using that engine

    Huh? The 160 Bhp dieselengine, is the same base-engine as used by Opel and Alfa, just as long as Saab has! The 130, 150, 160, 180, 190 Bhp engines are alle based on the engine originally developed by Alfa!


  2. 1.9 Twin Turbo

    Engine cover of Lancia Delta´s 1.9 TT Multijet.
    Fiat Powertrain Technologies released information about new twin stage turbo (twin turbo) version of this engine in summer 2007, engine is available with two power levels, first one is producing 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) and second one 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp), both have a maximum torque output of 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) at 2000 rpm. 180 PS version production started summer 2007. The engine weighs approximately 185 kilograms (410 lb). This engine will be sold both to Fiat Group Automobiles and other brands, but the 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp) version is reserved only to Fiat Group Automobiles.[4]

    Cadillac BLS
    Lancia Delta
    Saab 9-3

    [edit] 2.0

    A new 2 litre (1956 cc) Multijet diesel was introduced in third generation Lancia Delta in summer 2008. At its first version this engine produces 165 PS (121 kW; 163 bhp). For 2009 the engine was fitted to Alfa Romeo 159 as 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) variant. Fiat Sedici and the new Fiat Doblò generation use a 135 PS (99 kW; 133 hp) variant of this engine. The Twin Turbo version, with 190 PS (140 kW; 190 bhp), will be produced for Opel for the Insignia. The same engines will also be available in the 2011 Saab 9-5, which shares its powertrains with the Insignia.

    Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010)
    Alfa Romeo 159
    Fiat Bravo
    Fiat Doblò II
    Fiat Sedici
    Fiat Croma II
    Lancia Delta
    Opel/Vauxhall Astra
    Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (single and twin turbo)
    Saab 9-5 (single and twin turbo)
    Suzuki SX4

    • Fiat and GM went separate ways when GM sold the 11% share of Fiat. The base engine the 1.9 is the same engine, the 2nd gen Engine (2.0l) is a different one, AFAIK.

      • GM uses two different two liter diesels in Europe. One built in Korea (Opel Antara), BTW designed by VM in Turin, and another built in Europe. The latter is the one used for Astra, Insignia, 9-3 and 9-5 and is a variant from the engine used by Fiat/Alfa/lancia.

  3. I’ve driven the 9-5 with the 190hp TTiD engine with a manual gearbox earlier this year and although it was just for a few kilometers I must say I liked it a lot. It has more than enough power and torque to accelerate quite well such a big car. At the time I thought it behaved like an upgraded Hirsch TiD with 175hp on a 9-3.

    • Same impression from a full day driving as yours. The only negative point is the engine is getting loud when fully accelerated. Maybe there are ways to tackle that as well.

  4. I must be missing something here. I drive an 07 9-5 with 150 bhp TTiDengine mated to an auto gearbox. Apparently it doesn’t exist. Help. BTW the engine noise is reasonable, and far overpowered by road noise from the Continental SportContact tyres.

    • You have a TiD engine maybe with a Red T.
      It is the same engine that was used on the 9-3.
      3 Engines did exist with the same block, the 120 hp version with 8 valves(Z19DT), the 150 hp with 16 valves (Z19DTH) and the Twin Turbo version with 180 hp (Z19DTR).

      On the 9-5 only the 150hp version was mounted, but Hirsch (and others) can help you if you think that the power is not enough.

  5. How much economy does the start-stop system give? I’ve read in Dagens Industri that Volvo’s version had no positive effect in fuel consumption.
    Do we, as consumers, want to pay for something that adds weight to the car and is just a marketing trick? Besides the cost of it.
    That providing that was right about Volvo’s start-stop system. Does anybody here has some first hand experience?

    • The start stop system gives you improved economy if you drive in the city. How much is this in real life, don’t know, but depends on your driving habits.

      The start-stop system is often a handful of sensors (almost no weight) and an alternator being used as starting engine, so you replace 2 aggregates by one.

