Saab 900 Convertible gets emu art treatment

I think it’s going to be a convertible themed month…..

As some of you know, my wife does quite a lot of watercolour painting. At her first solo exhibition, held back in November 2010, she had a painting of some emus in a Mini Convertible. This prompted a few people to ask “what about a Saab convertible?” – and she even received one commission for such a painting.

I thought I’d share the finished result with everyone here at SU….

The emu paintings aren’t all she does, but they are extremely popular as they bring such a big smile to people’s faces.

Putting them in a 900 Convertible will hopefully bring even more smiles.

Dutch Saabers – win a trip to the Ice Hotel

OK, so it’s not as easy as the US competition, where anyone can post a video to Youtube and win a trip to the Ice Hotel, but it’s still a potential added bonus for any prospective Saab 9-3 buyers out there.

Details are at the Saab.NL homepage, but here’s a pretty video that I can’t understand πŸ™‚ …..

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik35rfHRPh0

Anti-glare sunglases and LC-Displays

Our friend Arild has a nice post in his own blog about the effects of using polarized sunglasses in combination with the HUD display of his 9-5.

As I also love my sunshades with polarized glasses, I would have loved if the HUD of the new 9-5 would behave the same way as the SID of my OG 9-5. Why am I comparing those different displays? Well they are both based on the same technology, namely LCD.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I don’t have to explain what the Malus’ law is. Nonetheless and in short, if the axes of two polarizing filters are orthogonal, the polarisers are crossed and in theory no light is transmitted.

Well a LCD screen uses the Malus’ law to let more or less background light pass through and show brighter and darker spots. And if the polarizing axe of our sunshades is orthogonal to the polarizing axe of the LCD, we will only see a black screen.

Coming back to the LCD’s in Saabs and other cars. I had a Citroen C2, in that car the information and radio Display was always pitch black when I had my shades on, I had to put my head almost horizontally to see something on that display. On the Peugeot of my wife it is almost perfect. If my head is vertical I see a darker display, but at least I see something. If I incline the head to one side the display gets darker, and if i incline the head to the other side the display gets brighter. But the best result is still the SID of my OG 9-5. Full brightness with my head in vertical position and dark display putting my head in a horizontal position, but I don’t usually drive in that position πŸ˜‰

And what about the HUD? It seems like the polarizing axe of the display hasn’t been well chosen. Is somebody to blame? Not really, because the inclination of the windscreen might be the reason, but it is a problem that could have been corrected during the development of the HUD.

At the end of the day, new Saab should take care of such details, and I think they will.

Sunday Saab Snippets

If you’re in reasonable proximity to Connecticut (I previously wrote NJ – my mistake) and want to restore a 1993 Saab 900, Steve’s your man. The price is right if you can give it a good home, too.

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If you’re a Swedish company looking to re-establish yourself in Canada, now might be a good time to lay low…..

“We’re going to take out [our anger] on a Swedish company,” yelled one fan, waving an Ikea bag. “Volvo and Saab are next.”

One Toronto mother promised her children they would no longer eat the Swedish Meatballs at Ikea.

Ah, the passion of sports!

Sweden beat Canada in a 6-5 shootout at the World Junior Hockey Championships and given that hockey is more popular than oxygen in Canada, beating the national juniors may not be the best way to make friends there. I’m sure the big-hearted Canadians will get over it, though.

Maybe Saab Canada could have a “We’re Sorry Sale” to kickstart 2011 πŸ™‚

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If you’ve got a Saab 9-3 or 9-5 equipped with Haldex XWD then you might want to get in touch with them and get a badge for your car.

As you might already know, Haldex’s traction systems arm has been sold to BorgWarner, so the company is looking to give away their last remaining badges. Click here to get one (have a photo of your car at the ready).

Haldex Performance Badge

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Victor Muller is #47 on Motor Trend’s “Power List for 2011”

Very under-rated.

Thanks Lee!

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Murilee Martin left Jalopnik a few months ago but has taken his work over to TTAC. Those who follow Jalopnik would know that Murilee had two major themes – Old cars from Alameda and the 24 Hours of LeMons series.

