The Fast and Furious, Neo’s 96ss takes flight!

Two very good friends of mine, Alex Rankin and RobinM were both extremely fortunate over this past weekend to be invited by Neo Bros to witness and experience the inaugural track testing of the fantastic Saab 96ss. Here is their story, told by Alex…….neo96Well, what can I say? Robin and I felt extremely privileged to be asked along to the inaugural test run of Neo Bros Saab 96 SS.  We arrived at Bedford Autodrome on a bright but cold March the 30th day and received a very warm welcome from everyone that had been asked along to witness the culmination of many years of hard work, designing and building this super Swede! If you cast your minds back to 2013, the unveiling of the 96SS took place at the Saab Festival in Trollhattan to rapturous applause and admiration by all that attended. It has taken a further two years to have the car ready for its first outing on the track. A lot of dedication and attention has been put into getting this car to be the best it possibly can through design, technology and engineering skill. But even after all that, the only way to find out if you in fact have got it right is to drive it. And get it right they did. Boy does this car fly! There is a little bit of tweaking to be done here and there, but overall Neos are extremely happy with all aspects of the car. Nick took me out on the track for an experience I will never forget. The power and performance from this 475 bhp monster is incredible, especially when informed by Nick that he was ‘taking it easy’ and limiting its 8500rpm potential to around 6000rpm. We were quickly charging down the back straight at 125mph, although it had reached 130mph a while earlier. Nick told me that once run in, speeds in excess of 160mph will be easily attained.

neo1Shortly after this I experienced something that can only be described as surreal. Here I was, a passenger in a Saab 96, chasing down a BMW M3 at well over 100mph and hanging on its tail through some of the tightest bends you could ever imagine and loving every minute of it – incredible is not the word!


The relationship between a racing driver and his car can be likened to the relationship one human being has to another. Over time you learn everything there is to know, how to handle, respect, and treat that person, to know that person’s limits, in effect become one with that person. A racing car is no different. The same rules apply. This is a new relationship and Neos have to get to know the car’s limits and how to handle it in all situations. This will in turn give them the confidence to push it to those limits and ultimately extract the maximum performance, becoming one with the car.

Read moreThe Fast and Furious, Neo’s 96ss takes flight!

Special Sale By RBM

banniere gamme offre special rbm en

RBM Performance celebrate the registration of its twenty thousandth customer!
We wanted to thank you for your loyalty by making a new and exceptional offer : The opening of a promotional section for a limited time.

So we developed our «Special operation» range, containing parts of all types, for all your SAAB, and many bestsellers.
It is available until March 31 included, within the limits of available stocks.

You will have access to highly requested parts at the best price, all items available in this section are available with a discount of -20% thanks to the voucher code :


This Saturday sees the launch of the NG Griffin 9-5 Wagon/Estate……..(1:43rd scale model)

This Saturday, the 28th of March, will see the launch of the Griffin NG 9-5 Estate.

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After the fantastic success of the NG 9-5 Aero Saloon/ Sedan, Andrei started on the Wagon/ Estate and this was developed mainly from scratch with improvements being made along the way.

This 1:43rd scale model is almost all new, the only items used from the saloon were the front seats, dash and steering wheel, every thing else was newly developed with the most improvements being the chassis, head lights and wheels.

The preparation for this model took about a year and now Andrei can say he has produced more NG 9-5 estates than Saab did!

The first model will be an Aero but will be followed very soon by Hirsch and Vector versions as well as the USA Aero with the different rear hatch step.

Later this year the kit will be followed by ready made models, where you will be able to choose colours and wheels etc.

Please click through to his site for ordering information and you too can own a NG9-5 Estate.

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9-3 2.2 BioPower “Griffin” Aero by Emil – part 3

Many of you who have been at any Saab meeting in Sweden during the last couple of years has maybe noticed a good looking carbon grey 9-3 “Griffin” sedan. This 9-3 is special in many ways, the first thing is that the car isn’t that you first thought when you saw it – in fact this is a 2009 9-3 Aero, but it’s completely converted to a 2012 9-3 Griffin optics and interior with something extra. The second thing, and for me the most impressive, is what you maybe don’t notice even through the bonnet is open – the engine. In this car the original 2.0 BioPower engine replaced with a 2.2 litre BioPower engine, and it is the story about the engine we are going to tell here.

