Saab Mondayitis

Apologies to those that may have wasted some bandwidth checking this site over the weekend. In addition to all the regular goings-on at our place (with a Mother’s Day bonus) I spent all of my blog-time getting Alfablogger back up and running again. It’s back now, looking a little better, though I lost a lot of my initial content and am having to start again from scratch.

This site will most likely migrate to a new server here in Australia as of Tuesday afternoon (my time). I’m hoping for a smooth transition, but reserve the right to acknowledge Murphy’s Law at any given point. Fingers crossed.

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There’s kids starving all over the world, yet European Car Web magazine thought it was OK to get a Saab 9-2x Aero and then blow another $28,000 on modifications. They’ve finally finished their project car and after modifying the living daylights out of it, they’ve returned it to stock condition. The entire series is available here.

That’s around $25,000 worth of 9-2x Aero (depending on the incentive you got) plus another $28,000 in modifications. $53,000 worth of 9-2x. Go figure. To my mind, that kind of 9-2x doesn’t exist. And the number of other desirables for that kind of money (we’re talking US dollars) makes up a rather long list.

A Trollhattan warning: If you have this much money to spend and if you spend it in this manner then please seek an appointment with a respected financial counselor – asap.

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The Boston Herald lend further proof that the Saab 9-7x wasn’t made primarily to satisfy the needs of current Saab owners:

Inside, the 9-7x’s Saab heritage is even more obvious.

Anyone who’s ever been in a Saab for any length of time (and enjoyed it) will feel right at home in the 9-7x.

The fact that the 9-7x has very little, if any, Saab heritage is not the point. It’s fact that the journo and many other punters like him might think that it does – that’s what matters.

The 9-7x is becoming a success for Saab USA because it was properly developed and executed. It may not be completely kosher for us traditionalists, but money in the bank is money in the bank, and every little bit of it helps to ensure Saab’s future.

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Don’t tell anyone, but apparently the Aero-X really is just a concept car and doesn’t have the 100% biopower engine that the computer projections are based on…..

Under the hood is an old V-6 to move it from place to place. When we finally got the Aero-X started (with jumper cables), it sounded like a truck and creaked around the airfield like Aunt Mary with arthritis.

Ah, but it looks soooo good.

Yes, it does.

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More talk about Ford and the plug-in hybrid at Autoblog.

Meanwhile, Rick Wagoner will be lobbying Dubya for some help in expanding the e85 distribution system. GM plans on focusing more and more on alternate fuels rather than hybrids as their answer to rising fuel prices.

At face value, I’ve really got to question the wisdom of this in the US market. Unless they come up with a major advance for making ethanol cheaper and more efficiently, I can’t help but think there’s going to be some massive hurdles.

I’m all for the Biopower Saabs coming to the US market, but I still question the wisdom of doing this at the expense of a diesel product, whose market will expand and gain acceptance at a much quicker rate (in my estimation at least).

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7 Comments

  1. I KNEW IT!!! (re: the AeroX not having the engine the computer projected numbers indicated) I even said at the time of its release that they could claim it has a flux capacitor and can travel through time and nobody would be the wiser. I thought their claimed numbers sounded suspiciously optimistic.

    When they let the journos test drive it they made some ridiculous max speed limit (around 20 mph if I remember) so there’s no way they could judge the power (or lack thereof). They claimed it was so as not to risk crashing the car. Right.

    This is more than just a bit disingenuous and I’m ashamed of SAAB for this one.

    BTW Swade, thanks for all the hard work as always. Sorry to hear about you losing your Alfa content and having to start from scratch.

  2. “$53,000 worth of 9-2x. Go figure.”

    One might state that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, eh? 😉

    The 9-2X really peeves me. Saab had the perfect formula – medium size, practical hatch, turbo power, AWD, aimed to performance – and they really messed it. Building something based on the WRX platform (as we were initially told the 9-2X was) wouldn’t have been a bad thing… but just rebadging and changing a couple of external details… clearly, few have been fooled.

    I wonder what Saab (or GM) will do with the 9-2X moniker… is it too late to shrink the SportCombi a tad, and do a 3 door Coupe version… or has the damage been done?

  3. Gripen, I agree they probably should have been more open about it being a ‘conceptual’ engine. They did make it clear that their performance figures were projected, but what they should have said was “if we were to make a real car based on this, then this is the engine it would have and this is what we project it would do.”

    The Aero-X is primarily a design study and I think we’ll see a lot of the design elements, hopefully both exterior and interior, flow down in the next few years.

    Personally, I’m not too fussed about the engine thing. There’s a lot of companies that release concepts that don’t run at all. I suspect they dumped an old engine into this one just so journos could feel the freedom of moving in a car without A-pillars.

    And Ben, hopefully the 9-1 or whatever they’re going to call it will fill the need. The Aero version of it had better be one hot hatch.

    It’s all backwash of the decision to can the original 9-3x.

  4. Hey. At least Saab didn’t just glue instruments to the Aero-X dashboard like Crysler with the Imperial concept:-; Anyway, are we really sure the author knows? The new engine wouldn’t look any different would it?

    http://www.autoblog.com/2006/05/14/chrysler-imperial-concept-test-drive-leaves-more-questions-than/

    “Its transmission dictated that the test drive be a limited jaunt at 15 to 20 mph. None of the instruments were functional, as they had simply been glued to the dashboard.”

  5. Are you sure that their spent “plus another $28,000 in modifications. ” of the 9-2X?
    As I read the mentioned article it seems that you maybe have an extra zero…
    “Upgrade Costs … Total: $2,799.95”
    It’s $2,800. Not $28,000.
    If you mean this as the “modifications”.

  6. MuzX,

    There’s 6 stages of the transformation of the 9-2x and at the end of each stage they list what was done and the costs.

    $28,000 in total for all six stages. Yikes!!

  7. Good money after bad…or Debbie gets here dreamcar, a smaller, as fast, pricey and fuel economic as the 93 at the time a one year-old totally new car, yet no thanx to the 92 hoggin the adbudget in 2004 to the detriment of Saab cars 93 & 95.

    Think Rick would ever lobby W to relax NOx specs a pinch?…Its brilliant on EPAs part to require ULSD mere weeks before tighter regs kick in…yeah right

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