My new Saab…

I want share a story and some pictures with you. Since I have vented the interest for my old Saab some people had wondered what I’m up to, here is the answer…DSC_0352_su

first_testdrive_thnFive years ago I bought a M04 9-5 Aero sedan (actually I got it just in time for Saab festival 2010), and thought I was going to have this car for 3 to 5 years, and by then trade it in for a newer, but a used Saab. The original plan that came to me after a year or so was to buy the new 9-3, that from rumours was going to be about M98-M09(M10 SC) 9-5 in size, and my hope was of course that Saab decided to do a 3 door variant. I was at this time not considering the new 9-5, because of its size and a preview during the winter there I didn’t like the interior – or more specific the quality of it. But the time went on, and the 9-5 was growing on me at the same time a new 9-3 getting longer away from production. At this time we have summer 2012, and at this time ANA Trollhättan had a lot of used Saabs, so one day I decided to drop by them. I was not looking for anything special, but a test drive in a 9-5 was “the mission”, since I only had tested the 2.0 TiD 160hp at this time. So after a talk with one of the salespersons, he said he had the right car for me. That was a 2011 220hp 2.0T BioPower XWD, and I took it out for a spin. As some of you guys know I have a thing for red cars, so it wasn’t bad at all that the colour was just laser red! I took it from ANA and headed down to Grästorp and back to Trollhättan before I drive through the ciry centre on the way back to ANA. I was a bit disappointed when I parked the car at ANA, for the first I thought the 220hp engine didn’t had enough power in combination with the XWD, and the standard comfort seats in textile/leather didn’t suit me at all, the seats was far to flat so my legs didn’t have the support I wanted.

saabspotting_thnSo after this I change my plans a bit and start searching for a M08-> 9-3 SC – 2.8T Aero or a TurboX. 2.8T because I know the 2.0T wasn’t a alternative for me, but it was hard to find a car that meet my requirements for equipment and colour. So in spring 2014 I still drove my 9-5 Aero, and was still searching for a suitable 9-3. But during summer 2014 a friend with a 2010 9-5 Aero XWD introduced me to the 260hp software update from Hirsch, and that can I tell you – it is a HUGE difference from the standard 220hp program. Suddenly the 9-5 was the hottest candidate to a new car, and I start the search for a suitable car. But what about the car from ANA? A few weeks later from I had my test drive it was sold to a local man in Trollhättan, and every-time I saw that car later I sent it admiring glances, and from time to time took a picture… So it was decided, I was now official looking for a new 9-5 Aero, 2.0T BioPower in laser-red. Unfortunately isn’t laser-red the most common colour for 9-5, so we wrote December before a car came up for sale. This was a FWD that not have so mush extra equipment over standard, but I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately was the seller that was a dealer with just used cars not serious at all, he didn’t pick up the phone or answer my emails. So after a short time that car was sold, so I continued my search. So after a few weeks a red Linear came up for sale, but that was not a alternative – so in March this year I found a new red 9-5, this time a Vector. But there is something that says “history repeats itself”, and that was what happen this time. Got respond on my first email, after that it was silent on mail and phone… The car was removed from the classifieds after a short while, but it is still registered to the same owner as it was – and on the used car dealers website it’s still out for sale, they even adjusted the price a few weeks ago… 😉

But at the same time there came a other red 9-5 up for sale – and this time it was “my” car, or more correct the car I test drove. OK, it was not a Aero, but it had the Hirsch software upgrade and was great equipped with a “Active” package and some extras over that as HUD, lane departure warning (LDW), Traffic Sign Reading (TSR), key-less go and Bluetooth. So after some emails with the seller (that was absolutely a serious seller) I decided to go for it. Got a friend of me in Trollhättan-area to inspect the car since I live in Norway, and to make a long story short it ended up with that I make a agreement to buy the car. So last Friday I travel to Trollhättan by plane and train to pick up the car and close the deal, and that was for sure a great feeling! The only thing what is better then a used Saab is a new Saab, and since the things are as it is a the moment we have to manage ourself with the used ones… My new Saab is a two owner Saab, ANA Trollhättan had it first as a company-car for one of their employees, and the second owner was the man I bought it from. So this one is absolute a Sab that can be called a Trollhättan-Saab! So this weekend I drove about 11-1200km in my new Saab, and the only thing that disappoint me is the “comfort”-seats.
That was something I know about, and one of the most important upgrades will be to get the sport-seats that Aero have as standard fitted. On the other side was as I already mentioned the Hirsch program something that impress me, the car itself is also handling like a Saab. It feels secure and it handels very well both on minor roads and on the highway.
At this moment I’m not allowed to drive it since it not registered in Norway, I have to wait for a time at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, so they can approve the car for Norwegian roads. Then I’m “allowed” to pay duty for it, and when that is OK I can go back to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to collect my plates.

