March 1, 2013 in Sotw
March 1, 2013 in Press Releasse
SAAB STILL ACTIVE IN THE UK SUPPORTING OWNERS
Over 65 years Saabs have become synonymous with stylish aesthetics and robust build quality. Perfecting the art of turbocharging to optimise both performance and economy, a number of Saabs have developed an enthusiastic following, like the 900T16S. Some have even transcended into icons for the brand, like the 9-3 Convertible.
Originally introduced in 1986, Saab offered a real alternative for the discerning buyer looking for a premium convertible. Comprehensively equipped and powered by efficient 2.0-litre turbocharged engines and latterly strong diesels, the capacity and functionality of the full 4-seater soft top won over many hearts and minds. And with supply of some 35,000 units to the UK market over 25 years in production, the 9-3 Convertible remains relatively exclusive.
As the first convertible car to achieve the coveted 5 star NCAP rating, the 9-3 Convertible is something of a secret amongst Saab enthusiasts and not widely acknowledged by the market at large. Offering motoring style in abundance, coupled with low running costs, the Saab Convertible is a real used car bargain.
With Spring just around the corner, it will soon be time for all those Convertibles to take to the roads. And to help prepare your car for the season ahead, Saab Parts UK is pleased to announce a Spring Service Offer for all Saabs, including a free MoT in March, for £299. Available exclusively at Authorised Saab Service Centres and using trained technicians to fit genuine Saab parts provides further peace of mind from a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.
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Just recently saabblog.net brought up an interesting story. Back in the 90s Saab Germany wanted to revive Saab’s motorsport heritage. So the company of Uli Weinmann, a German engine- and tuning-specialist, was assigned to turn the 900 II into a Group A racecar.
While the car was a 900 II from the outside, the inner tech already based mostly on the coming generation of the 9-3. Thus the modifications on the car were used to obtain Group A homologation for both the 900 II and the 9-3.
The 2.0 engine was equipped with race pistons, camshaft and camshaft drive were changed and adapted and the cylinder head and air intake was modified. The turbocharger was reworked at Turbotab, the Cosworth wastegate strengthened and the engine management was replaced by a fully programmable version by Weber Marelli. Further adaptions included two oil coolers, a different intercooler and a lot of small changes on suspension, brakes and steering.
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This past Friday night over 250 of Saabs faithful came together under one roof at the Simeone Museum to share a night talking about the cars and people that make Saab so different. This is an event that will not be forgotten by those in attendance that got a chance to speak and listen to the former head of Saab Cars North America and present head of Saab Parts North America, Tim Colbeck. Victor Muller former owner of Saab Cars and present owner of Spyker was scheduled to have attended as a speaker but had to withdraw at the last minute which sounds like a big let down and to some I’m sure it was but Tim Colbeck did an amazing job of taking over as a main speaker and his personal stories really showed everyone how dedicated he is to the Saab faithful and brand. Tim along with John Moss and Bill Jacobson were great and very appreciated by those in attendance.
When I spoke to Harry Hurst from the museum this week, he had said that Dr. Simeone had said of the event:
“This was the biggest – by a factor of two – event of this nature that we’ve ever done. It is a testament to the loyalty and love that Saab owners have for their cars.”
February 28, 2013 in Fan Stuff
I once tried to get one but never succeeded. Just recently our friends from German saabblog.net managed to buy the stock that was left over at the company that made those samples.
They are now for sale on their shop in a wide range of colors but only in limited numbers of course, so it’s first come first serve.
February 26, 2013 in Dealer Profiles
If things had gone a bit different a view like this with 9-3, 9-5, 9-5 SC and 9-4x side by side would have been rather normal. But we all know how things went for Saab, so meeting this range of cars on a dealer lot tells a lot about the amount of dedication that is involved in their business.
Saab Service Lafrentz in Kiel, Germany has been selling and servicing Saab for more than 25 years and even after bankruptcy they’ve never stopped. As the flow of new cars from Trollhättan ended they put a focus on finding pre-owned cars. They also have already imported two 9-4x, one more is right now on its way to Germany. When the auction of those 9-5 SC in Sweden took place they also bought one of them.
It’s rather unlikely that this car will ever go on sale (as it is drven by Markus Lafrentz himself) but through the experience with that car Saab Service Lafrentz became an unofficial competence center to get the 9-5 SC street legal here in Europe. As I heared they are right now helping other owners of this rare car to get the needed approvals. It was said that those could not be obtained but never say never…
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Recently we read about NEVS contacting select Saab dealers across Europe. What we hadn’t heard and were immediately being asked about was, what about North America?
Well, I can now tell you that as of Friday morning all US and Canadian dealers who have information on file with SPNA have received the same letter. This had been in the works for a while with European dealers first followed by all of North America and was discussed at NADA last week.
I’m sure this won’t ease everyones worries about wether or not NEVS/SAAB has plans for North America but I can tell you that I have seen the letter and believe that this is yet another good sign to things to come.
We are heading in the right direction and things just keep coming into place.
February 25, 2013 in Fan Stuff
In january my wife got her first Saab, a white 2008 9-3 convertible.
The car is a beauty, although since we bought the car we only had a few sunny days, and those days where too cold to drive with the top down. But every car admits some slight changes to make great looking car even better. And after reading Tim’s article on his girlfriend’s car, I got a little bit jealous.
This time I wanted to make its fascia a little bit prouder of being a Saab, and for that last Friday a package with this arrived at my place.
Yes it is a 9-3 Griffin centre grill.