      All in all Start-Stop works well on the NEDC, giving you lower CO2 values, which makes the car more attractive for many. And Start-Stop could also make the cities less noisy. 😉

    • I have posted this link before, and I’ll post it again. Mostly because I am a bit disappointed at this point. I believed start/stop systems were brilliant, but in reality…
      “You will save a dollar per year with ‘start/stop'”

      Most of my driving takes place on the open road. If I am stopping for more than 15 seconds I switch off the engines myself. I don’t really know what I envisioned when I first heard about start/stop, but certainly not this. I think my mistake was that I did not realize rolling down a hill will keep the engine going without consuming any fuel.


      • Rune,
        I’m not sure I can agree with your link.
        In your case if you stand still for more than 15 s you switch off the engine, but a stop-start system switches the engine 15 s earlier.
        And in your case it is not that health for the starter to be used that many times, with the stop-start system the alternator/starter is made to start the engine many more times than a normal starter.

        I’m not saying that your fuel consumption will drop to very low levels if you have such a system in your car, I know this is not the case, but firstly in countries with a hard limit between “green” cars and non “green” cars any system to reduce the tax impact on the car driver is good, and secondly I’ve driven a car with such a system and it is a good feeling when the engine stops at the traffic light when the car stands still.

        • Given that I hail from a country where such systems indeed get tax cuts, I do understand that part of the argument very well. It is just that I had hoped for something more substantial. It is my firm belief that the Norwegian tax system (on automobiles and fuel) is utterly bad for the environment.

          But… We are dealing with known quantities here? How much fuel gets consumed in 15 seconds? That figure should give each of us an idea of how much fuel this system will save us.

          I wasn’t aware they used the alternator that way now.

          • roundabout 2 l/h

            or 8,33 ml in 15 sec. or 11 Öre 😉 (Petrol price 14 Kronor/l )

            So if you are a commuter or live in a big city and have to stop (for 15 sec) 3 times at a traffic light in the morning and 3 times in the evening, and work 220 days per year, you burn 145,2 Kronor per year of fuel or 10,3 l at the traffic lights.

            If 1 million Swedes do the same they burn 145 million Kronor at the traffic lights. They should better send this money to Saab rather than burning fuel at traffic lights. 😉

            And all this numbers are quite conservative.

            • The link I posted are referring to a test conducted by the Swedish magazine “Vi Bilägare”. They drove a 15km route consisting of 36 intersections and 38 pedestrian crossings during five different times of day. They saved one liter in a month. So your back of the hand calculation is sound.

              A 145 kronor saving per year is not going to bring a smile to people’s faces if they end up paying more than 5000 kronor extra for this system as an option…

              It could work in markets such as Norway though.

              • OK, you only pay 145 kronor extra on petrol, but if your car falls just under one of those tax boundaries, like the 120g, you will get the money back over reduced taxes. 8-/

                • I remain skeptical.

                  The tax reductions in Norway for BioPower: 10000 NOK. But the BioPower engine was (still is?) slightly more expensive, so in the end the gain was barely enough to pay for an upgraded car stereo.

                  But the 120g/CO2 limit might translate into bigger savings in Norway I guess.

                • Sigh

                  I just wish that we could get E85 here.
                  Danish Government has secided in all their wisdom that E85 is not a viable solution, based on some german investigations on N/A non optimised and conveted cars that showed a 30% increase in consumption, thus leading to the E85 not being an alternative.
                  The funny thing is that thanks to EU regulations, BioPower/FlexiFuel cars are now rated at a lower tax because of lower CO2 emmisions, because they have a theoritical lower CO2 level if run on the fuel that is not available in DK….
                  One of our members in Saab Klub Denmark has now made a legal and approved conversion of a 2.0t B205 engine in a 9-5, thus lowering his tax.
                  That takes 4 new spark plugs, larger injectors and a T7 reprogramming.
                  Not that it is usable unless he drives to Germany or Sweden where E85 is available.
                  He has gotten the tax reduction though, and is now offering people help in making it at no cost. And his case has made precedence for approval.

                  He actually made the conversion because he was p*ssed off at the strange attitude by Government
                  Oh well..The Government have now decided to make extra taxes on NOx because everybody in now switching over to Diesel..

                  Did I mention that a lot of the tech used in Sweden for BioFuels comes from Denmark?