This is article number three in the story about Emils 2.2 “Griffin” Aero. The earlier parts  will you find here; one | two


emil_engine_meets_carAt this time time has run away, and it is summer 2013. Would Emil ever get the new engine in his car? Now there was two ways for Emil to reach his 500+hp goal; the first way was to save up those SEK 30 000 (~US$3 500) that was needed for a bigger turbo and a custom-built manifold, or he could use a original manifold with a modified original turbo (larger compressor and turbine) but then end up at ~400hp. Emil decided to chose the “lower power” option to start with, and then try to save up some money for the ultimate 500+hp goal.
Everything else was prepared for 500+hp, and the most of it was done. The complete engine with the gearbox mounted was ready for installation, so Emil decided to install the engine during one of his vacant weeks, then drive with original output a while so he was sure everything worked as it should be. The new engine was installed in a couple of days, and when it was time for the first start-up Emil was extremely nervous, had he done everything right? First he get up the oil pressure, the spark plugs was installed, and finally the fuse for the fuel pump. The big moment was there, turned the ignition and BANG – it was alive! Everything was okay, no leakage and the temperatures went up to normal levels, I can think Emil at this point was very happy! But there was a little problem, the clutch was not working properly, it wouldn’t free out properly. The reason for this is that Saab has a pulsation damper on the hydraulic line, and this was not compatible with the heavy pressure plate. The solution was to remove this function, the cons by doing this is that you get a heavy clutch, but that is the way it is with a heavy pressure plate. There was also another problem to solve before the first test drive, there was no vacuum pump drive on the new crankshaft, so that problem was solved by installing the same solution as the V6-engine has on 9-3, a vacuum pump.

emil_airfilterbox_modThis was a big day, Emil could finally do a test drive after nearly 4 years construction in total, but with some breaks. The car was now not mapped, but since Emil drove with the original injectors and air-filter box the engine went good. Of course it was not allowed to load the engine too much or give full throttle, but the characteristics from the 2.3 litre 9000 with much strength in the bottom was recognizable.

Now the big things was done and the new engine was up and running, but there was still things left to do in order to perform the mapping. New wiring harness to the fuel injectors needed to be built, a new cover for the air-filter box, the pipe for the airmass-meter and a new inlet pipe was going to be rougher. Emil got help from a friend that works with car diagnostic to build the wiring harness for the injectors, he also rebuilt the harness for the map sensor as theboost pressure would be higher then the original sensor coped. To make the rougher inlet pipe for the turbo was a little difficult, after some discussions with some knowledgeable friends Emil decided to combine the cover on the air-filter box from a V6 and a 4 cyl engine. That was cutted out and plasted together, and the airmass-meter was also moved and plasted into a rougher pipe.

emil_ceramicpro_griffinThe 9-3 is used all year round, and autumn 2013 Emil decided to give it protection against the terrible Swedish winter roads, that offers salt, slush, snow and ice. The car was given a undercoating treatment and a Ceramic PRO 9H treatment that Emil thinks is the worlds greatest protection for the paint, they says nothing protect just as well, and Emil is extremely pleased after the treatment, the car looks like new even if it has rolled 123 000km. Later this autumn Emil found some quite rare rims in the classifieds, he thought the price was good but suspect they needed a renovation to get them in that shape Emil wanted. They meet the next day, and as Emil suspected the rims needed a renovation but the price was okay, so he bought the rims and they became a light winter project to get the rims in order to spring/summer 2014.
Just before Christmas Emil bought himself a little present, a new head-unit for the 9-3. The choice fell on Alpine IVEW530BT, and with that Emil is more flexible when it comes to listening to Spotify or talk in the phone while he drive. A option was also to control the stereo with the original steering buttons on the wheel.

emil_bbs_blastedThe refurbishment of the rims went on, after Emil bought them he sandblasted them, and in January it was time for painting. The biggest issue now was the colour choice, would he go original or something that stuck out a little? After a while Emil decided to go for the classic BBS colour, gold. The next step was to get the lip turned and high gloss polished and assembled, and since it is difficult to get clear coat to attach a polished surface and clear coat isn’t able to resist stone chips in a good way Emil decide to put on Ceramic PRO Strong protection on the wheels.
The Turbo X brakes also get the same treatment after some blasting and new paint, since the new wheels is quite “open” in their design.