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February 25, 2013 in Editorial
Through my network of car designers I have been recommended to get in touch with a British born guy living in Vargön (Wolf’s Island). Vargön is just a couple of kilometers north of Trollhättan.
Since design in the recent years have grown to become the number on assett when selling cars I feel it is very important to keep the discussion on this dear topic. What is underneath the curved sheets of metal is today not of such big importance since most modern cars are adequate in terms of driving behavior and safety. Very few has he capacity or the knowledge to press a car to its limits. Many manufacturers work hard on putting well designed cars on the roads. Just take a look at the Range Rover Evoqe and the MB CLA class or the brand new Alfa Romeo C4 or the coming Alfa Romeo Gloria that came out of a design student competition at IED in Italy.
Eduard Gray is a talented 36 year old (very Swedish to tell a persons age), he designs not just cars but also yacths. His company is called Grey Design http://graydesign.se/2/ Some years ago he did a new take on the Ursaab.
He told me that he is working on both a new 9-3 as well as a 9-5 Read the rest of this entry →
February 25, 2013 in Jason Castriota Design
There are few things that people within the Saab community have been more eager to see than the Jason Castriota version of the third generation 9-3. Even though bankrupcy came the interest never really died. We all were extremely eager to see what was hidden behind factory doors in Stallbacka.
After a few blurry renderings from a rather early state of design surfaced a few weeks ago we got a first impression of what it had looked like. Then yesterday we could publish two more pics of the design mule. This time in better resolution, but still hard to judge as they were little more like snapshots from only two angles. One even more important point that maybe did not come out clearly enough yesterday is that those pics do not represent the final version of the design, it’s more like half way.
That wind tunnel model was created in September of 2010 – just a few months after Jason came onboard – and represents a stage where design vision and engineering needs were brought together for the first time. The result went through first aerodynamic tests to evaluate where additional work was needed.
Ever since I saw the first pics I was amazed how much it absorbed some core lines of the 900 (or 99) without being a retro design. For me personally it was a proof for Jasons ability to adapt Saabs design heritage and transform it into a fresh design. While the Phoenix concept was more like the classic Castriota field of supercars I was now convinced that he could really come up with a fitting design for a high volume model.
To clarify the evolution of his design a bit more Jason was kind enough to help me by setting the pictures we saw until now into perspective regarding the state of development they originate from. He even added more pics from various states of the process and described the process a bit from his point of view.
Month 1-4 – first sketches, first 3D math model, first full scale presentation model
February 24, 2013 in News
Last week’s episode (season 3 episode 10) of Top Gear (US) featured a 150 mph challenge: Get to 150 mph in the cheapest vehicle possible.
A ’95 Trans-Am ($2600), ’94 Infiniti Q45 ($1700 + $700 nitro conversion…) and Tanner picked a 9-3 Viggen ($3500).
“You and I both have V8s rear-wheel drive, Tanner has a front wheel drive four cylinder…” teased one of the two guys who (*Spoiler*).
If you own a Viggen, used to own a Viggen, has sat in a Viggen or just stalked one in the museum, this Top Gear (US) episode is for you.
Update from maanders in the comments section: Looks like this episode will be repeated here in the U.S. on the History channel at 11pm EST on Tuesday
February 20, 2013 in Jason Castriota Design
SaabsUnited can finally bring you the 9-3 prototype, designed by Jason Castriota. The first images of this car was sent to us in early august 2011, these were three blurry computer generated images that has not surfaced until february this year. Why we waited to release any images or photos until now was out of respect for the work that Jason Castriota did for SAAB and in the hopes that the car might one day actually be produced.
We have since then received a number of images and photos of varying quality. During this time we kept a very good relationship with Jason and now it seams that this car will probably never be built, however it does not mean the end of this story.
Being able to present this car to the world in the way we do here, we hope that it will gain the recognition it deserves and that it could one day lead to a situation where we can take our place behind the steering-wheel of a Saab, once again designed by Jason Castriota. Over the past 6 months I have come to know Jason well and I’ve come to greatly respect him and the work that he did. Everyone of course have different taste but when you really understand how and why a car was designed in the way that it was, you come to respect and in the end appreciate the car in a completely new way.
So the time has come for us to present the SAAB 9-3 Phoenix. Its mission, to replace the current Saab 9-3 Griffin that was in production until 2011. Shortly after Spyker took over SAAB Automobile AB, about two years ago now Jan Åke Jonsson & Victor Muller got in touch with critically acclaimed designer Jason Castriota, Jan Åke Jonsson gave Jason the mission to design a new replacement for the aging Saab 9-3, another important piece of the mission was also to reduce current design costs by as much as 40%. They met first in Geneva and then again a month later in New York.
In 2007, GM made a design study in Rüsselsheim, Germany for the replacement of SAAB’s 9-3 line. Simon Padian supervised the design language but the general work was performed in Russelsheim and Detroit where GM had placed the majority of its designers and engineering assets. This study resulted in a clay model and a number of computer models which we have presented here previously. Designing a car is a major undertaking and Saab in 2010 needed a replacement for the 9-3. The management at Saab felt that a new design language was needed in order to further separate Saab from GM.
Jason Castriota’s mission from Saab was to design a car that captured the historical roots of the company while bringing out something new that could be based on the new flexible PhoeniX-platform that Saab had developed for a couple of years. Another criteria was that everyone needed to instantly see that the car was a Saab, without looking at the logo, while at the same time feel that the car was ground breaking and new. Having these criteria in mind you can understand the difficult job Jason was given, considering the long and important history of different designs that Saab has. To keep thing simple, Jason was given free reign to create a car within certain limitations and this is what he accomplished.