Yeah, I’m getting worked up today.
One of the incredibly frustrating things about being a Saab fan is knowing that they’ve got the foundations there for brilliant automobiles but knowing at the same time that the potential they have is only going to be realised with some serious commitment and development work.
Saab have been making turbocharged vehicles for years. They did it at the small end where you could get the power of a six cylinder engine combined with the economy of a four. This gave their smaller-than-average cars extreme character and likeability and further developed the cult following that Saabs have enjoyed for some time.
The problem? The company never got big enough that their corporate parent would seriosuly invest in developing their potential. That doesn’t just go for GM, either. Investor AB relied purely on organic growth as well. It really is quite amazing that Saab are still around.
Fast forward to 2006 and BMW finally reacquires the turbo bug that Saab have been mastering for years. As a result, BMW’s twin turbo 335i is universally acclaimed for it’s broad torque delivery and over all performance.
Skip ahead another year to right now, and we have the new M3. CAR Magazine got to have a drive in Spain recently and have been pushing it HARD in their electronic literature. But just a week after the initial afterglow has faded, questions are starting to emerge….
This from The Truth About Cars.
On paper, it’s just not that impressive. It costs $60 large (when all’s said and done), tips the scales at 3600 lbs. and summons those braggadocios 420 horses by stretching to a Honda-like 8300 rpm. Where’s the torque?
…..the twin-turbo straight six-powered 335i lurking in the background looks like the real deal killer. The 335i’s got less horsepower than the new M3, but it’s far more usable at the same exact fighting weight. The 335i will also save you some $15k
And they’re not the only ones.
CAR Magazine themselves were left feelig a little flat about the whole thing, though you got the impression they dare not so say so in such plain terms.
Funny, ain’t it? It’s taken the hotly anticipated performance king of every journos favourite marque to make them appreciate just how much of an advantage can be provided by a well set-up turbocharger.
Expect 335i sales to soar as a result.
And expect some Saab executives to be scratching their heads as they try and figure out how to convince their current parent company to invest in them.