SaabsUnited as a base for all Saab enthusiasts worldwide

 

 

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Two of Swedens newest and happiest 9-3 CV owners who just drive off in their premier drive after the purchase at the MapTun Meet some weeks ago

 

It is no surprise for anyone in the SAAB Automotive world that after the window of the production in Trollhättan and the end of sale of new SAABs the whole SAAB world has taken quite a hard blow. But it is at hard times like this the need for all good forces to join and build something that is better compared to the present situation. I have through history (yes it sounds like I am a dinosaur with my age of 50) argued for a unification of first the various Swedish SAAB Clubs to make one good and strong that was by the way second by Jan-Åke Jonsson ex. CEO at SAAB Automobile. Then came TrollhättanSAAB that evolved into SAABSUNITED (SU). SU had some glamorous years when we where at the forefront with the latest news from the at that time alive production. The economic game with Victor Muller, Vladimir Antonov and the Swedish Government. And a successful Historic Rally Team to keep us both in the present but also in the glorious past of SAAB engineering and traditions. For Tim and me and some of the other contributors to SU this was a good platform to promote the cars and the brand we all so dearly loved.

So what is the future like? Well the cars that has been made are out there and are cherished by their owners.

But what can we collectively on a global level do to make it possible for everyone to enjoy their cars from the olive-green 92 with 2 cylinders to the B I G NG 9-5?

Why not form a REAL International SAAB organization with SU as the base. The name is good and then just add something like  “Where all the Worlds SAAB entusiasts gather”

Besides the great social activities around the globe and the happiness surrounding the brand there is one area that desperately needs to be worked upon.

The parts, spare-parts and re-manufacturing. Another area that need to dealt with its the emission of the old engines and its technology. SAAB organisations like SU and others desperately needs to be proactive and get started on finding retrofit catalytic converters and means to collect the oily fumes form the cute 2 strokers. Politicians and governments around the globe are coming down on old dirty cars and we have some of the dirtiest most inefficient combustion engines around in some models.

So hoar do we go about safeguarding the past challenge? My idea is to set up a BIG server with every nut & bolt imaginable on SAAB cars. All the listings of parts for every model should be found here. Making the system easy for people who has spare parts laying around the garage to label them and possible have them sold to a fellow SAABer who is out in the system looking for that part number. I know there is so much stuff with SAAB owners around the globe that the need for spare parts for daily drivers  and restorers can be supported for a long time. So let us make good use of the Internet and the great possibilities it gives us. For example I have a set of brand new 18″ 9-3 TurboX wheels. But where can I find the part number easily and where can I post it in a easy task way so that that potential buyer somewhere on the globe can see that they are for sale.

I propose that a parts platform as described had a 10% kickback on all transactions to SU and the potential NEW International SAAB Club. That money could ultimately be used to procure and produce sought after parts that are really gone and near impossible to find. Just like the silver plastic that sits under the rubber belt on the 99 76-78 models. Agreements can be negotiated with DHL or UPS for a collective best deal for the shipment. Who knows we just might have a CEO for a carrier here on SU who could help out. Same goes with someone with the expertise in setting up a program for the searchable parts function described above.

It is time for SAAB people to really Unite again.

 

 

 

SAAB – DNA

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Some of us can say we have a Trollhättan DNA, well if You’re like Tim and me are born by parents raised on the banks of the Göta River that night be true. But just half a century of making SAAB cars the city could hardly have changed any of the pairs in the double helix we call the DNA.

The DNA that some people refers to as having anything to do with SAAB has its roots in the chassis dynamics. Form and shape of the cars has nothing to do with DNA since SAAB has never looked inte the rear mirror when making the new car models. Look at the 99 that replaced the 96 in the late 1960. The only thing that resembled the old car was the front wheel drive an the solid rear axle to some extent. So over the years the design has changed in a progressive way and one of my friends Björn Envall was in control of this for almost 30 years.

