This is an email I just got in my inbox. I think the subject field says it all.
I’ve been publishing this website since February 2005 and I think I’ve been lauding the brilliance of Hirsch’s factory-approved performance gear since around April 2005 or thereabouts. It’s available in many countries, but not in Saab’s biggest market, the USA and not in my backyard here in Australia either.
Ted wrote that email to me because Autoblog have published an article, as follows:
BMW has officially thrown its hat in the performance parts game here in the U.S., likely rivaling the products available from aftermarket firms and coming complete with a factory-backed warranty.
Beginning with the 3-series and Z4, BMW is offering a host of components, from brake upgrades to engine kits, that will boost performance and not cause owners to fear a trip to the dealer for service. Some of the parts include carbon fiber and aluminum strut braces, 3.07:1 performance diffs, lowering kits, performance exhausts and a engine package for three-liter models that includes new camshafts and a modified ECU that boosts output to 235 HP and 222 lb.-ft. or torque.
To be honest, I’m surprised that BMW didn’t have factory backed tuning options on sale there already.
But back to Saab and Hirsch. I’ve hit Saab USA with a few too many questions recently, so I won’t be posting this one – but why the heck is it not available there?
I know of heaps of people that like to tune and modify their Saabs. They’d love a chance to do it without hurting their warranty. They’d love the option of getting a genuine, Saab-backed tuning package. One that is made specifically for the car. I’ve been in a Hirsch tuned 9-5 and it was brilliant. No-one can tell me there wouldn’t be a market for a car as visually tastful and flat-out fast as Jeff’s Hirsch 9-5.
So what’s the problem?
Are there rules in the US that Hirsch modifications don’t comply with? Emissions, safety? Is it a warranty issue that they’re afraid of?
A reason would be really good as right now it just seems like the market is out there, unsatisfied, the silence from Saab HQ is deafening and once again, the Saab brand looks like it’s arriving a day late and a dollar short.
Just a reason, that’s all we’re after. Or failing that, some Hirsch-love.