News quickies

What a great day!

I’ll be posting more details on all these things in the coming hours, but here’s the news in brief from today.

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The 2008 Saab 9-3 range starts at A$43,000 or thereabouts for the Linear Sport Sedan and as per now, goes up to around $90K for the Aero Convertible.

The Australian press launch for the TTiD engine will be early in 2008 and the engine will come later in the year, in Aero trim.

33% of sedan sales in Australia are diesels. 52% of Combi sales are diesels.

BIG NEWS – The first E85 pumps, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne, will open in early 2008.

The 9-3 BioPower is now available for sale.

In Sweden, Saab are considering selling just diesel and BioPower, i.e. no gasoline-only vehicles. Only a very, very small percentage of cars sold in Sweden are gasoline-only.

There was talk of a petrol-electric hybrid. Only in passing as part of a presentation. I have it on tape.

The surprise guest was none other than Jan-Ake Jonsson himself, Saab’s wordwide Managing Director. I said “Hi” in the morning and he asked me what the latest was with Saab 😉

Jan-Ake was kind enough, at the end of a pretty long day, to sit down and record an interview with me. I’ll do an edit and get it out next week.

Aussies – get your tuning elsewhere. No Hirsch here.

Motoring journalists have The. Best. Job. On. Earth.

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Oh yeah, the cars.

The 2008 Saab 9-3 is brilliant. I drove two stints in a TiD SportCombi and one in a 2.0T SportCombi. Both were absolutely excellent. Baby-bum smooth and plenty of go. You Yanks should be very pleased having a 2.0T as your base model. A great engine.

Both cars were Autos, unfotunately.

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The all-important record of corporate hospitality………Lunch

Lunch 9-3

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14 Comments

  1. “The surprise guest was none other than Jan-Ake Jonsson himself, Saab’s wordwide Managing Director. I said “Hi” in the morning and he asked me what the latest was with Saab”

    LOL! and people say Swedes dont have a sense of humor…..

  2. As I’ve mentioned once before, here in Norway the only gasoline engine you can get is the 1.8i. All the turbo engines are BioPower. 🙂

  3. That is HUGE news that you got an interview with Saab Global’s top guy! I can’t wait to hear what you asked. Did you go softball on him or hardball? I’m glad to read he’s well familiar with your ‘blog. Who was it in Sweden who said, “you’re that guy?” Was it him? I can’t remember. Your ‘blog is well-known worldwide in the Saab community, and deservedly so. Congrats. I look forward to more news in the coming days when you get time.

    I wonder, what is the point of the 1.8i model? Why not just get a 1.8t? The fuel consumption is actually lower on the 1.8t than the 1.8i!

  4. Looking more closely at that picture, that’s what we in America would call “appetizers”. That wasn’t the whole meal now, was it? 😉

  5. 1985 Gripen: The 1.8i model is very important in some countries like Norway and Denmark, where the car taxes are extremely high and the difference in tax is huge when you compare the 1.8i to the 1.8t.

  6. Arild: the 1.8i engine has a different displacement than the 1.8t engine, leading me to believe it’s an entirely unique engine. I can see why then it’d be advantageous if your country charges extra taxes based on displacement, but how would the presence of a turbo increase the taxes? With a smaller displacement engine a turbocharger is almost a necessity and like I mentioned before the 1.8t actually gets better fuel economy than the 1.8i!

  7. 1985 Gripen: In Norway the car taxes are based on the following:
    1. the car’s weight
    2. the engine’s output in kW
    3. the car’s emission of CO2.

    The 1.8t engine has slightly lower emission of CO2 than the 1.8i, but the higher output leads to about $3500 more in taxes in total. The difference in price is about $5200.

    I don’t know how they calculate the taxes in Denmark, but the difference in price between the 1.8i and the 1.8t is a whopping $18000, so I guess it has to do with displacement or output.

  8. BTW, you are correct about the 1.8i being a completely different engine. It is sourced from Opel and it even got a timing belt instead of the usual timing chain used by Saab!

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