There’s a few 9-5 themes running through my head at the moment. The first of which, is why can’t they sell more of these vehicles?? I mean, everyone I’ve heard from that has one, loves it. Maybe the ones that I don’t hear from are the ones that have had problems. Sludging is definitely an issue, at least with the earlier vintage. But from those that do talk about them, I hear nothing but good things.
Personally, I think Saab should perhaps make this the year of the 9-5. But that’s me.
So here’s a few bits of 9-5 news, all of which makes me think there’s an aligning of the stars happening for this car – let’s hope GM can put it all together and make the most of the opportunities that come their way this year.
News Item #1 – Autoblog cover the 9-5 biopower ‘concept’
The bigger, faster and impervious-to-evil-rays version of the 9-5 biopower has made it’s press debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. This is the Biopower car with the mean 2.3 litre HOT engine.
The combination of the super-powerful donk and the 100+ octane rating of the e85 fuel means that this little Biopower Beast (click here for the full article on this car) can apply a whopping 310bhp to the road, via an elephantine 440nm of torque.
Picture via Autoblog.
I love the word elephantine.
Anyway, this is a concept only at the moment so all you horsepower freaks need to check your woodies at the door…..for the moment anyway. Which leads me nicely into 9-5 Snippet #2….
News Item #2 – Autoblog are also reporting that a big theme of the GM presentation in L.A. was the promotion of e85 as a platform for delivering environmentally friendly transpotation. GM marketing guru, Mark LaNeve spent some time in his address giving the hybrid hype a swift kick in the cohunas.
The big ticket item in this article, however, is something else – a joint demonstration between the state of California, Chevron and Pacific ethanol. They’ll be trialling at least 50 FFV vehicles (but not Saabs) in the demo. Pacific Ethanol, which has one Ethanol plant in Cali already under construction, also has plans for the construction of four more plants.
Now for the 9-5 themes running through my skull. Let me try and piece them together.
- September 2005 – the new Saab 9-5 debuts at Frankfurt Motor Show.
- Back in September 2005, 2 US Senators propose legislation to provide tax breaks for FFV buyers.
- December 2005 – the US government commits to millions of dollars into an e85 viability study for commercial production and distribution, with the prime focus of the industry being robust enough to supply the US military in an appropriate capacity.
- October 2005 – Saab 9-5 Biopower sales start to take off in Sweden
- December 2005 – Saab have met their 2006 sales targets for the 9-5 biopower – in 2005.
- January 2006 – The 9-5 Biopower ‘concept’, featuring a much beefier 9-5 setup than the one currently available in Sweden, debuts at the LA Auto Show.
Can anyone else see the convergence here? Well, let me gaze into the trollhattan Saab crystal ball for a moment……
- ????? 2006 – Saab USA announce the proposal to produce and market the 9-5 Biopower concept vehicle as a production model. Pre-release cars are made available to the motoring press as part of the fleet at what is becoming Saab’s traditional 10-yearly gathering at Talladega Speedway in Alabama. Here, the press and factory drivers go about setting a bunch of new records for speed and endurance.
Hmmmmmm, sound fanciful to you? Well, let’s watch, wait and learn about whether or not a bunch of suits earning six figures can see the way the wind’s blowing.
There’s plenty of reasons to bring this car to market, not the least of which is the fact that it runs perfectly well on regular gasoline when the owners can’t get e85 (which is most of the time in most of the US). A release like this and an event like Talladega to show it off could be exactly the spark the 9-5 needs in the North American market.
I’m sure an event and a release like that couldn’t hurt in Europe either.