Saab Snippets – April 24

Swede Team Motor commenced it’s 2006 season this weekend at Mantorp Park.

I’m hoping to provide some ongoing coverage of STM’s season here on Trollhattan. The team runs two 9-3 Sports Sedans, one on gasoline and the other running on diesel. They also have a Saab96 that they’ll be racing in some historic races when the time comes.

Their site is mostly in Swedish, but there’s plenty of good photos that we English-speakers can dribble over at the link above.

STM 9-3 SS Aero.jpg
Photo: stm / Jonas Stellemark

If anyone can link me up with some Per Eklund news, I’d be grateful. The usual source is quiet at the moment.

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I received some great photos from Mats of a race meet he went to over the weekend. I’ll post them later today. Needless to say they made me shudder when I saw what they were doing to those poor little 99’s, which are a rarity here in Oz.

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Targa Tasmania starts tomorrow. I did some pretty full coverage of this event last year as there was a Saab 99 Turbo entered. Contrary to the entrants list (xls speadsheet), Dan won’t be bringing the little red 99 down to Tassie for this year’s event.

I’ll probably still get along to view a few stages on the weekend, though.

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Occasional TS commenter Tom Lease has had an article featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, reproduced on SFGate.com, about his ride, a 2001 Saab 9-5 Wagon.

Looks like it’s a column entitled “My Ride”, where people write about the car they drive and what sets it apart.

Way to go, Tom!

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I found some photos of my first Saab over the weekend. A shiny, red 1972 Saab 99E. It was in magnificent condition, body-wise, though it had a few mechanical issues.

Seeing it again almost made me cry. My ex-wife wrote it off and whilst that’s not why she’s now my ex-wife, let’s claim it as a contributing factor for the purposes of this blog.

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My queries about the size of the Malaysian Saab market have been answered. They’re hoping to sell 50 of the new 9-5’s this year, which will make up about 35% of group revenue.

Let’s call it ‘small’ for the moment, but growing.

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1 Comment

  1. Some Saab news, with a grain of salt šŸ˜‰

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/66732/storming_saab_ready_to_tackle_tt.html

    Tuesday 18th April 2006

    It’s been cleared for take-off! Saab’s jet-inspired sports car concept has been given the green light for production, Auto Express can exclusively reveal. Our sensational main picture in this week’s issue is of the firm’s all-new Roadster. It’s a two-seater Audi TT rival that borrows its styling cues from the amazing Aero X show model, and goes on sale in two years’ time. Priority is being given to production of the Roadster, which will also be joined by a new CoupĆ© version, as Saab seeks to capitalise on the excitement generated by its Aero X, which we drove in issue 903.

    Saab has distilled the essence of the supercar-sized concept into its TT rivals. While the Aero X’s canopy-style roof will be replaced by a powered folding soft-top, the production version will turn just as many heads as the original. It gets a wraparound windscreen, while featuring the same aggressive front end, pronounced wheelarches and chopped-tail look as the show model.

    Also debuting in 2008 is the CoupĆ©, which will have a 2+2 layout. With rear seats suitable for occasional short trips or extra luggage space, this variant will play the role of the traditional GT. As with the Roadster, its look will draw heavily on the Aero X, and includes such details as LED tail-lights. However, with the engine mounted transversely above the front axle – rather than longitudinally and behind it, as on the Aero X – the designers will have to work hard to carry the concept’s lowbonnet over on to both models.

    Based on General Motors’ all-new Theta II platform – which also underpins the next 9-3, due in 2008 – both newcomers are to be offered with a choice of two and four-wheel drive. Power is to be sourced from GM’s turbo-charged petrol engine range; the entry-level model features a 170bhp 2.0-litre unit, while all-wheel-drive top-of-the-range versions are to be fitted with a 250bhp 2.8-litre V6 twin-turbo.

    Transmission options will comprise a six-speed manual, plus a sporty VW DSG-style twin-clutch system. Buyers can also expect the engineers to tune the handling to make both models the most involving Saabs ever, with sharp steering and immediate responses.

    As well as the lowdown on the Roadster and CoupĆ©, Auto Express has details on a whole new range of exciting Saabs, the launches of which herald the dawn of a new age for the Swedish company. Designer Anthony Lo told us: “A crossover SUV will arrive first, followed by the next 9-5. Both cars will be inspired by the Aero X.”

    The first of these, badged the 9-2, will make its debut in 2007. Based on GM’s Delta platform, the crossover is to come in three and five-door guises to compete with the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series, as well as Volvo’s forthcoming C30. In the same year, the new 9-5 saloon will debut.

    Looking further ahead, the range will be completed by a large SUV – based on GM’s Epsilon 2 platform, as used on the next Vauxhall Vectra – due in 2009.

    Sam Hardy

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