Tuesday Snippets

There have been multiple whisperings in the last few months about a possible twin-turbo diesel engine going into the new 9-3 for the European market.

Could this be the engine?

A diesel VXR? Are you serious?

Vauxhall most certainly is. Its engineers have been working flat-out on developing a twin-turbo version of its venerable 1.9-litre CDTi diesel engine……

…..In the Zafira, the 1.9-litre will develop a useful 190bhp at 4000rpm and a mighty 270lb ft of torque from 1400rpm onwards. That’s 50bhp down but a useful 35lb ft up on the current VXR petrol model.

The VXR range is the hotted up version of Vauxhall. The OPC range is the equivalent Opel range.

I’m quite sure that if there’s twin-turbo technology being developed that Saab’s in on it, giving it a reasonably good chance of using the engines if they want to. It’ll be interesting to watch.

Thanks JWL.


When in China…..

Say “Hi” to the Chairman and be sure to act like a patriot.

SPTChina-1.jpg SPTChina-2.jpg


Safety News from Forbes:

The Saab 9-3 is joined by an Acura and an Audi as the most consistently top-rated vehicle for safety by multiple testing bodies. I’m sure SaabUSA could use this one in their ads.

If you’re going to get creamed in a car, might as well make it an Audi A4.

That’s because it’s one of the safest cars on the road, according to data we consulted in forming this year’s list of most sound autos.

Joining it at the top? Acura’s RL and Saab’s 9-3. All three get the highest-possible marks for safety from three of the four most respected sources of such data: Consumer Reports, the Department of Transportation, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Hey. If they can make an Audi the focal point in their article I can make the Saab a focal point of mine.

I know I have to thank someone for this, too…..sorry


S-S-S-Something from the Comments:

I have a 1999 Saab 9-3 convertable and a 2006 Mercedes Benz E-320 CDI. Guess which car is faster and has much better gas milage and power? The much larger Mercedes of course. My Saab is a gas engine and it is nowhere near as impressive as the diesel. I was originally considering a Saab 9-5 wagon, but the more I learned about the power and economy benefits of diesel, I wanted one. Mercedes and VW were my only choices in the USA. So I spent the extra money on the Mercedes because THAT IS WHAT I THE CUSTOMER WANTED (GM/SAAB-THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT REMEMBER THAT!). My Mercedes averaged 41mpg on a trip from Allentown PA to Canada! A Saab 9-3 Diesel will average 43mpg at 130mph! 60mpg at 70mph! And yes, Diesel is not hard to find, and in some places in the USA (California) it is a dollar cheaper than regular gas!

It’s an investment, not an expense.

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  1. Sort of off-topic, maybe completely, but it made me feel good to read this comment on Autoblog from an Audi owner:
    “10. …I still dont know why people called Audi interiors the best, I have an 05′ and everything is peeling….everything buttons, dash, door panels etc. The lay-out is good ,but it means nothing if it looks like shit within a year or two.”
    Sound familiar?

  2. While I understand the sentiments of the person with the Mercedes diesel, I must point out a factual error:

    diesel fuel is NOT a dollar cheaper than gasoline in California. It’s around $0.48 cheaper on average right now per gallon.

    Of course, that being said you go almost twice as far on a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gasoline, so the “per-mile” cost of diesel is much less than that of gasoline.

    Too many people compare apples to oranges when comparing gasoline and diesel prices, IMHO. That’s why I think that though E85 gives you around 25% fewer miles-per-gallon people will likely choose to buy it based on the big number on the sign at the gas station. That’s just my guess.

    Another thing is that until next year I don’t think you can buy a diesel-powered passenger car in the U.S.A. Then you can get VW’s diesel Jetta Wagon and maybe a Merc. But I don’t think there are any 2007 Mercedes diesels available at a dealer this year.

    Point taken though: there is a demand for SAAB diesel automobiles in the U.S. Is there enough of a demand to justify the expense? I doubt it, but if GM were to share the diesel powerplant amongst its various brands in the U.S. it just might be. If you can get the same diesel engine in a Saturn, Chevy, Pontiac, and SAAB it might be worth it to GM to invest the expense required to develop a 50-state emissions compliant diesel engine.

  3. “S-S-S-Something from the Comments:”

    Dearest Swade, was this a Ze Frank reference? I starting reading your blog post-Ze, so I don’t know if you’re a fan.

    If you are/were, consider me an even greater fan of TS. 🙂

  4. I should’ve known Swade is a Sports Racer!

    I miss him, too. I started watching about 2 months after he started.

    Earth Sandwich! 🙂

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