Sorry for the lack of posting over the weekend and the lack of replies to emails. Not too well at the moment. Will see the local quack this morning, let’s just say it’s a visit I’m not looking forward to.
With all the activity this month I completely overlooked the fact that Trollhattan Saab had its first birthday earlier this month. The first entry was made February 7 2005. Shortly after I started the blog the 9-3 SportCombi made it’s Geneva Motor Show debut. What a year it’s been since: the 9-7x has started selling, the partnership with Subaru has dissolved – taking with it the 9-6x and the future of the 9-2x, the new 9-5 has been released, the V6 engine has come along, the Biopower engine has started selling in various markets and now, the Aero-X will make it’s debut tomorrow.
That’s not a bad news year for such a little company. In that time, Trollhattan Saab has moved from a Typepad domain to its own domain and grown from 20-30 page views a day to an average of 5,300 page views a day this month. There’s been just over 700 different articles published and over 2,700 comments made. Personally, I’ve increased my knowledge abou the Saab company at least 10-fold and I also managed to fulfil a dream this year with the purchase of my Viggen.
Thanks to everyone that visits here for coming back, spreading the word and being so supportive of the site. Your comments, contributions and thoughts are always more than welcome.
Less than 24 hours now to the unveiling of the Aero-X. I have a feeling that the car is going to be much nicer to look at in the flesh.
I’ll have a video feed of the unveiling available to all comers from around an hour after the event itself. If I can figure it out, I may even manage a live feed. Stay tuned.
Some of you in the US may have seen a WSJ article on “manwagons” over the weekend. Apparently that’s the new term being bandied around for vehicles like the 9-3 SportCombi. The article compared such vehilces as the Audi S4, Merc E55, Saab 9-3SC, Dodge Magnum and Volvo V70R. I haven’t read it as it’s subscription only, but thanks to Walt, I got a quick overview in my inbox:
In addition to saying some very nice things about how much fun to drive the Sportcombi was (as well as saying it was the most fun per $ of the bunch), I thought it was great that the Sportcombi was being thought of in such fine company (the S4 was the main alternative to the Viggen for me). The main downside of the Saab for the reviewer was the lack of hp, but that seemed to be more than made up for by the fun factor.
Carl chimes in with his first 2006 9-5 experience during a visit to a Saab dealership he once worked in:
I ducked out the side door of the building, key in hand, and made my way to the silver 9-5 2.3T sitting outside. The appearance is more striking in person than any photo can really express, more like a Chevrolet product than Saab. Moving on to the interior, the seats were heaven, everything else is rigid plastic. I started the car up, relieved that the belt warning sound wasn’t the same as the 9-7x sitting in the showroom. There was a good 2″ of fluffy stuff on the ground and, unbeknown to me, Pirelli P8 all-season sneakers on the 17″ wheels. I took off in search of solitude from the Saturday afternoon traffic and found myself heading out of town towards the highway.
Before I had a chance to even come within a mile of an on-ramp, I decided it would be best to take the short cut back to the dealer and not deal with idiots coming off I-95. The 9-5’s handling in the snow, despite the lack of snow tires, was incredible. The manual controls on the steering wheels are instant response now, as they don’t have to
communicate through the SID to get to the transmission controller. The car felt much more solid than the previous two variants (having worked at the dealer from MY99 through MY2002, I drove my fair share of them). I was not able to fully gauge the uprated B235 engine, but I’m sure it’s one hell of a yank when you step on the pedal without the snow.
The new audio head unit brings out the best of that good old Harman/Kardon amplifier under the dash with more audio settings (bass/mid/treble/auto-eq) and of course, integrated XM. Yeah, I’d miss the SID and would have trouble going back to reading all the stats under the speedometer, but this update is a welcome change and I am certainly one to recommend this car to anybody in the market for a fantastic car.
Hold on to your hats, people. Geneva’s coming up. And i still believe that there may be more for Saabisti than just the Aero-X. Time will tell.