Saab on Amazing Race Australia

As a fan of The Amazing Race it was great to see them using Saabs when they were in Sweden during the last season. Now I’m watching the first season of The Amazing Race Australia, which I recommend to any Amazing Race Fans.

In the latest leg the teams find themselves in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Those of you who have been avid followers of SaabsUnited for a few years, do remember the link Saab has with Port Elizabeth, South Africa?

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400+hp 9-3 trackdays

In mid February Swade posted about a 9-3 tuned by Maptun performance to 415hp.

Last weekend the car was tested at the trackdays at the Snetterton circuit(GB).

The test went quite well, as the biggest incident took place in Holland, where the driver behind the Maptun 9-3 was too interested in the car and rear ended the car.

The guys from Maptun(white car) where invited by NeoBrothers(yellow-black livery).

You can get more details of the whole story at the new Maptun blog.


Electric Saab 96 at

Brandon Hollinger is a guy who some of you may have heard of before. There was a few articles about his project at Saab History a year or so ago.

Today, his endeavours at electrifying his Saab 96 (as if it wasn’t electrifying enough!) have been covered online at

Hollinger got serious and in 2008 bought the 1970 Saab on eBay and combined it with some parts from a 1968. Then he used a regular three-month winter break from the theater in 2009 to go electric.

Hollinger had to fashion mounts for the motor, the controller, and the batteries.

And now that he’s had it running for well over a year, he’s actually looking to do it for others….

Now BH Electrics (Hollinger’s home business) has gotten the endorsement of the electric vehicle supply and engineering company Electric Vehicles of America. Bob Batson, owner of the Wolfeboro, N.H., company, said he and his handful of employees put together the engineering calculations plus a manual and DVD specific to the vehicle.

It would be strange to see this little car whistling down the street but on the other hand, it’s kind of cool that a Saab 96 is getting a second chance and making a statement like this.

Have any of you ever considered taking an old, clapped out Saab and giving it a new lease of life this way? According to the article, it’ll cost you around $10K to do this to an existing car.

Hmmm. $10K on a restoration, or $10K on electrification. I’m not sure I’m that big a treehugger just yet. But it’d sure be interesting to see the results and try them out.

Help wanted – armrest booster for Saab

I got the following email from Nigel P earlier today and I think there’s probably someone out there with some knowledge of a solution.

I am looking to buy a Turbo Edition 9-5 , one of the last made. For fuel consumption reasons I may go for the 1.9 TiD and have it “Hirsched”, but may go for an Aero having had 3 in the past.

My question is: I need to have a customised arm rest. I had a stroke last year and my left arm gets very tired on longer trips so it needs to be supported. The current one is not really high or long enough.

Do you know of any company that can provide a customised arm rest for a 2008-2009 Saab 9-5?

I’ve already pointed Nigel in the direction of State of Nine, who sell armrest boosters for a variety of Saab models.

Does anyone else know of any solutions? There might be someone else out there with a similar need and all advice would be welcome.

Maptun crack 400hp for T8 tuning

Here’s one for the hi-po buffs.

Maptun have broken the 400hp barrier on a T8 tuned Saab 9-3 2.0T. The car is actually a 2005 Saab 9-3 but it’s been updated with 2010 panels and lights for the front and rear.

I love the carbonfibre detail work on the front there, too.

Enough about how it looks, though.

From the Maptun website…..

MapTun Performance is proud to claim the performance crown in T8 tuning – The magical 400 hp limit has now been broken.

The test car, a 2005 9-3 Aero equipped with our Quaife gearbox, reached an impressive 415 bhp and 450 nm of torque in our Rototest facility. A lot of time and effort has been spent fine tuning the software to limit the torque to a level that is suitable for the setup.

The car will be driven to England to participate in a trackday on the redesigned Snetterton Cirquit the first weekend of March. There it will face strong competition from Porsches, Ferraris and other supercars. In other words, a great opportunity to put much more expensive cars to shame. You will be able to follow the whole endeavour on the upcoming Maptun Blog.

It’s good to see Maptun planning for a blog to keep people up to date on the their latest products and achievements. But that aside…..

Performance like this doesn’t come easy. The list of engine changes is considerable….

  • Maptun Individual software
  • GT2871R
  • Tubular exhaust manifold
  • 630cc injectors
  • Maptun IC
  • Maptun inlet pipe
  • Ferrita downpipe
  • JT 3″ catback twinpipe
  • Wössner pistons
  • Maptun 450 Nm clutch
  • Quiafe 6-speed gearkit

And that’s before you get to the cosmetic/aero changes. There are still more changes to come, with upgraded brakes and interior being added to the car soon.

Keep an eye out for that track day video. I think it’s going to be a cracker!

Custom Saab Badges

I was looking for something on Google Images the other day and was struck by the number of custom Saab badges that different people have made over the years.

I guess it’s become a lot easier to design your own badge these days, with companies like Heko and others online (if you know of another good custom badge place, let us know in comments).

Here’s a selection from the ones found on Google earlier today. A few have been featured on these pages in the past, but there’s a bunch of new ones there as well.

SnowSaab 900

Remember last year, when Gunnar L built a Saab 92 out of snow? His reasoning at the time was that he needed to burn off some of the food consumed at Christmas 🙂

Christmas has come and gone once again, and Gunnar (and family) have been busy burning off those Christmas calories building a new Saab outside the family home.

This time, they’ve built a classic Saab 900 from the snow.

It all starts as a mound of snow…

With the odd sprinkling of water, the mound is shaped roughly into a car shape (looks quite Saab 96-ish at this point, yes?)

Keep on sculpting and eventually, you get to carve out some details….

Until you finally get the finished product….


The full photo set is available on Flickr.

I wonder what kind of Saab Gunnar and the family will come up with next year? I vote for the Aero-X 🙂

Saab, by a nose!

My thanks to John J for sending through these photos of a project racer, featuring Saab on the nosecone.


The racecar in the photographs was constructed by a student organization called “PACE”, or Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education.

Sponsoring companies include General Motors, Siemens, Sun Mircrosystems and Belcan Engineering (where John J has worked in a consulting capacity since retirement from GE Aviation). These and other corporations have partnered with 26 schools worldwide to enable engineering students to gain practical knowledge along with classroom training.

The project was created by the late Ralph Anderson, CEO and founder of Belcan which is the project’s largest financial sponsor. Parts of the car were supplied by various participating corporations, the front wing being furnished by Saab. It’s great to see the Griffin emblem leading the way in this worthwhile enterprise!


I’m not sure what part of the Saab organisation provided the front wing of the car, but by the GM logos on the outer edges, my feeling is that it may have been provided a little while ago.

The car will not be raced at all. It’s purely an engineering and learning exercise. Still, the Griffin looks good on the front of a racer, doesn’t it?

Congratulations to all the students involved in building it.

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