The SAAB – DNA is a complex mix of advanced applied and theoretical physics combined with the drivers feel and ability to respond to various forces and frequencies told by the car. When harmony is reached almost as when mastering an instrument. That is where the SAAB – DNA can be found. Some feel it instantaneously some not at all.

– Jörgen Trued, SU Historic Rally Team & S2AB Rally Team Manager & Driver

The DNA is in the perception and feel of the driving dynamic of the cars conveyed to the driver. Probably the best guy in the world in this field is another of my good ex. SAAB friends Magnus Roland. The principles he outlined for the driving dynamics of a SAAB is the DNA. That thinking was used by Magnus when he worked on the Le Mans Corvettes some 15 years ago but before that on the 9000 in particular. A rear axle geometry hat still is top notch and a truly affordable construction. There are manufacturers out there who are interested in this axle. Magnus has worked out some amazing constructions and 3 years ago in with his colleague in the S2AB AB, ex rally world champion Stig Blomqvist a 5 link rear axle for Audi. Or should we say put on an Audi 4S. In testdrives head to head with a standard Audi S4 Stig managed to drive the 5 link faster and with more accuracy and less need for micro adjustments. In collaboration with Benteler in Germany they decided to make a sales push with Audi. But apparently Ferdinand Piech himself stopped it all saying that it was not invented in house. The SAAB 9000 was developed with Stig´s driving style as an inspirational source. And The 9000 turned out to be a great performance car.

From what I have heard is that the NEVS corporation at least CEO Matthias Bergman is interested in the “SAAB-DNA” and the two guys who can inject that into their company is Magnus and Stig. To truly understand the underlaying principles for the fundamentals of chassi dynamics would need a presentation by Magnus himself. He is truly a genius when it comes to get to grips with the twilight-zone of classic mechanical engineering old school and the quantum mechanics and forces for beyond the average scope of a traditional car company. A company making average cars. The car going down the road and into a corner with a driver behind the wheel is a very complex system, truly a system of systems. All frequencies in the tire rubber to the G forces and the the forces in a microscopic level bonding the car to the road are hard to understand for a skilled to average skilled engineer. The driver feels sensations and experience the environment, this interface with the car is where the DNA might be hidden. But to do a truly great car that makes you a better driver requires deep expertise in applied and theoretical physics and psychology (Perception & Decision making). I have had many great discussions with Magnus on the topic of driver performance, he is the wiz of chassis physics and have the Man-Systems-Interaction knowledge.

 

https://youtu.be/khUDDMCgBr0

Most probably the best Swedish drivers through history both from the city of Örebro. Stig Blomqvist and Ronnie Petterson

https://youtu.be/SPmhit980e4

Be part in recreating SAAB history

Skärmavbild 2015-09-17 kl. 00.04.45You might remember a few years ago when there was a SAABSUNITED HISTORIC RALLY TEAM that competed in the Swedish Classic Rally to the Midnight Sun (Midnattssolsrallyt) I have driven 6 times in two different SAAB cars my Montecarlo V4 and the 99 TURBO RALLY CombiCoupe (Wagonback). In success and its opposite the team evolved over the years to involve drivers like Vladimir Antonov and Ola Strömberg. My ultimate goal has always been to get former Rally World Champion Stig Blomquist to take part in my team.

Now there is a possibility to manage to build a complete replica of Stigs car that he won the Swedish Rally (SNOW) in 1979 as the first Turbo powered car ever to win a “WRC” rally. I have spoken to Stig himself today and he is very interested and excited to do a SAAB comeback in both the Classic division of the WRC Rally Sweden and the Rally to the Midnightsun in 2016. That is 37 years after that fantastic victory.

Stig Blomquist is one of the last swedish super drivers of his generation who could pull off a victory in the classic rallies. But to do this I would need dedicated and interested sponsors who can appreciate and see the great value of getting the “Real” Stig out in a very real SAAB again.

