Saab Pride – New Mexico Saab Double (Triple) Style

Saab Pride Road tests give readers a few stats and photos but when it comes real life, owning a Saab is the only way people will ever get to know how good and how much fun they really are to live with.
That’s why for a couple of years now I’ve been asking people to send in their Saab stories, along with a few very good photos as well. We call it Saab Pride.
Today’s entry is from David and Lisa, who have a couple of very nice Saabs, a good location and a story to tell.

Welcome to New Mexico, USA!
We, David & Lisa, decided to take advantage of one of our state’s natural and most unusual geological wonders, White Sands Monument and Missile Range to shoot pictures of our Saabs. White Sands Monument lies in the southeastern New Mexico at the northern end of the Chihuanhuan Desert surrounded by stark mountains. Pure, white, wave-like, gypsum sand dunes range 275 square miles of desert originally formed millions of years ago at the bottom of a shallow sea. Gypsum is rarely found as sand because it is water soluble but the lack of drainage and precipitation give the world this extraordinary place to enjoy. The monument only encompasses a small part of the dune area while the rest of it is restricted for military missile testing.
I started our adventure without David. I went down mid-afternoon to scope out the best places for pictures and to take the opportunity of the sunset and its colors against the silver of my 9-3 SportCombi. As you get deeper into the dunes, the whiter the sand, the less vegetation and more variety of dune shapes avail themselves for photo prospects.
Later that evening we attempted some night shots near the Alamogordo Airport.
We found out by accident that the road we were shooting on was attached to the county detention center. We had a scary moment when we noticed the bushes were answering back to us! We cut our photo session short.
The next morning we arrived later than planned by stayed several hours to catch the changes in the light.
When the sun was high overhead, it was time to have some fun in the sand with the cars.
In order to make the cars spin and burnout, you have to turn off the ESP (not advised by Saab). Lisa, being a first time Saab owner of only 3 months, required our help, (David & my friend, Michael) to show Lisa how to spin the car.
Both of us attended the Aero Academy driving school at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia and we had a fine time showing off our ability to spit up the sand.
The best part about visiting White Sands was its other worldly qualities. From the time we got there in the morning with the sun rising until it was burning down upon our heads, it was easy to lose perspective on where you are on the planet, or even question which one you are on. When standing on the tallest dune, the white sand stretches out for miles and miles confusing your sense of reality. The heat and extreme brightness brought our time to a close at this alien landscape with one last shot of the classic Saab “S” to send us home.
My thanks to David and Lisa, and if you want to see more photos from this series (bigger ones, too) then you should click here.

2010 Saab 9-3 and 9-5wagon – official news from Germany

Benjamin K has shot through some news about 2010 model year Saab info being released in Germany.
There’s nothing on the all-new 2010 Saab 9-5 sedan in the release, but we do have details relating to the 2010 Saab 9-3 range that will be sold in Germany and the Saab 9-5 Wagon (which will still be based on the old model, presumably for another year).
This information builds a bit more on the 2010 Saab range information we saw from the UK at the end of May.
Benjamin’s summary:

  • The 2.0T gets 240 hp instead of 210 and there will be a 2.0T BioPower XWD with 210hp (the same as in the 9-3X, I guess).
  • The TTiD gets the already mentionned fuel saving mods (139 g/km of CO2), and
  • There will be a “TX edition” model which features sport leather steering wheel, carbon fibre interior trim, black leather seats, dark exterior applications, 17″ or 18″ alloy wheels, tire pressure control and heated seats for the Aero. (so it’s basically Turbo-X stuff)
  • The 9-5 SportCombi gets a “summer package” with sunroof and ventilated seats with memory.
  • Arctic white is now available for the whole 9-3 range and there will be the new metallic colour “Gletschersilber” – glacier silver in English.

