Monday Night Mega-Snippets – Happy/Sad edition

I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along a belated, but very happy 82nd birthday wish to Mr Saab, Erik Carlsson.

His birthday was last Saturday, March 5th.

50 years ago, Erik nearly took a placing in the Monte Carlo rally driving a station wagon. He finished fourth. Some brief video here.


I had a chat with Manfred from Hirsch, at the Geneva Motor Show. There are some new body kit items coming from the 9-5 soon. They look fantastic from the early imagery that I’ve seen, but they’re not ready to be shown yet.

What he could talk to me about was this new, lightweight wheel. How light? The wheel itself weight just 11 kilograms. When you put a tyre on it, the weight doubles to 22 kg.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of a wheel being the same weight as the tyre that’s placed on it is a bit of a mindblower.


A note from TTELA about the Saab factory:

Saab will be going to maximum production in the next few weeks thanks to strong orders towards the end of February.

Sounds like those Independence Day announcements have caused some interest.


A tiny bit of Djup Strupery….

Talk has come through that the Saab 9-5x has been signed off very recently, for release in MY2013.

We watch and see.


And speaking of the 9-5, if you’ve never seen Saab’s U-rail system in action, there’s some video here demonstrating it from Geneva on the new Saab 9-5 SportCombi.


TreeHugger is the Anti-NTP.

It’s great that Saab is thinking about hybrids and stop-start systems and all that, and it’s not nothing that a car this sporty can get in the mid-40 MPG range, but for a concept car that is supposed to be forward-looking, it’s not enough. It just doesn’t cut it these days.

It’s a CONCEPT you bunch of double-rainbow dreadlocked moonbeams.


An image from comments…….. by Jeff the resident photoshopper


Last, but by no means least….

Vale David Calabrese

Many Saab fans and club members in the US are mourning the loss of David Calabrese last week. David was tragically struck down in car accident in Chicago.

My correspondence with Dave was minimal, but it was very obvious that he was a passionate Saab fan. He wrote to me several times earlier this year telling me about observations he made at Saab dealers and auto shows that left him very concerned for the brand, some of which I passed on to Saab in North America.

I’ve had a number of people write to me about his passing and it’s quite obvious that he was held in very high esteem by all. It saddens me that I never had an opportunity to meet this old-school Saaber.

David Calabrese was 70 years of age.

Saab 9-3 Griffin spotted in Trollhattan

UPDATE: Now with video!

If these cars are out on the streets, they will be seen. If they can be seen, they can be photographed.

Below we have what appears to be a Saab 9-3 Griffin. The Griffin is part of the enhanced model range that we believe will carry the 9-3 through to the end of it’s life when an all-new 9-3 replacement vehicle comes. This photo gives you a better look at the new front bumper treatment, with the bigger and more 9-5-like front foglight surrounds. As the car is in Java Metallic, the black surrounds aren’t as easy to see as they would be if it’s a lighter color, but they’re there.

The changes are subtle, but there, and it does look a bit racier. You’ll also note the Griffin badging on the side (which is the biggest giveaway of all).

Comparative image of a 2011 Saab 9-3 in Java, below…..

The 9-3 Griffin is said to have some subtle interior upgrades as well, with the biggest change to the car being the installation of the same direct injected 2.0T engine as in the Saab 9-5 making 220hp instead of the current 210 with better economy expected as well.


Saab 9-4x: US key equipment listing

I’ve just had some (update) information about the Saab 9-4x DjupStrupped through to me and figured people might want to know what’s going on with Saab’s first ground-up crossover when it comes to market.

The following table summaries some of the key equipment and the manner in which it will be available amongst the three model lines of Saab 9-4x that will be offered in the United States.

This is not an exhaustive options listing, obviously, but has been put here just to provide a basic overview of some of the packaging that will be available for the 9-4x.

Equipment included in the various packages has been listed below the table.

[table id=11 /]

Power Pack: Auto dimming Inside and Outside Mirrors, Memory Mirror Settings, Power Adjustable Pedals, Power Liftgate, Riewview Camera Displayed in Inside Rear View Mirror, Heated front Seats.

Tech Pack: Front and Rear Park Assist, Bi-Xenon Cornering Headlights.

RR Pack: Rear Seat Dual Display DVD Screens, Remote Control, Auxiliary Jacks, 2 Wireless Dual Channel Headsets, Heated rear Seats, Tri-zone Auto Climate Control System.

Tow Pack: Trailer Hitch

Interior Colors: Jet Black, Gray, or Parchment

Exterior colors: Diamond Silver*, Black, Atlantic Blue*, Zodiac Black*, Crystal Red*, Ice Pearl*, Birch White, Cobalt Gray*, Moreland*

* = metallic (extra $)


For those coming across the Saab 9-4x for the first time….

  • The Saab 9-4x is the base model, with a 3.0L non-turbo V6 engine.
  • The Saab 9-4x Premium has the same engine but an expanded equipment list.
  • The Saab 9-4x Aero is the top-line model, with a 2.8T V6
  • The base model and the 9-4x Premium will both have FWD and XWD sub-variants, making for five models in total. It’s unknown if equipment will differ between a FWD and XWD version of the same model, aside from the drivertrain.
  • Further specs, as of November 2010, are available here.

