I had the pleasure of a visit from one our local Saab Club members this morning. I’ve written about Bill here before at Trollhattan. He owns a bunch of Saabs (click that link to see ’em), including my old white 99 Turbo. He popped in today in his other white 99T and gee it looked good sitting in my driveway. Really good, like it just belonged there or something….
I came back inside later and told my wife that I had a hankering for another 99 and she told me to get a handkerchief and get rid of it.
Hands up if you think the chassis of the 9-3 isn’t capable of handling the output of the V6 Aero……
If there’s only one hand up out there, it belongs to David Linklater, car reviewer for XtraMSN in New Zealand. His review of the 9-3 SportCombi indicates that he’d rather have the 9-3 Linear with the 110kW motor than the V6 Aero, which he thinks is “bonkers” as “the 9-3 chassis – developed from parent company General Motors’ Vectra platform, remember – is not particularly sporty and simply can’t handle the Aero’s power.”
I don’t want to get too down on David, as the review is actually pretty good and down-to-earth in terms of the 9-3 Linear (which is the car he’s reviewing here). I’ve driven the 9-3 V6 Aero. It’s a magnificent engine and there is no way you’d reasonably say that the chassis can’t handle it. The car is smooth and handles very crisply, but that’s just my opinion.
The BLS was supposed to be the new car that kept the Trollhattan plant up to a good capacity after production of the 9-5 shifts to Russelsheim. Right now they’ve adjusted production down from 150 cars a week to just 30. Ouch.
The car has been received pretty well by the press (recent brief review here), but it seems no-one’s buying them.
The thing that worries me is the possibility, however small, that Saab’s future may be linked to Cadillac’s success in Europe. If there is a link there, regardless of how tenuous it may be, then there could be problems. For example – is the rumoured crossover to be developed for Saab and Cadillac dependant on Cadilac being viable in Europe? If so, current unit sales for Caddy aren’t exactly suggesting success.
This is one that will play out over quite some time. Hopefully it’ll play out in Saab’s favour.