To make this project into reality i believe it must take place next year. Stig is just like the rest of us not getting younger and the option to get a good car made does not happen every day. So if You or your business want to be part of recreating SAAB rally history now is the time. An estimate is that close to $300.000 is needed to make this project into a fantastic reality. All sponsor will of course get fantastic media coverage and lots of special benefits during the “ride”. There are a few possible surprises up the sleeve that is worked on as well.

Please contact me at trued1[at]icloud.com or call at +46709589632

The most intelligent Swedish vehicles now and then

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Guess some of You rememember the 1980 is ad campaign from Saab talking about the “Most Intelligent Car Ever Built”. Stating that the swedish technology and production was special in some ways. Guess they where right to some extent. Still today a properly restored 99 or 900 OG is a true performance drive and with compared to todays safety standards still as an slightly below average car safety vise . The most intelligent thing to do today with just two Swedish manufacturers of vehicles left, Volvo Trucks and Koenigsegg (Scania Trucks is today a 100% German MAN/Volkswagen company, and ovloV cars is chinese). So this leaves You with three options really if You want to be intelligent. Get a Koenigsegg One:1, a Volvo FH Dual Clutch Tractor or build Yourself a 900/99 car. To make Your decision I have posted a small consumers film here for You.

http://youtu.be/PlFiKo64kQw
http://youtu.be/E5vgJ-LyUSM

Indian and Chinese interest in Saab Cars / NEVS

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 Dongfeng logotype

 

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Mahindra logotype 

 

 

For some days now SaabsUnited have been aware of the two possible new owners/partners/collaborators to Saab Cars. We have decided to lay low with this information since it could potentially hurt the negotiations. SaabsUnited has always had the making of Saab cars in Trollhättan made and designed by Swedish know-how a top priority.

Today the SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg has published an article revealing the two parties interested in Saab, They are Mahindra and Dongfeng.

Mahindra is interested in becoming an owner to a certain percentage. SU sources mention a percentage over 50%. Dongfeng primarily wants to get in on the Phoenix platform. Mr. Fröberg thinks it is odd since Dongfeng bought 14% of the french PSA group for little over 1 billion dollars half a year ago. Dongfeng makes a wide variety of both in house as well as “license” PSA products.

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Some of Dongfengs cars

Mihandra a big indian conglomerate with som 180000 people. They are big in various machinery and make two electrical vehicles as well as the Ssangyong SUV brand. The indian company has an competitor within the borders of the country and that is TATA Motors. A successful company now running luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Mahindra might want to copy that concept, turning Saab into the prestige brand it should be. There is overcapacity of “standard” cars in europe but not for luxury and “boutique” models. The relatively small production facility in Trollhättan might be just perfect. I guess the economy could be good for 75000 car/ year in the 65000+ dollars category. The former owners of SAAB as well as founders way back the Wallenberg Business Empire with SEB Bank and SAAB AB (aircrafts, submarines, military systems), has according to Fröberg good old connections with Mr. Anand Mahindra. This could potentially be very helpful since SAAB AB does not want any publicity that is negative and involving the word SAAB in any way to disturb right now. An informant told me that Dassault French makers of fighter-jets competing with SAABs 39 Gripen on the world scene has shamefully used the trouble in Saab Automobile in smearing the Saab name. Same french company hiring burglars to try to open hotel safety boxes for Saab AB businessmen. (but that is another story). A key question is the rights to the SAAB name on automobiles and I would guess this is the hardest issue to solv. Saab AB does not want any more negative writings, that could be negative for the arms sale.

“We do not comment who we are talking to, but it is two asian vehicle manufacturers. We negotiate / talk, ownership and development of the Phoenix Platform”

– Mr. Mikael Östlund says this to SvD reporter Jonas Fröberg.

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Mahindra XUV 500 Sportz

So my guess is that there is a solution for future car manufacturing in Trollhättan that we can write about here at SaabsUnited before the end of this month. Or why not come with a great Midsummer Nights surprise on thursday before Sweden closes down for a 3 day holiday by many regarded as more important then christmas. A Midsummer present to the Saab World please!

