Saturday Snippets

It’s a sunny Saturday morning here, so I’m going to be fixing my rear licence plate on the 900 and taking her for a spin. Woohoo!

There’s been so much news this week that it’s been hard to cram it all in. I’ve been putting up around 6-8 posts a day here and have still only managed to get to these great articles today.

So enjoy.

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As mentioned last night, there’s a new downloads section to this website. Feel free to check it out.

Another downloads area that’s come to my attention is the one on Wulf’s SaabMedia website. It’s a desktop section where Wulf’s stored a whole bunch of GM-sourced Saab desktop wallpapers as well as a few of the 2007 desktop calendar pieces that they put out.

Great imagery there and you can even subscribe to get notifications about when new stuff is added.

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If you’re looking for something to read, the BBC has some good coverage of the Turbo X and Saab’s offerings in general from Frankfurt. Though once again there’s a bit of the article that triggers my “why can’t I be an auto journalist” meter – a reference made to “celluloid” ethanol.

If they could make ethanol from celluloid (as opposed to cellulosic ethanol) then perhaps Kodak might have a new line of business now that digital has take over the camera world.

My pickiness aside – there’s a lot of good coverage there and some choice quotes from Jan-Ake Jonsson about BioPower. There’s an article at Autoblog Green about a group that’s petitioning US automakers about their view that “Ethanol is not the answer”.

And they’re right.

It’s part of a bigger solution. A viable part, but a part only.

“we’re at the first generation of using ethanol”, he adds.

So whereas “you can say using corn to produce ethanol in the US is very inefficient”, second-generation biofuels made from celluloid – that is wood or waste from crops – should prove more efficient, he predicts.

“The growth of ethanol is tremendous,” he adds.

True, it is not the silver bullet that is going to slash pollution from cars in the near future, but Mr Jonsson is convinced “bioethanol will be one piece of the solution”.

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For those of you considering a 2008 9-3 that’s not a Turbo X (and that would be most prospective 2008 purchasers) there’s a couple of good reviews coming out.

The Toronto Star has a review from their XWD test drive in Washington DC a few weeks ago. it’s an article that focuses mainly on XWD rather than a generic 2008 review. It’s also got a good analysis into the backstory of Saab under GM’s stewardship.

But the focus and main area of interest for drivers is the XWD:

Our seat time was limited to a few laps on a low-speed slalom course and grassy airport infield. But Saab’s claims that this is an AWD system for those who like to drive became apparent immediately.

Slicing the 9-3 Sport Sedan Aero XWD with the six-speed stick through the cones at about 65 km/h delivered both little drama and minimal understeer.

We then had a chance to try XWD on a grassy loop that encouraged oversteer (that’s doughnuts to my friends back in Ottawa).

Compared to a FWD 9-3 that would have understeered (or plowed) straight ahead, the XWD 9-3 allowed me to easily engage in controlled, four-wheel drifts without the e-nannies cutting in and spoiling the fun.

I’m just loving the fact that all the journos are giving this system a collective thumbs-up. Because it really is that good.

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The Chicago Suntimes also has a review out, and it’s another glowing piece of prose on the new 9-3.

Since first entering the North American market in 2003, Saab has sold more than 120,000 of them (i.e. the Saab 9-3). From what I experienced driving the new version it’s not going to take any five years to surpass that number.

And it just gets better from there.

Seriously, I can’t wait for you US types to get the new car into your showrooms. It looks better in the metal than what it does in pictures and the drive really is great. You’re gonna love it.

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2 Comments

  1. “Seriously, I can’t wait for you US types to get the new car into your showrooms. It looks better in the metal than what it does in pictures and the drive really is great. You’re gonna love it.”
    -Swade

    Yeah, we can’t wait for that either! Unfortunately all the US dealer cars are stuck in port right now. Supposedly they’re awaiting a software update and won’t actually start hitting showroom floors until mid OCTOBER. A lot of dealers are running out of 07s and wondering what they’re going to do until the 08s arrive!

  2. mid OCTOBER?! I guess that pushed me out ANOTHER month to wait for the car. I guess thats good, b/c I can save up more money to upgrade to the Aero possibly. I’m in Seatle so i assume mid October was for the lucky East Coast Saabers.

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