I don’t follow TTAC so I don’t know if the Alameda series is running there, but LeMons crossed my radar because a LeMons race was held in Florida on New Years Eve and the coveted Index of Effluence trophy was won by a Saab 96!

Whilst there’s always a car that crosses the line in first place, the IoE trophy is highly regarded as it’s awarded to the team that does the most in a car that’s significantly challenged or has the most character.

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Ford is doing an engine tear-down at the Detroit Auto Show that will be similar in stature to Saab’s driving efforts at Talladega back in the mid-80s and 90s.

They’ve driven an Ecoboost F150 through a series of challenging events and tasks in the last year, amassing around 160,000 miles under extremely challenging circumstances (e.g. running at full throttle for 24 hours towing 11,300 lbs).

They aim to tear the engine down at the 2011 NAIAS to show how durable the engines are even after an equivalent 10-years of use in one 12 month period.

Great marketing. If only Saab could do a Talladega-style event again.

Thanks Ted!

Cadillac kills the 2.8T version of SRX

UPDATED

This is an interesting development and just goes to show how far off car reviews can be sometimes.

The Cadillac SRX, which is the sister vehicle to the upcoming Saab 9-4x crossover vehicle, has been praised in its 2.8T form, and said to be left wanting for power in its 3.0L non-turbo form. Saab will offer the same two engines in the 9-4x, with four non-turbo variants and a range-topping 2.8T Aero.

Despite the praise for the Turbo SRX, a combination of thirstiness and price meant that only around 10% of the SRX’s sold were turbocharged models. These slow sales have pushed GM to withdraw the turbocharged model from the Cadillac SRX range, discussed with Caddy PR at GM Inside News.

Of course, one wonders if this will have any ramifications for the Saab 9-4x. I’ll write to Sweden in a bid to find out.

My first thought is that there will be no change to begin with. Saab will want to keep a turbocharged model and they know that sales will be smaller anyway, simply because they’re Saab. The removal of the turbo engine from the Cadillac actually makes the Saab offering even more distinctive, even if it’ll be pricey.

Another question to ponder is what it might mean for the 2.8T. I’m not sure how many GM vehicles use this engine, but I don’t think it’s too many. One person with contacts at GM has remarked to me that GM may consider halting production of the engine all together, which could have some ramifications for Saab in both the 9-5 and the 9-4x.

It’s an interesting development.

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Thanks to Tedjs and MarkM for the tip!

Red J: formerly known as “Me”

Hi everyone,

This Christmas I’ve been gifted with a present which is greater than anything I could imagine. No, it is not a Saab, but it is, at least, as great as that for me.

Swade asked me if I wanted to be part of Saabsunited as an article writer. At the beginning, I did hesitate a little bit, as I don’t know If I will be able to keep with the quality set by Swade for his site.

But after thinking about it over the Christmas Days, I’ve decided to accept. First because it is a honour to me, and second because I think Swade could need some help.

What can you expect from me? Many of you have seen that I love numbers and putting those in a different perspective. I will keep with that, but now Swade will not need to re-write the data I send him by e-mail. And yes, I will update the 9-4x comparison chart.

And if you still don’t know who I am, I am the one known in the comments section of this site as “Me”. Swade has recommended that I change my Nickname, as my older one can create some confusion.

To my new Nick; red is my car, as many of you already know, and J, that’s me.

Happy new year to everyone.

BTW, Bil Sweden will present the 2010 Swedish sales data in Stockholm on Monday 3rd of January at 9 a.m. (Swedish Time). I won’t be there but I will put my own perspective on the numbers here at SU.

Swade here:

It fantastic to have Red J on board (though it’s now a little confusing to call him Red J instead of “Me” πŸ™‚ ). He’s a been a source of great support and a level head in comments here, as well as some fantastic numerical analysis that I’ve featured on the front page. More than that, however, he has a voice that speaks with some experience when it comes to the car business.

Red J is based in Europe, so it’s also great to have someone who’s in the same timezone as Saab themselves for that occasional story that breaks while I’m catching some Z’s.

Welcome aboard, my friend. It’s great to have you here!

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