And here’s the Googletrans of the full release:
Saab Turbo Power: sporty, economical, environmentally conscious
Saab launches into the new model year – sporty and environmentally conscious at the same time. …….. the Swedish automotive manufacturer’s entire model range [has] a powerful drive with Turbo. The base engine of the 9-3 series is the 1.8-liter petrol engine with 150 hp (110 kW), it remains for the low starting price of less than 28,000 Euro net there.
As a new option complements the environmentally friendly BioPower 2.0T engine now in conjunction with the ultramodern Saab XWD all-wheel technology, the broad portfolio.
Thanks to advanced engine technology, Saab has also on numerous gasoline and diesel fuel generators and thus the CO 2-emissions reduction. The best example of this is [the] strong 1.9 TTiD engine. With 180 hp (132 kW) and for this unusual class Capacity 400 Nm maximum torque accelerates the 9-3 Sport Sedan in just 8.5 seconds from zero to 100, 225 km / h top are in it. At the same time needed the car in Drittelmix 5.3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, which corresponds to a CO 2-emissions of just 139 grams per kilometer.
Pure athletes – Turbo X-timers in the Saab 9-3 learn
The fact that environmental friendliness of all the exclusiveness and sports character of Saab Cars crucial parts of the brand philosophy, the new TX Editions for Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, Sport Combi, and Convertible proof: An interior in carbon optics, black leather interior with perforated and Applications Sports leather steering wheel and anthracite-colored exterior decorative elements give driver and passengers of the typical turbo X-esteem.
The vehicles, limited to 2,000 special-edition model last year caused a sensation and was sold out within a few weeks. Well, the Saab 9-3, the top athletes Tradition in optics and haptics continued. The design-oriented Editions TX packets with 17 – or 18-inch alloy wheels, Reifdruck control as well as the Aero Package with heated seats for driver and front passenger, customers can now at attractive rates from 600 to 1,800 euros order.
Another highlight, while new top model in the 9-3 Turbo Reigen: increases in the Saab Aero 2.0T version of the performance. There are now 38,450 euros through powerful 240 hp (177 kW) instead of the previously familiar 210 hp (154 kW) available.
Saab 9-5 Sport Combi – gen comfortable summer sun
Just in time for the beginning of summer is also the Saab 9-5 Sport Combi on the hot days of the year: The sporty and elegant facilities Vector Griffin Line Edition can be used with the new summer package will be upgraded again. Ventilated, electrically adjustable seats with memory function, and the glass-Hubschiebedach increase the comfort – and let the heat out. The package provides retail options to a price saving of 585 euros net.
The tendency to clear, bright finishes Saab comes immediately after a double way: This is already from the Saab 9-3 Convertible famous Arctic White is now also available for the entire model portfolio, as well as the noble, completely new shade glacier silver metallic. The fresh colors are just like all other innovations now available to order.

New Saab 9-3 for 2011?

It appears that the following is not to be as I’ve interpreted. Thanks to the German-speakers who have chimed in via comments to explain the quote.
Opel will be producing Buicks for the US and parts for Saab and will get their own new architecture in 2011.

As much as we’re anticipating the new 9-5, especially the Combi, and a large portion of people expect the 9-4x to well in selected markets, the one car that Saab need, perhaps more than any other, is a new Saab 9-3.
There’s an interesting interview with Klaus Franz, the head of the union at Opel, where he possibly gives a further hint that a new 9-3 may be expected in 2011.
The original German is as follows:

Welche Auswirkungen haben die Pläne des Magna-Konsortiums auf den Standort Rüsselsheim, vor allem auf die Arbeitsplätze?
Rüsselsheim ist das Herz der Marke. Das Entwicklungszentrum und das Werk haben eine hervorragende Zukunft. Es war richtig, dass die Arbeitnehmer 1998 das neue Werk mit durchgesetzt haben. Ich gehe davon aus, dass wir nach einer Übergangsproduktion von Buicks für USA und Teilen des neuen Saab 2011 eine zusätzliche Architektur bekommen.

Now, I’m only using Google Translate so it may not be totally accurate, but it does mention architectures for a new Saab in 2011.

What impact have the plans of the Magna consortium on the location Ruesselsheim, especially on jobs?
The development center and the plant have an excellent future. It was true that the workers in 1998, the new factory have prevailed. I assume that we have after a transition of production of Buick for the U.S. and parts of the new Saab 2011 will receive additional architecture.

Shifting the text around for grammatical differences, I tend to think that’s talking about production and parts for Buick in the US and a new architecture for Saab in 2011.
Of course, we’ve heard previously that the next Saab 9-3 will be on a marginally smaller architecture referred to as Delta II, which is used as a basis for the new Opel Astra. The Saab 9-3 will be 8 years old by 2011 and well in need of a new base.
The talk is that prospective buyers of Saab saw an early full size rendering of a proposed 9-3 whilst touring around the Showroom of The Future a few months ago. There’s no real opinions that have flowed through to me from that car, just one quiet muttering indicating some reservation, but it IS an early prototype and if you’ve seen some of the early renderings of Saab in the past, you’d understand any reservation.
Given that it’s now mid-2009, a new 9-3 by 2011 sounds alright to me.
Thanks Peter!

