Competition Snippets

A collection of snippets to see where the competition are setting the bar. I believe pretty firmly that these are all areas in which either Saab does, or can, compete in some way or another.

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  1. I remember Saab’s press release said back then that they studied hard top and soft was still better, thats why they used soft, not because they were late or anything.

    Urea will be used to achieve certain diesel emission level that is necessary in the USA. Last what I heard was that Merc was waiting permission for this sort of arrangement.

    I dont handle reaction equation so I dont know how it works at atom-level.

  2. Urea is used in Germany as a diesel additive.

    BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen use it to reduce NOx (?) or whatever type of emmision. It was introduced in heavy trucks.

    To get rid of a “bad” sound they all call it BluePower, BlueFuel,… something with blue.

  3. TuuSaR – I think the hardtop would have benefits in terms of quietening the cabin, though only as long as it’s done right. Perhaps it didn’t suit the design of the current 9-3?

    Martin, I think the MB version is called Bluetec. I assume then that urea is going to be a standard additive to diesel fuel in the US into the future.

  4. Urea is injected into the exhaust upstream of the catalytic converter. There is a small tank of the stuff which gets refilled during scheduled maintenance.

    Urea helps convert NOx into nitrogen and water.

  5. Gentlemen: Urea additives must be introduced to the exhaust gas stream post-combustion. Two primary reasons for this: 1) Urea + combustion = some compounds that you don’t want, plus you cut the engine efficiency which is definitely not green, and 2) the ammonia (NH3) + NOx = N2 + H20 reaction must occur at a specific tempurature to be most effective and must be in the presence of the catalyst.

    The SCR technology has been used by stationary diesel power plants for some time in the US. Most of these engines are permitted to operate a short period each year for peaking power, for back-up power or for short-term cooling requirements, etc. The urea injection systems are filled with the amount of urea required for a year’s operation and then left alone. I can’t imagine what a car would require.

    A quick search for the ‘BlueTec’ name turned up these articles…. a little light reading for you. MB admits that they must use exhaust injection of urea to acheive the emissions levels required.

  6. Well, Bernard scooped me whilst I was googling. And he’s correct, of course.

    On the soft-top vs. hard-top debate, let me add this: last week I saw a Mini Cooper ‘vert up close for the first time. It has this clever way of folding just the overhead section of the top back which I think is just one more good reason to keep the soft top. Saab, where are you on this one? You’ve carved out a great niche for the 9-3 convertible, let’s keep innovation coming!!

  7. The Tesla Roadster appears to be a modified Lotus Elise. The Elise is available for sale to the general public w/o an engine installed, so I’m suspecting that Tesla bought some of these and fitted their own electric drivetrain. The article does mention that they had help from Lotus in its design. This car is very exciting, IMHO. The numbers are GREAT for an electric car: 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds (that’s faster than the internal-combustion based Elise you can buy with the installed Toyota-sourced engine), 130 mph top speed (not going to beat many internal-combustion cars there, but it’s MUCH better than most electric cars and fast enough for most any everyday driving), and a charge time of only 3.5 hours. The only thing not cool: the price. $80K to $120K when they go on sale next year.

    As for that butt-ugly Volvo: looks to me like they badge engineered a Ford Focus ZX3. Makes sense since the Volvo S40 and Ford Focus (and Mazda3) share the same underpinnings.

    Being a new “greenie”, the good thing about that is that the Ford Focus has the lowest emissions of any non-hybrid sold in America.

    This is something I’d like to see SAAB improve on: “green-ness”. If you compare SAAB to its direct competition on either emissions (pollutants or CO2 emissions) or fuel economy (use the U.S. EPA’s site at, they are not a leader, but should be, IMHO. I know SAAB has little say anymore in their powerplants, but I’d like to see this addressed.

  8. See this is what I dont get…If MB & BMW have 3-4 litre motors that can meet this NOx spec(its .05 grams/MILE and somehow our gas sniffers have “persuaded” even the Canadians & Mexicans to use this spec…whatever happened to worldwide metric system adoption?) with Adblue how is it that a 1.9,7,5 wont? Other than some heads are so far up E85 and hydrogen butt…

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