emil_mappningThe software mapping was still not done, and Emil know that his friends that was going to help him with this has much to do and Emil’s has even limited with time, but in the end they end up with to book a Sunday in March 2014, so on Saturday Emil started to prepare for the Sunday in the shop. The car was rigged on the rolling road and the MAP-sensor, the new injectors, the rougher pipes and the air-filter box cover was installed before the mapping started the day after. The mapping ran out well, they had 380hp at 6500 rpm and 1 bar boost, and with increased boost pressure in the lower register to get more torque it ended ip with 500Nm at 1.4 bar boost. To increase the boost more was’nt a idea because it just built up back pressure in the turbo. For more power a turbo replacement is the receipt. Now the car was mapped with ethanol, the next step was to map it with petrol to get the BioPower function.

emil_griffin_bbs_goldAfter the refurbished wheels was mounted on the car Emil didn’t think they was so tidy as he first thought, there was one colour too much, and the rims looked smaller then they was. So a number of evenings Emil sat in front of the computer and looked for a alternative. He found some nice wheels in the US, but in the end he realized that transportation, taxes and customs would cost as much as the rims, so he gave up that idea. Suddenly he saw a friend of him was going to sell some rims that he had drove a few hundred miles on his Honda, the design was right but would they fit? After some thinking and investigation the solution was hub rings and bolts with floating cone, so Emil gambled and bought the rims unseen. A few days later he pick up the rims and bought new Dunlop Sport Maxx GT tires at ANA, a good prestanda tire. Even these rims got some Ceramic PRO, and to top it Emil made 4 new centre caps out of four hood emblems that had to be modified so they would fit. But when it was time to put the wheels on the car, there was a problem – the spokes crashed in the brake calliper! Emil tested with different spacers, but they built too much outward so it seems like the only solution was to grind the callipers. So with help from a friend Emil to get a nice bevel on the calliper bracket so the Zito rims would fit , it was only to put some new paint on the brackets and enjoy the sight of the new rims on the car.

Then many of you would call this project for complete, but Emil has some more modifications that we will read about in the last part.


As stated by Robin in this weeks SOTW, I will be taking over this feature from next week. Please send me pictures of your beloved Saab cars along with any story, history etc to accompany it and I will make sure it is featured here as a SOTW.

I look forward to featuring your cars,



Mahindra May Aquire Pininfarina

While we’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see if Mahindra & Mahindra may actually comes out as the chief OEM investor in NEVS, there’s a piece on Bloomberg that claims they’re also looking at buying up Pininfarina. You’ll remember that the Italian design firm also employed Jason Castriota not so long ago. Might we live in a world with an Italian designed, Swedish engineered and produced, Indian owned car maker?


Nevs’ composition proposal approved by Court

SAAB Factory March 2013A press release from Nevs today;

The District Court of Vänersborg today approved the composition proposal earlier presented by Nevs, as the stipulated number of creditors’ votes needed for the court to decide in favor of the composition proposal was achieved.

The number of present creditors entitled to vote, and those who on beforehand had approved the proposal and signed a proxy for the Administrator to vote for them, amounted to 98,2 percent of the creditors and 98,6 percent of the amount of the debt.

The composition means that claims up to 500’000 SEK will be fully paid, and that claims above 500’000 SEK will be reduced by 50 percent. Of a total of 573 creditors 469 will get their full claim paid.

The payments will be performed in two steps. The first within 60 days from the date that the Court’s decision is legally valid, and the second step within six months from the same date. The composition as well as the operating costs for the coming months will be financed by Nevs’ main owner. Nevs intends to apply for exiting the reorganization as soon as the composition is legally valid in mid-April.

“A composition was needed for Nevs to exit the reorganization in order to be able to sign commercially viable agreements with our OEM and financial partners we have been in dialogue with for a long time. We appreciate the support from our suppliers, with whom we want to continue to develop long-term relations”, said Mattias Bergman, President Nevs.

“My duty as Administrator is to secure that the composition is favorable for both the company and the creditors. Todays’ decision creates possibilities both for the development of Nevs’ business as well as future business potentials for the creditors”, said the Administrator, Attorney Lars Eric Gustafsson, Hamilton Law Firm.

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