Link to SvD Jonas Fröbergs article :http://blog.svd.se/frobergsbilar/2014/06/16/dongfeng-och-mahindra-vill-at-nevs/

500.000 viewers of my Saab films

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You might be one of that half-a-million viewers who has found me on YouTube as Trued1, could be a pleasant change after having seen Tim´s BMW posting.

https://www.youtube.com/user/trued1

YouTube is something of the best of internet. So easy to upload movies and clips and instant the whole world can see it. I have been uploading mostly Saab related movies for the last 5 years now. A few weeks ago I passed the half million viewer marker. For me it feels goofd to have pleased, so many Saab fans around the world. There has been movies of the struggle of building historic 99 Turbo Rally cars, one of then that Vladimir Antonov drove in The rally to the midnight sun. Other movies has been interviews with notable Saab personalities, guided tours of the Saab Car Museum as well as the Swedish AirForce Museum in Linköping. Tests of Saabs, various Saab meetings and conventions. Well just about anything involving Saab and the culture surrounding it.

http://youtu.be/WpTc3UszxCM

The mostly viewed clip is when I pass a Saab 9-5 NG Police car (one of the test cars that Saab/ANA Trollhättan built for the National Police Board RPS). It is not one of the most technical advanced movies I have shot but it is unique. It was filmed from inside a Volvo C70 Convertible, yes You read it right, but I just drove it down to Kungälv south of Trollhättan to trade it in for the guy who bought my TurboX. I then traded in his Volvo for a 9-5NG AERO 2010 that used to be owned by Saab Automobile.

Other well viewed clips is various how-to-do stuff and products like the electrical harness providing MP3 connectivity to older Saab Stereo Systems. That boosted the sales for that company I can tell. Videos have great impact.

http://youtu.be/dEA_8A9TBGM

In the sequence above from SONY Corporation make sure to adjust the resolution to MAX to see what the future looks like in terms if resolution and definition

SaabUnited can now through me and the cameras I have take on virtually any advanced movie production. Not only professional SONY 24megapixel SLT cameras but also a handful of GoPro and the new Garmin Virb Elite HD with great GPS features. Next step is of course 4K and so far I can do 2160p with my Sony Z2. Hopefully there will be a full out 4K camera system in the near future if the economy allows. Everything for our international audience. 4K is possible to watch on YouTube of You have a computer screen that can show it. I was surprised that my iMac 27″ screens from 2009 can handle 4K. Anyone willing to support my 4K efforts at SaabsUnited are welcome. We have an obligation at SaabsUnited to document not only in writing and in news postings but just as well filming and interviewing significant events, people, cars etc. We at SU Crew has talked about a BIG project documenting Saabs history with modern technologies. We will most probably need support from our readers/viewers, but more on that later.

 

Lightness and Aerodynamics – Saabs Future?

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With the last news coming to our ears in the recent days what I write below is something anyone making cars in Trollhättan in the future should consider not once but twice.

Weight-loss as a method to increase performance in the daily life is known to most of us with a few or more centimeters around the belly or thighs. The same goes for our cars. I was inspired to write this post after having seen the new FORD Lightweight Concept Car in american motor press. It is amazing what can be done today with new production techniques and new materials. Who would have thought about hollow springs or aluminium brake calipers, carbon fiber in seats and wheels. Carbon fiber wheels will finally make them lightweight. Unsprung weight is also good for the chassis performance.

Here is my bold idea for Saab Cars. Hold on to the chairs now boys and girls. Saab´s heritage IS aerospace it is just a fact and right after the second world war soon 70 years ago Saab embarked on a path of making cars with aerospace technology, and brave new concepts like front wheel drive, aerodynamic design by Sixten Sason and others, even if Gunnar Ljungström Chief engineer told me he was not satisfied with the front wheel houses as he called massive air brakes. Various safety concept Saab also pioneered like standard issue seat belts and dual circuit brake systems. Just like in airplanes redundant systems.

