Friday Snippets

TTELA.se are reporting that confirmation is IN that it’ll be the MY2008 9-3 unveiled at the Saab 60th Anniversary Festival on June 10.

Press materials are going to be sent out mid-May and a three-week press event will be held immediately after the completion of the festival where motoring press from around the world will be able to drive the new car.

I’m hoping to get a spot on day 1 of the press event as I leave to come back to Australia the day after.

And yes, I’d love a copy of those press materials…..

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My TS T-shirt arrived today from Spreadshirt in the US. I ordered a grey-on-black UrSaab shirt whilst one of my colleagues at the office ordered a white Viggen shirt.

Both are fantastic! Photo to come soon.

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I’ve received enough emails overnight to make me take note of the fact that some guy named Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. Vonnegut was a US writer of some note, but as I’m more of a Nelson DeMille type of guy I’m not really aware of Vonnegut’s work. A brief read around some sites today sees him praised and panned in fairly equal proportion, so he must have been notable.

He’s noted here because, according to the UK Telegraph, he was involved in setting up the first Saab dealership in the US – but went bankrupt.

Hmmmm.

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In more cheerful news, Saab’s Approved Used Car Scheme has been named by Auto Express as the best in Britain. They sold 15,000 used Saabs last year and won the award due to excellent service, from guaranteed MoT compliance to roadside assistance and replacement of guaranteed parts.

Commenting on the award, Jonathan Nash, Managing Director of Saab Great Britain remarks. “Our customers have long been telling us that our Saab Approved Used Car Scheme is amongst the best in the UK, highlighted by the fact that in 2006 we sold some 15,000 approved used cars. Each Saab Approved Used Car is a meticulously-chosen vehicle sold with an industry-leading package, irrespective of its age or mileage. Saab offers benefits with its used car scheme that many of our competitors only offer with brand new cars.”

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The World Touring Car Championship will run exclusively on BioEthanol from 2009.

What I would give to see Saab participating in this. It’s time to get back into motorsport. As Saab is GM’s biofuel leader with the BioPower setup (as well as lending turbocharging expertise to other GM brands for future biofuel applications), I think it’d be a great idea if GM Europe released Saab to prepare a proper factory team for this prestigious series.

If Saab are truly going to have that incredible range of vehicles that UK dealer Neale Dougan referred to a few days ago, then this would be a great platform for promoting them in Europe.

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Here’s the journalist-testing-the-Saab 9-5 conundrum in a nutshell:

How much would you pay for an ageing model related to the last-generation Vauxhall Vectra, equipped with a four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual gearbox? Twelve grand, perhaps?

Another question. How much would you stump up for a roomy, distinctively styled estate car built in Sweden? This second car has some of the best seats and safety features around, as well as outstanding ergonomics. Under the bonnet, there’s a smooth, responsive engine that benefits handsomely from its maker’s decades of experience in turbocharging.

So begins a Belfast Telegraph review of the Saab 9-5 2.3l Biopower. Northern Ireland only has one E85 filling station and they don’t get the big discounts that the republicans do so I’m not sure that BioPower’s going to make a huge push there for some time.

It’s still an interesting article as they get a few perspectives from (maybe) prospective purchasers.

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4 Comments

  1. Kurt Vonnegut was probably the greatest American author of this century. If you’re not familiar with his work, you should make an attempt to get familiar with it. Even if you don’t like his work, you’ll be a better person having read it. Try Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, and maybe Breakfast of Champions. I honestly had no idea that this man I admired so much set up the first SAAB dealership in this country. This makes him about 1000 times more awesome than he was before, and I didn’t think that was possible.

  2. “What I would give to see Saab participating in this. It’s time to get back into motorsport”

    It doesnt make any sense to join series where you race with cars that have mainly the name in common with street cars. FIA is towards racing, not development tech seriers.

    In one serie where there is bit more freedom, FIA could install extra weight to any car they want to.

  3. WTCC… Yeah cool… but are they allowed to use turbocharged engines???
    The “Chevrolet” WTCC has got 280 Bhp without turbo and I guess it´s the same block as in the 9-3 1,8t, 2,0t and 2,0T even though the bore and stroke are different. Chevy 88/82 and Saab 86/86.
    Here´s a link to Chevy Europes tech spec page..
    http://www.chevroleteurope.com/wtcc/content/car/index.htm

    Ciao/Tompa

    Ps. Maybe the upcoming 9-1 could be something to go race with??? And Rally with??? The 9-4X in the Dakkar etc 🙂 Ds.

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