What it could have been, the future of the eAAM electric rear axle.

History is what it is, and we are the last ones being able to change it. Nevertheless it is for me interesting to see what it could have been.

In the winter 2010/11 we were quite impressed by videos like this and this. That was the demonstration of a game changer technology, which was at least two years ahead of the closest competitor, and what was most important for us, Saab fans, that technology was planned to be first seen in a Saab car.

eAWD

This was an electric rear wheel axle, which was able to join fun to drive (torque vectoring) with fuel economy (89 g/km CO2). But months later the SWAN Saab Company entered into financial problems, and we all know what happened after that.

During the bankruptcy administration, AAM bought the Saab part of the e-AAM joint venture and searched for new customers for their system.

I’ve been since then wondering where will we see this system for the first time. Now I know that the first concept using the electric rear axle from AAM will be presented at the Geneva Motor Show.

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The Saab 900 SuperAero & aerodynamics issues

When designing a car there are dozens of conflicting issues to negotiate. Some wants a super sporty sleek car other a more family practical oriented. For a manufacturer this is a tough issue to deal with especially when You are a small player with a limited number of lines of models and nothing is then allowed to go wrong the cars just have to sell like cupcakes.

Saab started out of an airplane maker with the range of B-17 Dive-bomber, J21 and the jet powered J21R interceptors, so aerodynamics was nothing new. The 92 model was slick for its time but low speed up to its modest top speed of 110km/h was all-fine. The issue is when going faster, when the airstream over some areas of a car body creates lifting power just like what a wing does on a plane and the 92 was more or less across section of a wing. At high speeds the rear part of the body on the 92-93-96 models create lift, this force has a negative impact in the performance on the road. A tuned 96 V4 with an Sonett gear box (high 4 gear) would make that car go 190 km/h, that is not a pleasant experience, rear wheels hardly touches the ground.

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Driving Habits Polls

Updated: It’s been a few months, but this info is finally going to come in handy for a new series we’ll be starting next week. If you haven’t already answered, feel free to chime in the poll. Also I’ve added one new poll at the beginning related to how many cars are in your household and where you park your car at night and during the day.

It’s taken a while for us to get here, but finally there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I think it’s time to start exploring the possibilities of what a future at Saab could be. As part of my research for a lengthier piece, I need to conduct a quick poll to see how far the average SU reader commutes to and from work and how far they drive on their days off (or if they don’t drive to a typical stationary job). And who doesn’t love a good poll every now and then? ūüôā Feel free to sound off in comments and explain how far you drive and where you are. This isn’t the time to read into the question yet, that’s for the next post I do shortly after we have results. Thanks!

How many cars do you have in your household?

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Where do you most often park your car at night?

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Dr. Saabish: On the Physics of the Front Strut Brace

Dr. Nio Saabish, Ph.D Physics¬†It’s precisely eight past noon. ¬†Normally any resident of the lecture hall would be submerged in complete darkness, surrounded by rows upon rows of empty seats. ¬†Of course, as one would expect, the auditorium’s regular occupants are hard at work preparing for their upcoming mid-terms. ¬†But tonight: is a special night. ¬†For a room that is typically bathed in sunlight, has found itself illuminated by the soft glow of several banks of fluorescent lights.

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While we are waiting…

The announcement is finally near after some days of extremely hot discussions. The aim of NEVS to make electrical and hybrid cars was in the center of those discussions so I thought I’d bring up a a few videos of what a Saab hybrid could be. In the end NEVS may be much closer to Saab’s original plans than we all would think.

Test drive on a forrest track

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Stopping on a dime

One thing that has baffled me when I first joined the Saab community was: “If we love our Saabs so much, why do so many of us expend so much energy with upgrades and modifications”? ¬†But one day of driving Lars-Erik around town: it hit me. ¬†While Saab has opened our eyes to how much our cars can provide for us, they have also taught us to strive for perfection. ¬†There is something about the Saab experience that gives us the burning desire to make our car reach their full potential. ¬†One big step towards that goal was the MapTun software upgrade, which has unleashed the fury of Lars-Erik’s 2.0T engine. ¬†But, when it comes to bringing everything to a complete stop, the powerful brakes of the 9-3 Sport Sedan really were just begging for some brake pads with a bit more grip. ¬†Well, during my previous visit at the local service center in San Francisco, it was clear that my front brakes were due for maintenance. So it was time:¬†I ordered a pair of EBC Green Stuff from State of Nine (distributed through MapTun). ¬† ¬† Upon delivery, the first thing that struck me was how heavy brake pads are. ¬†I suppose that this shouldn’t be surprising as brake pads need to be capable of stopping about 3,200 lbs (1,452 kg) of weight. ¬†Once they are installed, the improved grip of these high performance brake pads is immediately apparent. ¬†With less pressure on the brake pedal, I can keep the car from moving at a stop-light (Yes, I drive an automatic: but remember — San Francisco traffic). ¬†Furthermore, hard stops from high speeds are met with more immediacy as these brake pads will grab onto those discs like a pit bull. ¬†Yes, these brake pads are amazing: better brake feel and great performance. ¬†EBC Green Stuff pads are intended for drivers who spend most of the time on the highways and/or surface streets where heavy traffic is a regular occurrence. ¬†Perhaps, if I lived in a less populated area or make frequent visits to a race-track, I would have went for the EBC Red Stuff, but do bear in mind that those brake pads require slotted/vented brake discs. ¬†This is needed for the inevitable build-up of gases, during hard-breaking, to be properly expelled. ¬†At one point, I actually considered springing for a complete set of Ultimax Brake Discs and Red Stuff brake pads but after careful consideration of my particular use-case: Green Stuff just made the most sense for me.

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TTA Swedish Racing Elite League

Today we have reported on a Team that is going to compete on a Swedish touring car series with a Saab car. Many were impressed by the pictures of a slightly wider 9-3 with racing livery and a big rear wing.

Some have already explained, that the TTA Swedish Racing Elite League a bit of a farce is because in reality it is only a common chassis with common aerodynamics and a common power train but with a different silhouette emulating different cars that race against each other, and not different cars from different manufacturers with their own power train and a chassis.

Currently Saab is in a very weak position, and the fact that one of the main teams in that competition have decided to use the Saab 9-3 silhouette instead of an AUDI/Honda/Alfa/Chevrolet, you name it, is a big honour for Saab. Further the teams competing with the Saab livery will have much more chances to make it on the podium or win races than any “true” Saab could have now. And at last but not least, on May 12 the competition will start and the last race will be on September 29. If the acquisition of Saab is prosperous, this will help polish the image of Saab, if it is not Swedish Saab fans will at least have some moments of joy.

So if you are interested in this race competition, I’ve prepared some facts after the jump.

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