More about those BSR tuning kits at Elkparts.
An ECU upgrade is without doubt the easiest bang-for-the-buck power upgrade you can do. After that there’s filters, exhaust, downpipes, intakes etc. But in value for money terms the ECU is the one with the wow factor.
I’m not sure that I’ll go for the BSR unit just yet. I want to compare the HP and torque curves for all the available units. But the BSR unit does seem to be incredibly convenient, with no need to actually remove and replace your existing ECU, as you have to do with ECUs from Hirsch, Abbott, Nordic or Maptun.
One important thing to keep in mind with the ECU upgrade is that the car has to be able to handle to the extra power. In the case of my Viggen, for example, it’d be pointless adding 74Nm of torque to a car that has trouble reining in the current 342 Nm of torque that it was blessed with out of the factory. Hence I’ll be doing a Viggen Rescue Kit from Abbott prior to doing the ECU. If I want to add a heap more horsepower I’d also have to consider tougher pistons as the factory ones were only rated to around 300HP.
The point? You can’t just consider these things in isolation, you have to make sure you plan the upgrades so that the car retains it’s deriveability and reliability. For the 9-5 and 9-3 SS, an upgrade like this should be fairly do-able, but if you’ve got an old-gen 9-3 like mine then plan ahead.
Anyway, for those who are interested, Elkparts have BSR units for the following Saabs (as well as the V6 unit previously mentioned). I’ve organised them in model and then model year order, so you should be able to see the potential for your own car fairly easily. The numbers in the first lot of parenthesis are your factory numbers and the numbers in the second parenthesis are either modified HP, or HP and torque gained (should be self-explanatory).
All these units are priced at around $1,412 and are freaky good HP/$ increases. The links below will lead you to Elkparts’ page for the item with more details and the all-important horsepower and torque curves for the selected upgrade.
Saab 9-3 1998-2002
Saab 9-3 2.3 HOT Viggen M99- (230bhp/350Nm) Stage One upgrade (+44bhp/+74Nm) – click here
Saab 9-3 2.0 HOT Aero M00-02 (205bhp/280Nm) Stage One upgrade (+43bhp/+89Nm) – click here
Saab 9-3 2.0T M00-02 (185bhp/263Nm) Stage One upgrade (+47bhp/+117Nm) – click here
Saab 9-3 2.0t M01-02 (150bhp/219Nm) Stage One upgrade (+63bhp/+102Nm) – click here
SAAB 9-3 SS, Conv 2003 onwards
Saab 9-3 Sports Saloon 1.8t (150bhp) M03- / Sports Convertible M04- Stage One upgrade (204bhp/310Nm) – click here
Saab 9-3 Sports Saloon 2.0t (175bhp) M03- / Sports Convertible M04- Stage One upgrade (204bhp/310Nm) – click here
Saab 9-3 Sports Saloon 2.0T Aero (210bhp) M03- / Sports Convertible M04- Stage One upgrade (247bhp/388Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.3 M98-00 (170bhp/280Nm) Stage One upgrade (+64bhp/+98Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.0 lpt M98-00 (150bhp/240Nm) Stage One upgrade (+65bhp/+113Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.3 HOT Aero M99-02 (230bhp/350Nm) Stage One upgrade (+44bhp/+84Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.3 M01-02 (185bhp/280Nm) Stage One upgrade (+44bhp/+98Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.0 lpt M01-02 (150bhp/240Nm) Stage One upgrade (+70bhp/+120Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.3 Aero M03- (250bhp/350Nm) Stage One upgrade (+24bhp/+84Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.3 M03- (185bhp/280Nm) Stage One upgrade (+44bhp/+98Nm) – click here
Saab 9-5 2.0 lpt M03- (150bhp/240Nm) Stage One upgrade (+70bhp/+120Nm) – click here