Friday Snippets

Posting may be slow here over the weekend. There’s a big overhaul happening for the site and I need some concentrated re-design time.

Layout or functionality suggestions always welcome.


I think I’ve mentoined it here in passing once in the last month, but it bears repeating…..from Auto Express:

Swedish firm Saab is to become General Motors’ centre of excellence for transverse engine four-wheel-drive development. So impressed are bosses with the company’s XWD technology, Saab now has responsibility for sharing it with other marques in the group – including Vauxhall and Cadillac. It already carries out all work on GM’s turbocharged engines.

That’s a lead for Saab in XWD, turbocharging and E85 (which is kind of ties in with turbocharging). Who says GM would have any interest in selling Saab? Almost anything more advanced than a pushrod engine seems to be coming out of Sweden 😉


I’m not sure how this ad would have played out, but Saab seem to have got into trouble for it before it was released:

The Saab advert, illustrating the benefits of using the Channel Tunnel, said ‘Change the weather without changing the planet’. It was withdrawn.

If you check out the link, it seems some car-makers are getting panned for calling their cars environmentally friendly. The wowsers doing the calling are saying that no car is environmentally friendly as long as it emits some CO2. That criteria would make the environmentalists themselves unfriendly to their environment, would it not?

OK, so we call the cars environmentally friendlier, then?


Automotive websites are falling over themselves to provide coverage of the future BMW 1-series coupe, which promises to be even less practical than the 5-door and looks odd and disproportioned if you ask me.

That’s the power of a strong brand.



German Post 1 is a German site with one mother of a 9000 Aero under it’s watch.

Plenty of jealousy-inducing Nurburgring footage here (though id’ love to see it shot again with a camera mount in the car).


German Post 2

You don’t need to understand German to figure out that we won’t be buying these Chinese cars anytime soon. If you’ve got relatives in China, best warn them about them as well.

The car is called a “Brilliance BS6”. Well, in China it is. Anywhere else it’s called “Death Wish 6”


German Post 3

Saab Freunde has a list of the German specs for the 2008 Saab 9-3. Click here then scroll down a bunch for reprductions of the press releases.

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  1. I actually like the look of the 1 series sedan (the next one though).

    Only thing is, like all things BMW, very expensive for what you actually get. They’re good but they aint THAT good.

  2. I saw that “Brilliance” video a few days ago on YouTube- attrocious, isn’t it…..

    …and the BMW looks a bit try hard

  3. I wanna be in that 9k in germany!!!

    I think it’s funny how that chinese car doesn’t look a whole lot different that a 9-3ss to your average person, but performs so much more poorly in crash tests :(…

  4. The 1 series is the least sucessful design, beaten only by the X3.

    I know it may seem that BM always get positve press but the 1 series is often crticised here in the UK and I have not seen too much support for the coupe.

  5. If anything looks like a cheap Chinese car, it’s the 1-series. I think there is serious betting going on inside BMW HQ. “Let’s see how ugly cars we can make and still have journos falling over themselves praising the design!”

  6. Ok so wtf does this mean?


    “center of excellence for transverse engine four-wheel-drive development”?.

    When ya say “transverse”, would ya ever put 2 R+Ps and a multi-jointed driveshaft to make 4WD like our buds down the road or across the pond? . Last I heard they waste 7% PER(truth needed).

    Surely the RDU concept, basically nothing more than your 20mile electric golfcart seems doable. Could we use wasted MC batteries? Id carry a few more for the option. Thatd be sweet. ESP, ABS, RWD on a your 93/95 ReAxs axle?

  7. The scary thing about the BS6 is that it is supposedly one of the better cars China produces. But Autoblog said it best:

    According to Reuters, Brilliance has accused the German media of “viciously playing up” the crash results, noting that it passed the basic safety test required for entry into the European market, as well as a voluntary NCAP test after that. How the BS6 passed any safety test at all is remarkable to us after seeing the ADAC videos. (Seriously, what does the basic safety test Brilliance mentions consist of? Throwing Nerf balls at the car? Subjecting it to a pillow fight?)

    If I am not mistaken, BMW is their big partner. I think CB actually makes BMW’s for the Chinese market (maybe CB designed the 1 series for BMW as well!) Hope they make BMW’s better than they make their own cars.

    Yet another reason to drive a SAAB…

  8. David: The person that resorts to emotional reactions/arguments in a debate is almost always the one that can’t defend their position with actual facts. By invoking the ‘victim’ stance, they’ve admitted that they can’t refute the German tests in my view.

  9. I totally agree eggs. I was shocked to see those pics of the testing and was in no way backing the Chinese position, it was absurd of them to suggest that by passing the bare minimum that whatever were to happen to the occupants was being blow out of proportion by the German media. It should be publicized. I think there is a general lack of morals from some Chinese manufactures in general. Here in the US, we have had recalls on a ton of hazardous Chinese products ranging from poised pet food and toothpaste, lead base painted children’s toys and to the disintegrating automotive tires that are about to be recalled. I think there is just too strong a desire to make a quick buck that they will do anything they can to do so. There is not enough regulation there to prevent a lot of what has been going on. But I digress, the part I was referring to was Autoblog’s testing method of throwing Nerf balls or pillow fighting it. I think the BS6 might have passed those tests…

  10. Yes it’s a bad crash test result, but just remember, it exactly mirrors the family crash test failure characteristtics of one of the world’s most respected most popular and most reliable car brands 1980 through to about 2000. A brand whose cars were bought by millions- many of whose drivers have died or been left as paraplegics for no acceptable reason.

    The whole of the northern European car industry has known about this maker’s (previously)weak offset crash perfomance for years- but hey- they passed the previous (pre NCAP) basic head on crash standards.

    I cannot name for them for legal reasons, but what I can say is that the marque in question had a range of cars – from small to large, that in the offset crast tests ,ALL, suffered from massive footwell and sill collapse and intrusion, allied to an ‘A’ pillar that went vertical as the roof hinged up- rendering the airbags useless as they pivot up towards the drivers chin..

    It was a known design failing that hey included in all their cars for 20 years…

    If I say that all the cars in this makers range had low fronts, huge windscreen apetures, thin pillars and a very low seat and low fascia, you may be able to know who I mean.

    They make safe cars now, but for 20 years their cars were alleged death traps – in the opinion of many experts. And the company responsible always replied with ” We see no evidence of any real threat to the occupants” and then went into ‘blame and shame ‘ mode.

    So, Brilliance is bad, but is is by no means alone.

    Which is why I only ever drive Saabs, Volvos, and VW Audi group cars.(Mercs are ok!)

    Oh and go check out the rating for all Kia cars1995- 2005 on the US Highway Loss Data Institute or even at EuroNcap. That will make you think…

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