Saab Pride – 9-3 in PA style

Today’s Saab Pride entry comes from Ray L-S in Pennsylvania.
My car is a 2004 9-3 Aero 6spd with a custom intake/exhaust and a chassis brace. During the summer of 2007 I was shopping around for a new car, but after weeks of searching I all but gave up. On my way home from a run along some back roads I passed a used car dealer and something caught my eye. Not because it was flashy or screamed performance, but its subtle yet aggressive lines and stance grabbed me. I turned around and much to my surprise it was a SAAB! (old man car stigma).
I thought I was losing my mind, but the next day I took her out for a test drive and I was sold immediately. As soon as the salesman said go ahead and open her up a smooth surge of power from the turbo and surprisingly stable chassis kept a grin on my face the entire drive. That day I traded in my old car and bought my first (of many to come) SAAB.
The first photo was taken behind the Goggle Works in Reading, PA. The Goggle Works is an interactive arts center, which offers everything from carpentry and glass blowing, to dance and indy films. I chose this site because the industrial building with the crane coming out of the side creates a dramatic background without taking away from my car in the foreground.
Ray Saab 9-3.JPG
The second photo was taken at the entrance gate to the Charles Evans Cemetery in Reading, PA. This spot was chosen by randomly driving by the archway and thinking the old architecture (high ceiling and arches) would make my car pop out of the photo.
Ray Saab 9-3-2.JPG
I love my SAAB, but I must say the best aspect of owning a SAAB is the community that comes along with it. From simply going on forums to gathering at SAABs at Carlisle, you cannot find a better group of people with a common passion.

Meanwhile, back in Trollhattan….

I got an email from ‘Barracuda’, who’s recently spent a little vacation time in Sweden, taking in the sights of both Stockholm and Trollhattan.
I feel intensely jealous when I get stuff like this, but anyway…..
Two years ago this month, back in June 2007, I was in Trollhattan for the Saab Festival. The 2008 refresh for the Saab 9-3 was due to be unveiled on the final day of the festival, but there were a reasonable number of 2008 models already being driven around on the streets there by Saab employees.
Fast forward to 2009, and whilst I’m not sure there are any product debuts planned for the Saab Days activity that’s happening next month, it seems some of the new models not officially available just yet are making the rounds on Trollhattan’s streets.
Barracuda snapped the following shots for our mutual enjoyment. There’s more over on his Flickr account.
A Saab 9-3x in red, with XWD, tootles around the streets of Trollhattan.
A TTiD model, parked in the factory carpark.

Read moreMeanwhile, back in Trollhattan….

THAT Saab 9-3 from the carpark out the back

This car caused plenty of conjecture when I showed it yesterday.
Fortunately the original photo was much larger than the one I posted, so I’ve been able to isolate a close-up of the car so you can see the details.
Here’s a standard 9-3 rear section for comparison…..
And a close up of the rear wheels.
I don’t know what’s going on with it. Much bigger rear wheel arches by the look of things, though I’m not sure why.
It might be one of the tech guys having some fun for all we know, but it’s good to get glimpse at these things.

Help John: Saab 9-3SC vs Saab 9-5 wagon

I got an email overnight from a Canadian reader, John M.
He begins thus:

I didn’t buy my first Saab until about 13 years ago, a ’83 non-turbo 900 for my wife. I was told at the used car lot that I would be nuts to take it to the local Saturn-Saab-Isuzu dealer for servicing, but that the local independent expert would do a good job servicing the car. That same week I bought a *shudder* Chrysler *Cringe* mini van that I needed for work. I naively thought that the Saab would likely be more trouble as it was older and didn’t come with a warranty. Well needless to say I am now looking to buy my seventh used Saab and I don’t know if I could EVER buy American again.

These Saabs do have a way of working themselves into your lives, don’t they? They’re a bit like pets but faster, more obedient and in most cases, easier to sit on.
Anyway, John’s contemplating picking up another Saab for the family garage and continues as follows:

Question- I am considering buying a used Saab 93 or 95 wagon, probably a 2005 or ’06. My heart says 93 Aero but there is a bigger discount for older 95’s. What do you think?

I’ve passed on my opinion, which is that if they’re around the same price, I’d look for a 9-5 Aero wagon. The B235R engine is a cracker, they’re well equipped, safe, well sized and easily upgradeable if you want a bit more poke.
I do love the Saab 9-3 SportCombi. A 2006 model Aero with the V6 and button dash would be a dream come true.
But at similar money (if that’s indeed the case) then I’d have to pick the 9-5 Aero. Especially if it has ventilated seats 🙂
Comments are open for your thoughts on the 9-3 vs 9-5 wagon debate.

Saab 9-3 TTiD by Hirsch

How abouts a little visual feast to divert your mind from all this news?
How abouts a little Hirsch action? TTiD Hirsch action, to be specific.
Belgian website Auto55 did a recent review of the Saab 9-3 TTiD SportCombi as modified by Saab own factory tuners, Hirsch Performance.
I think this is a nice little visual reminder of what we’re all cheering for: a stonkingly good, fun and practical every day car. I don’t think it gets any better.
Click to enlarge:

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