Saab V8 poll – the results

The comments to the post about a possible V8 for the Saab 9-5 were brilliant, save for one rant that I don’t think was called for and was out of place here. Regardless, there’s a lot of good thoughts there.

FWIW, some ongoing Djup Strupery leads me to believe that due to interest from the US, Saab are having to consider the addition of a V8 engine to the lineup. Take that as it reads. My mail is that the Swedes would be happy with a better developed V6, but the powers that be want a V8 and are even offering the opportunity to turbocharge the Northstar V8. Of course, price-creep will be inevitable with such a setup.

The polls were an interesting exercise in “what will people go for?” and the result seems to be a split decision. The one thing that really stands out is that if there’s going to be a V8, people see it as essential that it’d need to be turbocharged to retain that certain Saabiness.

I took two snapshots of the poll results. One at 11.15pm last night, which would have been just as the east coast of the US was getting about its day i.e. it’s mostly European votes.

V8 poll Europe

This second snapshot was taken at 7.55 this morning, some 8.5 hours later, with US readers given a chance to add their vote during their workday.

V8 poll

I don’t know whether I expected the proportions to change a great deal, but I’m quite encouraged to see that they didn’t.

It seems that Saab fans the world over are of a pretty similar mind. The single biggest category is one that disagrees with the notion of a V8 Saab. Added together, the two “positive” options outpace the negative votes, but only if the vehicle’s turbocharged.

The V8 option would be an upper level option and I’m sure there’d be a V6 and maybe even the four-cylinder base would be retained. So if you don’t want the V8, there’s still going to be something there.

But if there is going to be a V8 option in a Saab – then turbocharge it.

As I said in the original article, I still believe that a V6 is plenty for a Saab. When can the worldwide premium brand get hold of some of that DI technology?

Thanks for your participation in the poll and your comments. If you haven’t read them yet, then get to it. Just hold off on the nationalistic ranting or I’ll close comments promptly.

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  1. I’ll add my two cents to what has already become a very long argument:
    1) People have more respect for great engines as such than they do for engines with a lot of cylinders. We need to get on top of turbocharging (how did VW/Audi get the lead on that one with their 2.0 unit?), make an engine with as little lag as theirs, maybe starting from something as cool as the direct injection Cadillac V6. We could have something truly great on our hands.
    2) A Saab should not have a V8. Even a V6 is pushing it, but an all-wheel drive Saab with a V8 is an Audi in my book.

  2. Boy, if I were Saab I’d jump at the chance to turbocharge a Northstar V8.

    That would be a true combination of the best of GM and the best of Saab.

    I would buy that car. End of story.

  3. If SAAB wants the 9-5 to compete with the Volvo S80, Audi A6, M-B E class and BMW 5 series-it MUST HAVE A V8. It’s a crying shame that SAAB didn’t stick the current V6T in the current 9-5 as a going away present. If the 3.0L AsymV6T fit, surely the 2.8T engine would have fit there. Alas, we’ll never know…

    SAABs best 4 cylinder turbo effort-260hp in the 2.3T-is eclipsed by the 285hp in the Dodge Nitro and even the 263hp 2.3T in the Mazdaspeed 3. Pathetic, IMO.

    Few take the current 9-5 with its 4 cylinder engine seriously, given that entry level models of family sedans (Camry, Accord, Altima, etc) have V6s, more power and are at least as fuel efficient (if not moreso) to boot.

    Even the 2.0T 9-3 is a hard sell in that market-and those aren’t even direct competitors.

    Perception is everything in the luxo market. If the next 9-5 comes to the party with less than 300hp and less than 8 cylinders in its top of the line model, they might as well stop production and close up shop.

    SAAB will never be taken seriously by luxo car buyers without a V8 in the flagship model. The base 9-5 must at least have a V6. A 4 cylinder in the 9-5 is not acceptable (unless it’s a turbodiesel or possibly a BioPower 2.3T model-those engines might fly).

    Gas prices not withstanding, SAAB must hit a homerun with the next 9-5.

    We all await (albeit impatiently) with bated breath…

  4. Sorry I missed the poll, but there was one major omission in the question. Should it be a V8 petrol or Diesel ?

    I V8 turbo diesel XWD 9 – 5 with consumption of 40+ mpg would be truly awesome… SAAB could have my money now…

  5. To add my 0.02$ to the debate:

    It is not the number of cylinders that is important, i.e. I6, v6 or v8.
    It is the power and the torque that is.
    For good driveability you need a consistant high torque, then high power output is nice but really not that necessary.
    As, in the same way that 0-60 mph is of no practical importance, but 40-80 mph is since that is what you will be using when overtaking someone on the road.

  6. SAAB have already manufactured a prototype 4,0 L V8 engine in 1989 for the 9000-model, but i think GM closed the V8-project when they puchased SAAB.
    Only 7 engines where built by SisuDiesel in Finland.
    The engine was road tested in Finland and fits direct under the bonnet on a 9000 without any body modifications.
    The engine put out about 300 hp, and with Bi-Turbo they will have a genuine SAAB V8 that would be more than truly avesome if they build that engine again also for the after sales market. I would buy the engine and fit it to my old 9000 T16.

    Text below taken from the link above.

    “The Saab engineers in Sweden had said that making a V8 fit the engine bay of the 9000 was impossible. The people at Uusikaupunki didn’t buy it and in 1988 produced a prototype of a V8 engine by combining two 4 cylinder Saab engines. The 4 litre Valmet TF (Twin Four) V8 engine put out almost 300 horsepower and it was mounted sideways under the bonnet of a Saab 9000. No body modification was necessary, the engine fit right in.

    The engineers at the factory said that the V8 9000 was “a hoot to drive”. This is evidently backed up by the several speeding tickets that were gathered during the road tests”.

    At last i think that with Bi-turbo charge the fuel consumpton would be lower than whitout. It would also be possile to upgrade the engine with a tuning-kit for even more power and tourqe. Then the fuel consumpton should be even lower if it was driven with care.

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