Further plans for the car is to add some Hirsch details, and the front and seats from Aero. Maybe will there be something more later, but time will show.
Finally, some pictures from Trollhättan, and the way back home. As you see we stil have snow in Norway!

Saab 9-5 Supplier listing

Here’s a great diagram, sent to me by Thomas W.

It’s from Automotive News Europe and you can download the full-size PDF here (right click, save as).

Saab 9-5 suppliers

I’m always amazed at the complexity of the car business. It’s something we all take for granted. Not only do you have the challenge of designing this machine that’s got to be comfortable, reliable, etc, but you’ve got to manage all the suppliers and the just-in-time manufacturing process used for manufacturing that machine.

It’s amazing stuff.

This just in from the Mirror: Clever People Drive Saabs

Thanks to Joe in comments, we all get validation of what we’ve all secretly, or not so secretly, thought for years: Clever people drive Saabs.

You doubt me? Have a look:

From the Mirror comes this delightful piece by Richard Hammond, a noted UK automobile journalist.

Mr. Hammond recognizes three things that make this article a beautiful read for Saab aficionados:

1. Saab is different, and different is good.

[The Saab 9-5 is] aimed at BMW’s 5 Series and the Mercedes E-Class. Big targets, but not everyone wants to own a German saloon car. And as you can see, the 9-5 looks very different.

2. Saab has turbocharging down to a science.

Our test car is the 9-5 Aero 2.0T, which means that it’s powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 217bhp. Turbocharging is another Saab speciality.

Saab’s 900 Turbo wasn’t the first car to be sold with a turbo (a Chevrolet was) but it was a pioneer all the same.

* Note: I’ll over look the omission of the Saab 99 Turbo. Unless you’re an “insider”, you can’t get all of the history right.

3. Saab’s 9-5 can be compared to the best of the best.

Jaguar XF 3.0 – The best Jag in decades. Looks different, great interior and good to drive. The Saab’s closest rival.

Thanks for making us all feel better, Mr. Hammond.

Friday Snippets, New York Media edition

Things are still popping up all over the internet from the Victor Muller / Jan-Åke Jonsson show tour through New York. Those guys (along with Mr. Colleran and Ms. Tinson) must be absolutely exhausted.  I know that Swade is always saying that Victor Muller has no “off” switch, but these constant appearances are grueling for everyone.

Click to watch Messrs. Muller and Jonsson on CNN Money.

VM and JAJ on CNN Money


I don’t know Matthew DeBord.  I was unfamiliar with his writings until today.  He has a blog called Shifting Gears published on a financial website here in the United States.  His writing credits include the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Mr. DeBord is a fellow Saab enthusiast, and he’s interested in creating a montage of stories behind the Saabs purchased during the dark times of model year 2009.  So, if you bought a Saab in 2009, please give him your story.  He’s offering some swag for the best of the lot, so sharpen your pencils.


From comes this review of the 2010 Saab 9-5.

Their contributions to the conversation are thus:

This is one seriously handsome car, and it should inspire plenty of customers to visit a Saab dealership for the first time. The cabin is equally uncluttered, though perhaps a little too empty looking for some people. I personally like the faux jet-fighter ambiance which, at best, brings to mind Saab’s roots in aviation. At worst, the dash is too dark, and could do with a few more bits of aluminum trim to liven things up.