The Saab of the future should be constructed with lightweight constructions in focus, just like airplanes, that would bring back the “core” to the brand. Add to that class leading aerodynamics and a for the pilot/driver optimized workplace/cockpit. That environment must be free from “modern” styling cues that seams to be ordered from most of the automotive worlds marketing departments instead of the human factors man machine interaction engineers/psychologists. My professional recipe for this is to look back to the 9000 model some 30 years ago now. Time flies folks but good design does not. Get rid of everything that is shiny and blinds. As an owner of a 9-5 NG Aero I curse the silver chrome ring around the Color Central Instrument and the piece of shiny metal over the colvebox/compartment. I just realize I start to spin in my own area of expertise. This posting is primarily on weight and new materials.

So to conclude this and how Saab Cars could attract the small minority of prospective Saab buyers is to stand out and be truly unique. The majority of car buyers would not even consider a SAAB but that is fine because there are enough buyers with an acquired taste for the unique and special.

– Build the next SAAB from bottom up in lightweight material aluminum and carbon fiber. Lower displacement engine and BHP but with the same driving experience

Skärmavbild 2014-06-11 kl. 10.04.15

– Make the car beat the current class leading car in terms of aerodynamic drag, the Opel Calibra with a Drag Coefficient (Cd) 0,26 number, if Opel could do it 25 years ago what could not be achieved today with better computers for design and fluid dynamics calculations.

– Ride (fly) on the aircraft heritage and set Saab apart from other manufacturers as an engineering driven company. name some of the top-of-the-line cars with distinctive names of famous SAAB planes just like the halo-Model VIGGEN some 15 years ago. A name is so much better for understanding and memorization for most people compared to a silly 9-5 or 9-3..

– Saab is not and will never be for the faint-hearted, put the brand in the same “category” as Alfa Romeo and Citroen. Swedish avant-garde. In this work do not hesitate to look back at old designs that never made it into production from Saabs DesignCenter. Make the Swedish touch from people who lives and breath the clean air here on the top of Europe. Talk to Eduard Gray, Björn Envall, Ola Granlund, Einar Hareide…..(Old Saab designers)  Build competent focus groups. SaabsUnited with our extensive international network must be valuable in this work. Our network of dealers, buyers, drivers, enthusiast, and collectors is G R E A T!

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Above is a drawing by Björn Envall, it is close t 20 years ago he did this but it encapsulate so much that is SAAB, new thinking, bright colors, extreme aerodynamics, low slung, and above all convertible.

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And here is something family oriented. With this post I just want to energize the whole Saab  community do not let the recent negativism let You down there will be a summer with bright light and blinding colors.

Celebrating the women in Saab Rally and Racing

Ramona Karlsson in a WRC rally car
Ramona Karlsson in a WRC rally car
Ramona Karlsson in the Saab 9-3 RallyCross RX
Ramona Karlsson in the Saab 9-3 RallyCross RX


There are just now two great Saab drivers who has made their way into the motorsport that has been dominated by men.

First out is Ramona Karlsson who is driving in the highest class in the FIA Rallycross FX series in a Saab 9-3. The team is organized by Per Eklund who for most younger Saab enthusiast is most known for the record drive up on Pikes Peak CO. USA some years ago with a Saab 9-3 Viggen in Laser red with big wings and spoilers front and back. Per has a few NG 9-3 XWD cars with Trollspeed of Trollhättan engines and pumping out 500-700 bhp depending on the setup. Ramona is now prepared for her first BIG Rallycross race in Portugal. See movie from her preparations, The music in the video is just as swedish as Ramona and her car, it is AVICII. Click HERE! Ramona Karlsson RallyCross

Latest news from Portugal is that Ramona in her premiere came in 6th in SemiFinal 2 scoring 8 points in the overall scoring . Petter Solberg told the press that “That girl can really drive a rallycross car” that is said by a super driver so lets hope that Ramona will be the rising star in RallyCross.

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