Saab 9-5 SC spyshots

Here it is. The first Saab 9-5 SportCombi spotted in the wild.

The car was seen earlier today, out in the open, in Trollhattan. This car will make its public debut at the Geneva Auto Show on March 1.

Thanks to Djup Strupe for the images.


Saab 9-5 SportCombi

The car was badged as an Aero TTiD and it’s certainly got some significant road presence.

The registration information on the car is as follows:

Registreringsnummer: LFB248
Fabrikat: SAAB
Färg: SVART Fordonsslag: PB
Fordonsår: 2011 Fordonsslagsklass: I
Chassinummer: YS3GR5MK7C9000003
Senaste EU-regbevis del 1: 2010-12-16
Senaste EU-regbevis del 2: 2010-12-16

Postnr: 461 80 Förvärvsdatum: 2010-12-15

Read moreSaab 9-5 SC spyshots

Tuesday Snippets – Farago edition

The Saab/BMW news is all over the interwebs and it’s all been positive (aside from TTAC, see below).

We’ll have to wait for the press conference to see what the actual agreement brings to the table. Will it be more than architecture and/or diesel engines? I don’t know.

But personally speaking, I think it’s going to be absolutely fantastic, both for the expansion of the vehicle range and the perception of Saab in the marketplace. I’m pretty amazed at some of the reasons put forth in comments for reservation about this potential deal. The idea that this deal could ‘turn Saabs into BMWs’ is just really shortsighted and doesn’t give Saab’s excellent engineers any credit IMHO. Hang your reservations at the doors, people, and see what happens.


Our mate Rune has been to meet his new ride…..

Rune Saab 9-5

…..unfortunately there’s some problems with the road and registration authorities at the moment so Rune’s plates haven’t arrived yet. Agonising!


I never thought I’d ask for Robert Farago to be reinstalled at The Truth About Cars, but it seems the inmates are now running the asylum. Farago was grumpy and critical, but at least he was predictable. This guy’s just freaking nuts!


Another ‘different’ Saab is for sale over at Saabnet…..

Stretch Saab 900


And then there’s this….. pre-production, and a sequel to the rear shot shown yesterday…. click.

Saab 9-4x front

Looking absolutely fantastic!

Possible Saab dealership setup for Canada

I’ve been tapping some sources in Canada since the announcement and in a Djup Strupe manner, this is the outline I’ve received for the dealership setup there at the moment.
This isn’t confirmed yet and as you can see there are some that are still in talks and yet to be appointed.
Vancouver – 1 ready to go another in talks for total of 2
Calgary – 1 ready to go
Edmonton – Working on options
Winnipeg – 1 ready to go.
Toronto – 2 ready to go. Hopefully 1 more to be found.
Kitchener – 1 ready to go.
London – 1 ready to go
Ottawa – 1 ready to go
Montreal – 1 ready to go and looking for options.
Quebec City – 1 ready to go.
Halifax – 1 ready to go
St John’s – 1 ready to go.
That’s 12 ready to go with another one in talks and several markets looking at additional options. The announcement mentioned around 20 dealerships being the starting point, so I’d imagine some of those options are starting to take shape already.
Names of dealers haven’t been mentioned but I’d imagine most of these markets had a dealer previously and it would be those same dealers in most instances.
It’ll be interesting to see if any new dealerships pop up.

Djup Strupe and a Saab 9-3 V6

As you might know, the 2010 Saab 9-3 is not offered with a V6 engine. I don’t know and haven’t heard anything, but I imagine that could be the case with the 2011 model as well.
I’ve just heard some news from Djup Strupe, however, that gives V6 aspirants some small cause for hope. This one is unconfirmed at this time, but the source is well placed so it’ll be interesting to hear if there’s any further developments on this.
The news, as I’ve heard it, is that there is a reasonable overage of V6 engine stock and that a limited run of Saab 9-3 sedans and Sportcombis, with the V6 and auto transmission, is being contemplated at the moment.
There’s no other news as to what sort of package might be assembled around that drivetrain, but my own personal opinion is that it could be a good basis for a Viggen edition of a 9-3 or something similar to establish some credentials under the new ownership.
Anyway, take it as unconfirmed but well sourced for the time being and watch this space.

Saab 9-5 tentative pricing – Netherlands

The following has been lifted from an early Saab 9-5 product sales guide prepared for the Dutch market.
It’s several months old and it’s unknown if these were initial ‘guesstimates’ of the prices of the cars and options that will come to market, or if these prices will stick.
The scan shows prices for several models as well as some of the options that will be available.
Before you go and hit the currency translators, you should bear in mind that each country has different taxes etc that factor into prices. The Dutch apparently have a CO2 tax that hits cars, especially larger cars, pretty hard. This may not be present in your market, so take these figures as ballpark only.

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