Maybe Saab IS at SEMA after all….

After showing the 9-7x Aero concept at SEMA last year, Saab is absent from the aftermarket show this year, which doesn’t disappoint too many people.

But perhaps Saab are there in spirit.

E85 Hot rodThis Chevy hotrod is powered by a 2.0 litre Ecotec engine running on E85 and is tuned to produce 500hp. An Ecotec 2-litre E85 engine – sound familiar?

Channel 4 in the UK go so far as to specifically call it Saab sourced, though I haven’t seen that written anywhere else. This is kind of heartening, though:

GM Performance Division director Al Oppenheiser adds: ‘The engine was built using the basic recipe that is available in the Ecotec performance book available from GM Performance Parts. Also, the E85 conversion is based on a kit that GM is exploring for regular production engines.’

….which makes me wonder – what other 2.0 Ecotec performance solutions are out there in GM-land in the US that people could apply to their 2.0T Saab 9-3s? I know when I’ve looked at the GM performance sites previously there’s been no specific mention of Saab, but I’m pretty sure there’s Ecotec stuff there.


And here’s a look at SEMA that shows wy it’s not a bad idea to be there. From an aftermarket point of view it’d be a great place to promote Hirsch should it ever make it to the US:

    SEMA by the numbers:

    Booths: 10,000
    Attendees: 125,000
    Exhibitors: 2,000
    Exhibit size: 1 million square feet
    New products unveiled: 1,200
    Annual car aftermarket sales: $36.7 billion

That’s a big pie. Not having an aftermarket offering at all – wisdom?

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  1. If Saab’s purpose is “to perform” – as their new ad trumpets – then needs to be an aftermarket player. Making Hirsch a universally available Saab performance brand seems like a no-brainer to me. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all have it.

  2. I remember back in February at the Saab 60th Anniversary Press Event in San Diego I was sitting at a table at dinner with Jorgen Nylen and John Libbos, of Saab Engineering, and John was telling me that they (Saab USA) had ordered and were playing around with one of the E85 conversion kits, and I believe he mentioned that one of them was from Hirsch, but I could be remembering wrong. Does Hirsch offer an E85 conversion?

    I remember his concern was that it only consisted of a chip, not the hardware such as seals, fuel injectors, and fuel pump.

  3. robin m: thanks. I think that several vendors are offering “upgrades” to make a Saab run on E85, but all the kits include only a reprogrammed ECU chip which pumps 30% more fuel through the fuel injectors or something.

    Those kits don’t include all the components in the fuel system which will corrode after time (fuel lines, seals, heavier injectors, fuel pump) due to the corrosive nature of the ethanol. You might remember that there was even a recall of Saab’s own BioPower fuel pumps and they had to replace a bunch of them. I think the BioPower-equipped Saabs have a different fuel pump already installed in them.

  4. What is this “Ecotec performance book available from GM Performance Parts” that they mention?

    Can I drop by any GM dealer and get the parts to build my own 500 hp 2.0l Ecotec engine?

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