Sometimes it’s great to be an Aussie. Our cricketers are the best in the world, as are our beaches, special forces units and apparently, our V6 engines.
What’s not amongst the best in the world are our journalists.
Picking up on the fact that the 9-3SC (2.8 V6 turbo) and the Alfa 159 (3.2 V6) both have variations of GM’s global V6, Jonathon Hawley of the Sydney Morning Herald figured a perfectly logical thing to do would be to compare these cars against each other and both against the Holden Commodore (3.8 V6).
Unlike Alfa’s 3.2-litre, naturally aspirated V6, Saab chose a smaller 2.8-litre variant fitted with a turbocharger.
Parts sourced from all over the world – including the block, which now comes from Mexico – are assembled at Holden’s Fishermans Bend plant, then exported to Sweden or Italy for fitment.
So it was fascinating to drive both cars to compare with the Commodore.
So what was the result of testing 3 engines with common roots but different displacements and configurations?????
The upshot was they were so different in character, you’d be hard pressed to notice any similarity.
The Saab’s engine feels smoother than the Alfa’s, even if it lacks some of the aural drama and top-end power. But combined with a remarkably smooth, six-speed auto, there’s no doubting the Saab’s drivetrain is refined, stolid and gutsy, while the Alfa’s makes all the right noises but needs coaxing. All of which sounds like two different automotive characters perfectly defined in two similar lumps of metal.
Yes, I’m an Aussie, but I’m considering Canadian citizenship, OK?