                • For the little extra: He actually mainly did the conversion because he is a little bit tired of the one-eyed view that E-Power cars are the thing.
                  I’ll take his calculations:
                  Production of Batteries: 40g CO2/km
                  Coalpowered Powerplants, as this is the main source in DK: 90g CO2/km
                  Saab OG9-5 BioPower 180 HP run on 2. gen E85: 39g CO2/km

                • Well, CO2 is bad for the climate but NOx is bad for you. So it makes more sense to put taxes on NOx than on CO2, but politics follow the industry’s wishes, and it is much easier to reduce CO2 than to reduce NOx, and BTW most of the time if you reduce one then you increase the other one. 🙁

                • Could be. I would just like to be able to run on Jungle Juice.
                  The most stupid thing about Diesel in DK is that most use the cars for city driving, clogging up almost every moving part because of too low operating temperatures, and polluting even more in the process.
                  All thanks to out taxes structure
                  And we are an Oil exporting nation which might change the view a little. Main customers Sweden and Germany

                • Just for an overview on what taxation does for the sales of a car in DK:
                  Denmark took up to 60% of the Worldwide VW Lupo 3L Production.. :-D..

  6. I have a 2011 Volvo S60 T4 manual sedan (132kW) with the start-system (Drive) and apart from startling you when restarting after a certain interval if the electronics figures out that you were standing far too long queuing at a traffic light, it does reduce fuel consumption in the city (I have the figures, both manual and based on a Garming eco-route challenge) to back this up. Besides, it reduces CO2 emissions as the vehicle does not continue idling unabated for broader periods of time, again based on measured values using a Garmin eco-route challenge. By the way, buying the Volvo was the closest I could get to Saab in this part of the pond.

    • Pedro,
      GM is stakeholder of VMMotori, and GM asked VMM to develop that engine, and GM cancelled that order. So yes GM cancelled the development of the V6 Diesel.
      Last year Fiat bought 50,1% of VMM and decided to use complete the development of that engine to use it in the big Chrysler SUVs CUVS and whatever, as those cars where using diesel engines from Mercedes.

          • Hang on… What about the Chevrolet Corvette? A little googling suggests numbers near 580 Nm. So they must have something…somewhere?

              • Ah. 🙂

                But even so, now that they are out of GM, couldn’t they have chosen components from different suppliers?

                I’d like to quote Top Gear at this point: “How hard can it be?” 🙂

                • – Get the new trany.
                  – Hope that the damn thing has enough space in your engine bay.
                  – Build a new clutch housing to match to the new transmission.
                  – Hope that the attaching points for the transmission mount is in a similar position in order to be able to attach the trany to the car.
                  – Build a new transmission mount.
                  – Hope that all the sensors in the trany are somehow compatible with your current car software.
                  – put all the pieces together.

                  Not that hard, but there were ono or two hopes too much for me. 😉

                • Silly question then: Is this a platform thing? Do you choose the transmissions while designing the platform? (to avoid the “hope it fits”)

                  I think we have a candidate for next year’s SU project! 😀

                • Yes and no.
                  Many times the engines are being developed at the same time as the platforms, and so the transmissions. (this is the first hope it fits)
                  The second one is the reason why GM has 3 versions of the F40 tray for FWD cars plus one for AWD cars.


  7. This may not be totally relevant, If it’s the same TTiD engine in the 9-5 that’s in my 9-3, it’s a storming one. Mine has had the Hirsch 200 upgrade and it really is amazing to drive, I test drove the BMW 320d and also a Lexus 220d, neither had the sort of smooth power the SAAB had, and with the Hirsch, the pull doesn’t seem to stop either.

    I’d have loved this engine twinned with an Auto gearbox, but with CO2 remaining low at 119, and fuel efficiency good at around 45mpg day to day, I can’t really fault the TTiD engine. Engine noise is slightly more than in the BMW 320d, but with the Hirsch twin exhaust, it gives it a lovely grunt.

    Loving the TTiD so far, and hope this engine sticks around for a while, it’s a bit of a hidden gem.

    Apologies if this isn’t completely relevant to the post Red J

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