Hello and greetings from Singapore!

Firstly, will like to congratulate the new refreshed SAABSUNITED page as well as the new Svenska Saabklubben Team for taking over this fabulous site that all SAAB Fanatics globally have grown to love and to appreciate over the years.

Personally used to have had the pleasure of 5 SAABs and it has been nothing short of an exciting journey and relatively fuss free.

MY 01 SAAB 9-5 2.0t

MY 06 SAAB 9-5 SC 2.0t

MY 00 SAAB 9-5 2.3T HOT AERO


MY 08 SAAB 9-3 SS 2.0T AERO – VRN “360” as you may have seen in some photos

Will be showcasing to you some images taken by yours truly as well as a short write up of Singapore. Scroll on!



Read moreSAABSTANCE Singapore

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.


Hirsch release 180hp upgrade for Saab 9-5 TiD

If you’ve got the single turbo 160hp version of the new Saab 9-5 diesel, then Hirsch have just released the upgrade to bring some extra boost into your life.

180HP Performance upgrade for the Saab 9-5 2.0 TiD with automatic and manual transmission.

The enormous development and testing effort invested by Hirsch Performance in diesel engine calibration is delivering results.

The high torque of 400Nm is available from remarkably low rpm’s. The harmonius power delivery and wide rpm band provide larger reserves when overtaking and markedly improved performance for the 2.0TiD with variable geometry turbocharger. The fuel consumption remains very low, and the emissions are Euro 5 – certified.

Extensive testing in test benches and on the road ensure the high quality and durability that is expected of a Hirsch Performance product.

Available for installation at your Saab dealership now!

There some extra data here (UK market used).

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!

SU Hi-Po Challenge – entry #1

This is the first submission received in the SU Hi-Po Challenge.

It comes from Eric H, in California.

The first sentence sums up the dilemma nicely, but Eric does go on to elucidate how he’d think about doing a higher performance model.


I’d love to see a high performance option from Saab but they need to have a solid model lineup across the board first, so until the new (or at least extremely refreshed) 9-3 is introduced in a year or so I wouldn’t introduce a new performance trim level on the current car. Also given the time it takes for things like durability and emission testing we probably won’t see a high performance halo car before that time anyways unless it had already been in the works which doesn’t seem likely and I haven’t heard of anything planned in this regard for the new 9-5.

Looking at the model lineup within the next couple years we’ll have a heavily refreshed/new 9-3, the 9-4x and the recently introduced 9-5. For a performance “halo” type car we can probably rule out the 9-4x. While the 9-5 is a great car it’s also pretty big and on the heavy side. To significantly improve performance would require a dramatic increase in power which would come at the expense of fuel economy and increased emissions which goes against what Saab is moving towards in their goal of responsible performance. We can also speculate there’s a chance for a new 9-1 or 9-2, and while I’d love to see one sold that has a performance trim level such as an Aero model, it wouldn’t make sense to have your base, entry level model as the halo car.

That leaves us with the 9-3. This next car may be using what Saab calls their Phoenix platform but in reality it’s still just the original GM Epsilon architecture* which Saab had already tweaked enough to be somewhat different from other GM models (for example the internal controversy of the 9-3 convertible not being able to share parts/platforms when Pontiac was developing their G6 convertible due to the changes Saab made). With GM still retaining a major stake in Saab and with part sharing and other agreements still in place that opens up a wide range of components that Saab could use to build a next generation Turbo X-like halo vehicle, but instead this time backing it up with a true performance increase.

* Phoenix is a fully Saabified platform using Epsilon as a starting point. It will be fully customised to Saabs needs, and be extremely flexible, underpinning future 9-3, 9-4x and 9-5 vehicles. I’m personally very wary of calling it “just the original GM Epsilon architecture” – SW

Assuming that at least for the next couple years Saab will continue to use some or all powertrains sourced from GM and the current 9-3 and 9-5 are already using the 2.0L Ecotec, if I were building a performance 9-3 I’d start with a high output version of the GM “LNF” 2.0L direct injection, turbocharged four*. The current LDK/LHU variant that powers GM cars as well as the 9-5 produces only 220hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and is less than the older LNF’s 260/260 ratings when it was used in cars like the Cobalt SS Turbo, the HHR SS, and the GM roadsters. The reduction in power in for the LHU version used in the 9-5 and other cars was more than likely for emission and economy reasons although the Buick Regal GS is expected to get a version of the LHU making 255hp and 295 ft-lbs or torque.

*Note: According to RedJ, the LNF will not pass Euro5 emissions, making this engine a no-go for Europe. The car will need to be sold around the world. Not dead yet, though……- SW

As the turbocharger and Bosch direct injection system didn’t change on these new variants and GM could continue to use the LNF or have an updated version of the LHU supporting similar power (like the upcoming Regal GS), all that would be required for say 300 hp and 335 ft-lbs of torque would be a recalibration of the Bosch engine management system. GM already spent the development dollars testing and certifying this when they released a dealer installed sensor upgrade and computer reflash for the LNF engine via GM Performance Parts that brings it up to 290 hp and 340 ft-lbs of torque and aftermarket tuning has shown it can support power levels significantly higher than that.

