Black Turbo Snippets

Don’t expect to see the Black Turbo, Saab’s high performance version of the 9-3, any time prior to Frankfurt in September – and that’s no certainty either. An early-2008 Motor Show might be a better bet as my advice is that a release for sale is set for early 2008 at the earliest.

But it is coming and no, it’s not the XWD car that the press are driving at the moment in Sweden.

‘Cerulean’ has dropped the following in comments:

The Black Turbo appears to be going ahead as in the UK Saab are currently asking their dealers how many of these models they would be likely to sell to get an idea of how many to order.

Saab GB might be active on this because it was mentioned to me that Black Turbo prototypes are currently in the UK. They’re likely to be masked in either regular 08 or even 07 bodies, so if you see a Saab 9-3 taking the bends with extraordinary speed and surefootedness then grab your video camera and commit it to film.


Brief conversation held via IM recently in a land far, far away…..

“If I asked you to think of the Black Turbo, and then of a number between 275 and 325….”


“Would that number have a 3 at the front of it?”


And would the next number be a 2?”

“Quite possibly”


Mail has also come in recently that the Black Turbo will be available in both Sedan and SportCombi configurations, with 6-speed manual gearboxes only.

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  1. I believe so, but I have no idea what form that will take. Whether it’s a styling kit or a whole new look, i’m not sure. It’d have to be down to a styling kit and wheels, wouldn’t it?

  2. Is it likely that Hirsch will have some hand in it? I know they are busy with projects on the TTiD and XWD versions already.

  3. my dream.
    19-20 inch threespoke rims.
    black chrome grill.
    possibly a big spoiler (not Lancer EvO-big but bigger that saab biggest today)
    matte colour option.
    a big black “Turbo” badge on the trunk and in the grill.

    and thats just the exterier.

    TopGear had a man sent out (Sam Philip) to the test of the XWD 9-3.
    his toughts:
    “It sound serious, but the 9-3 isn’t set hard for studious track work. The pre-production model I drove had plenty of give in the rear suspension, making it easy to hang the back out while the torque flipped to the rear wheels to snap it back… …But, for a car that Saab says will challenge the Audi S4 when it goes on sale in early 2008, it all feels a touch sedate. There’s no bite to the brakes, no great feel to the steering and a general lack of urgency. It’s quick, no doubt, but it feels like a garden Saab 9-3 with a whacking V6 and a diff stuck on.”

    so, note to saab.
    bigger and harder brakes.
    heavier steering.

    I think what saab is doing with this testdrive is exellent. they now get feedback before the car goes on sale and can tweak it to please the motorjournals. and by doing so they get in more papers. more people get their eyes on saab, more people buy a saab!

  4. So we see a line of high-spec cars from Saab in the same way that BMW has it’s M-series, Audi it’s S-series and so on. And they have a special style from the factory, special interior, and a nice badge.

    About that Top Gear test… Saab never said that a 9-3 with XWD will compete with a S4? It’s the Black Turbo that will do that. Otherwise, it’s like comparing an Audi A4 with BMW M3.

  5. Does anybody know about what changes Saab made under the bonnet?
    I have heard from several sources (one of them is a technician of the Hungarian Saab HQ) that the current 9-3 Aeros suffering problems of the inadequate cooling capacity of the cooling system. If the same engine in the same engine bay pulled up to more than 300 HP, it should have much better cooling system…

  6. 6-speed only is not a good choice. The current 9-3 and 9-5 Aero sales here in Holland show an 80%-share of automatic gearboxes. Maybe even more.

    There is a market for the top-of-the-range models, no doubt, but people who want to drive something fast and ‘hardcore’ don’t drive Saabs. At least not many.

    And my second point; Do I understand it correctly that they won’t give the CV the Black Turbo-treatment? Wrong choice Saab… The convertibles are the ones who are bought with the big engines…

  7. ctm, I agree with you but Journos will make these comparisons. They expect cars to be set for the track not the real world – the biggest bug bear with my wifes M Sport. SAABs are softer but sadly some of the press think that if it does not drive like a 3 series it is no good. I like light steering and a softer car but I do see the need to get positive press too.

  8. Does anyone have a guess on the starting price of the Black Turbo Combi? I am guessing $46,000 in American dollars. Any other guesses out there?

  9. Well, what am I supposed to do? No one in my immediate family drives a car with a manual transmission. The closest I have is my stepdad’s Infiniti G35x sedan and my mom’s Volvo S40 with the manual override thing, but that obviously doesn’t work. My uncle has a Corvette that he won’t let me drive, and he also has a gigantic diesel Dodge Ram that I couldn’t drive if I wanted to…so I don’t really have a lot of options. I figured I’d learn to drive it out of neccesity when my 900 finally dies and I have to get another car, because I’ll probably end up with something manual.

    By the time I can actually afford a newish Saab, I’ll be able to drive stick.

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