Saab estimates the Aero’s 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time at 6.9 seconds, which is peppy but not pulse-quickening fast. There is very little engine noise and the 6-speed automatic did well to keep up with my driving demands, especially when quickly switching from aggressive driving to a leisurely pace. The ride was nicely controlled, yet the brakes could use a firmer bite when really pushing hard on them.

Mildly positive.  WARNING:  He uses the “q” word.


Finally, our new-found friend, Ms. Liz Claman of Fox Business News, claims to be a Saab lover in her cheery blog entry encapsulating her recent feature on the new Saab 9-5.  She signs it “Liz “Always-wanted-a-Saab-but-never-got-one” Claman”.  Works for me.  Ms. Claman:  You know where to find us.  It’s never too late to follow your dream.

Note to Saab Cars North America:  You have a potential spokesperson there.  Just sayin’.


Post Script:  I’ve thought about Jan-Willem Vester many times this week and I must say that even though I didn’t know him as well as others may have, I miss him and I am saddened that he’s not around to see the new 9-5 and all of the buzz surrounding this car.  He has a small part of each of these cars to his credit.  J-dub, you are missed.

Saab 9-5 Launch Video On YouTube

Thanks to several readers via e-mail and Dippen in comments, here’s the video available on YouTube, which is a much more accessible venue.  (The links were previously posted here.)

Kudos to all that asked questions.  They are/were very good questions and they were all pointing towards Saab as an enthusiast brand.  No other brand takes questions from their audience, to my knowledge.  Excellent!



1.  A couple of commenters noted that many of the comments were the same that JAJ and VM mentioned at the Saab Owner’s Convention in Aurora, Ohio.  They are, of course, correct right down to the video and JAJ’s comments about the verbiage about selling colors in a black-and-white video.

2.  JAJ’s comments about “heritage” and making Saab “even more unique” is still music to my ears.

3.  Interesting that JAJ mentions that the “A” luxury segment will have significant growth through 2020.  He also claims that Saab “owned” that market in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

4.  2012 is the target for the “all-new 9-3”.  That is pretty aggressive, folks.  Take into consideration that they’ve only just hired the chief designer.  Wow.

5.  VM:  He’s like a broken record thanking the enthusiast community.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of hearing it.  Way to go, Swade!!

6.  The 2010 Saab 9-5 spoken of as a lynch-pin of the business plan for Saab.  VM gives GM credit for realizing the mistakes of the past and allowing Saab to reclaim some Saab DNA with the Aero-X.

7.  Profitability in 2012 because the company will have three brand-new designs in the showrooms — the new 9-5 will be the oldest of the three!  VM reiterates that Saab can be profitable at a 100,000-unit volume.

8.  Victor needs to be careful how he says “flocking”.

9.  Saab and Spyker will be a “two-way street” relationship.  Both companies will help the other.  Interesting.

10.  “One of the most attractive heritages of all automotive brands.”  – Victor Muller

11.  August 16th again mentioned as the Canadian launch.

Complete North American Saab 9-5 Launch now on line

For all of us that couldn’t attend yesterday’s launch of the Saab 9-5 at the Scandinavia House in New York City in person or via the web in real time, the complete video has been posted on line.  Here it is:

Click to watch the Saab 9-5 Launch on the Saab website
Click to watch the Saab 9-5 Launch on the Saab website

(If you’ve not registered, you may try this link, but in theory we all must register, even after the fact, to see the video.)

It is about 45 minutes in length.  Many of our readers commented on the North American Saab 9-5 launch event in this previous post.  I have yet to watch the full length of the video, so your reaction will be as fresh as mine.  Please fire away (like I can stop you!).

Quick Media Update: VM and JAJ to appear on Fox Business News

Just in from the Twitter feed of Liz Claman of Fox Business News, our own Victor Muller and Jan-Åke Jonsson will appear on that network at 3pm EDT this afternoon, July 26.

I do not believe that I’ve ever actually watched any Fox Business News network programming in the past, so, if you’re like me and need to know how to tune in, the channel finder is on the Fox Business News front page.

(Comments about the relative merits of Fox News will be deleted. This is not a media or political forum. Thanks in advance for your restraint.)

Huge ups to Brett for posting the video in comments, here it is!!!


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