Read moreSU Hi-Po Challenge – entry #1

Update – Hirsch in the US and Canada

There are a couple of updates to be posted following yesterday’s publication of a Hirsch dealer list for the United States.


People should note that Hirsch won’t be available in the US until the second quarter of 2011. A more exact date is not known. The publication of a preliminary dealer listing doesn’t mean it’s available now.

The reason why it will take until Q2 is that certain equipment is needed to do the software updates and they’re trying to secure adequate supply and distribution before things get underway.


As mentioned, the list was a preliminary list and in fairness, it was too early to place it online. It had a good list of Saab dealers, but there are more who are very likely to jump on board (it’s a dealer’s choice as to whether they opt in).

Hopefully a complete list will become available in Q2.


Questions were asked in comments to that post about availability in Canada and whether or not Canadians can go south of the border, get tuned and still be covered by warranty. From what I’ve heard, the answer is “No” to that particular scenario….. BUT……

The good news is that SCNA are currently working with Transport Canada and plan to launch Hirsch products there (no timeframe given) and of course, they’ll be covered by warranty there just like everywhere else.

USA Hirsch dealer listing

Hirsch recently loaded up the dealer listing for the United States on their website. As you can see, it’s a small selection of dealers, but most of the Saab-populated areas should find themselves with some coverage.

The Hirsch website’s listing seems to be sorted by the name of the town the dealership exists in. I’ve organised this one by state, which hopefully might give you a quicker reference.

UPDATE: Whilst this list does appear on the Hirsch website, since posting it here, I’ve been advised that it’s a preliminary listing and may not be a complete representation of dealers that will carry Hirsch products. More may opt-in in the near future.

Also note that Hirsch products won’t be available in the US until the second quarter of the 2011.

Thanks to Sapan for the tip.


Continental Motors, 617 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA-92054, Phone +1 760 722-1868

Mitchell Saab, 384 Hopmeadow Street, CT 06070-Simsbury, Phone +1 860 408-6065

Meyer Garage, 2687-480th Street, IA 50455-McIntire, Phone +1 641 737-2239

Charles River Saab, 570 Arsenal Street, MA 02472-Watertown, Phone +1 617 923-9230

Shaw Saab, 22 Pond Street, 22 Pond Street, MA 02061-Norwell, Phone +1 781 982-7222

128 Sales Inc., 614 North Avenue, MA 01880-Wakefield, Phone +1 781 224-3700

Hyannis Saab, 600 Yarmouth, MA 02601-Hyannis, Phone +1 508 760-2700

Pioneer Valley Sales & Service, P.O. Box 254, MA 01373-South Deerfield, Phone +1 413 665-2140

Stetson Auto Sales, 1174 Eastern Road Route 131, ME 04864-Warren, Phone +1 207 273-2345

O’Connor Saab of Augusta, 268 State Street, ME 04330-Augusta, Phone +1 207 622-6336

Saab of Troy, 1819 Maplelawn, MI 48084-Troy, Phone +1 248 205-1333

Trio Motors, Inc., P.O. Box 190178, MI 48519-Burton, Phone +1 810 742-7250

Morries’s Cadillac – Saab, 7400 Wayzata Boulevard, MN 55426-Minneapolis, Phone +1 952 544-0096

Dana Saab, 2046 Grand Avenue, MT 59102-Billings, Phone +1 406 656-7654

New Jersey
Reinertsen Motors Inc., 295 Route #53, NJ 07834-Denville, Phone +1 973 627-0616

New York
Sports Car Centre of Syracuse, Ltd., 3105 Erie Blvd. East, NY 13214-Syracuse, Phone +1 315 446-5010

Checkpoint Foreign Car S&S Inc., 487 Kenmore Avenue, NY 14223-Buffalo, Phone +1 716 836-2033

Brownell Motors, Inc., P.O. Box 413, NY 12524-Fishkill, Phone +1 845 831-3000

Kunkle Motors, RR 1, P.O. Box 386, PA 18612-Dallas, Phone +1 570 675-1546

International Motors Ltd., 540 S. Washington Street, VA 22046-Falls Church, Phone +1 703 534 0770

P J’s Auto Village, 2073 Williston Road, VT 05403-South Burlington, Phone +1 802 862-0875

Hirsch Performance: Saab USA upgrade availability

I have received a list of vehicles for which Hirsch Performance – Saab’s official tuning house – have received the OK to provide vehicle ECU upgrades.

To give you an idea of the process involved……

This list comes from an Executive Order issued by the California Air Resource Board. Each of the vehicle congiurations on this list had to be tested and certified in order to be given the tick by CARB. This is a lengthy and expensive process, especially with this number of vehicles involved.

If your car is on the list, then you should be able to access a Hirsch ECU upgrade (costs for which are as yet unknown) from your local Saab dealer if that dealer is one that’s been approved for Hirsch distribution.

Here’s the list (click).


Congratulations to Hirsch for finally making it over the pond an into the US market. It’s been a long time coming, and is a breakthrough that’s well deserved.

Saab performance by Hirsch

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