Some bits and pieces in from Saab’s authorised tuning house, Hirsch Performance.
I love it when I see a headline that read “Embrace Your Torque Steer”
Eat that, Evo Magazine!!
Now available: The Step 2 – 252 hp performance upgrade for Saab 9-3 2.0T MY 07.
Whichever of the 230HP and 252HP engine upgrades from Hirsch Performance you choose, you will enjoy the immense torque and excellent high-speed power delivery. Careful software calibration ensures that despite the enormous increase in power, the increased thermal and physical loads are kept within manufacturer tolerances. With this Stage 2 version of the engine upgrade, your Saab 9-3 achieves an impressive 252 HP and the torque increases to 370 Nm.
The kit consists of a complete dual exhaust system in stainless steel, a greatly enlarged intercooler and engine software tuned to the new conditions.
Together with the exhilarating acceleration capabilities, the smooth, sonorous exhaust note makes the driving experience complete.
There’s also a diesel upgrade available for MY07.5 Saabs that don’t have a particulate filter fitted. The software upgrade lifts your engine performance from 150hp and 350Nm to a gasoline matching 175hp and 370Nm – all the while you’re still managing that great diesel fuel economy.
Upgrades for particulate-filter-fitted cars are also available.
The Hirsch 4-cyl dual exhaust system.
Thanks to the reduced back pressure of a well-designed sports exhaust, the turbo spools quicker, and the volumetric efficiency of the engine is improved, which theoretically allows for both more power and less fuel consumption.
But, does a sports exhaust really bring more power, and if so, how much? The answer in the old days of the Trionic 5 – controlled Saab 900 and Saab 9000 used to be easy – Yes, of course!
However, with the introduction of modern electronic engine management systems such as the Trionic 7 and 8, things get a bit more complicated. The new ECU’s use air mass flow measurements to regulate the torque. This means that if more air mass flow than expected is detected at any point of operation, even at full throttle, for example because a sports exhaust system with lower back pressure has been fitted, the ECU instantly and automatically compensates the torque down to meet the expected air mass flow value. This behaviour is required to meet current emissions and homologation requirements.
For the current range of petrol and BioPower Saabs, there is therefore no automatic gain in maximum power or torque when simply installing a sports exhaust. There is however always an improvement in throttle response and fuel economy, and the power de-rating present at high temperatures and/or high altitudes is also reduced.
But what if the engine management were to be recalibrated to expect more air mass flow when installing a sports exhaust?
This is exactly what Hirsch have calibrated the 252hp upgrade for the Saab 9-3 2.0T and the 300hp upgrade for the Saab 9-5 2.3T Aero to do. For these performance upgrades, a sports exhaust is included as a mandatory component, and with the matching calibration, the reduced exhaust backpressure of the sports exhaust is fully utilised to gain several extra (homologated) horsepower, as well as an improvement in throttle response and fuel economy.