Report from Pebble Beach – Part 2 – a test drive

This is the second of two reports to come in from Pebble Beach over this last weekend.

It comes to us from James C and I figured people would be interested in reading this one as it’s another of those “One man’s test drive” type articles. For many, the opinions of potential buyers just like them is the most important opinion of all. Well, here’s a quick one that I hope you enjoy.

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Thanks for the alert about Saab being at Pebble Beach. We went over (we live in Pebble) looking for the Saab tent. Found it and what an awesome car.

We took it for a spin and I am pleased to report that there were no rattles, which on the roads around here means something. The rep tells me that the 2.0 is much smoother than the old 9-5 setup. We drove the Aero since that is all they had.

Considering all of the cars around here, particularly this week, the 9-5 stood out. From the moment I got in and pushed the start button, it was sweet. It drives like a Saab. If you have owned a model year from 2000 or later, you will know what I mean.

The steering feels somewhere between the 9-5 and 9-3 whether in sport or comfort. An intuitive feel. And of course, sticks to the road like it is on rails. All the gadgets were cool, but the parking sensor picture on the display was the best I think – particularly the front sensor. Seats were good, but maybe a tad stiff. But, what a driving experience – which is why we own them – and safety of course.

My wife just could not believe how well it drove. Which is good since she is representative of a large market. I could not help thinking, when watching her reactions while driving, what the designers had in mind.

I don’t know if you experienced this when you drove one, but you can see with this car where Saab is headed. If they can make their numbers and this car gets through an iteration or two, it is going to evolve into something incredible, I think.

Report from Pebble Beach – Part 1

I received this from Michael L, who popped in on the Concours D’Elegance and associated displays at Pebble Beach over the weekend.

Great report, and great photos as well. As you can see from Michael’s report and the number of people looking around the Saab/Spyker pavilion, the new company did well to be there.

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Hey Steven,

I was in Monterey this weekend and went to the Coucours show at Pebble Beach today. I got some pics of the Saab/Spyker tent that I wanted to send to you.

I will say that it was incredibly good to see Saab on display there with Spyker. It seemed very fitting and there were lots of people milling about. I overheard many stories that all seemed to begin with “You know, years ago I had a Saab and I loved it.” They were right down the way from Lotus and Porsche, so they had some distinguished company.

They also had a fleet of 9-5 Aeros parked out front that you could sit in. No test drives today, unfortunately (they did that on Saturday). They also had a very rare 1956 Sonett on display.

I got a look at the black plastic dash panel which, in truth, doesn’t look all that bad, but I saw the textured piece on the car at the LA auto show and I have to say that looked stunning. The sooner they can get that into the cars, the better.

Interestingly enough, Jason Castriota was one of the judges at the show. When they announced his name they mentioned all the styling houses he worked for and then talked about his recent appointment to head of design at Saab. Ian Callum, current head of design for Jaguar, was also one of the judges.

Overall a great show, and it was really good to see Saab there.

Click the images to enlarge.

Saab and Spyker at Pebble Beach Concours

Saab have been hosting some media at Pebble Beach the last couple of days. That much I knew.

What I didn’t know is that they’ve set up a very nice looking pavillion for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which is on this weekend.

Sander Van Djik, the marketing maven from Spyker, has taken some images and shot them up on Flickr so that we can all have a look.

The following images show the pavilion under construction and a few of the cars they’re displaying there. Click the Flickr link, above, for more.

Pebble Beach is on the top shelf of auto events world-wide, so this is a big thing for our little Swedish company (and no drop in the ocean for Spyker, either).

Only 175 cars get to go in the actual concours event each year so its the finest of the fine there and a whole bunch of automotive appreciators coming to look at them.

Saab and Spyker people, do enjoy!

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