There’s a bunch of articles coming out about the Turbo X debut in the US. Most of them are re-hashes of the press release and don’t offer anything new. It’s good to see them there as the more coverage it receives, the better. But the good ones are from the people who were actually there and talked to people and got some fresh insights.
GM invited a bunch of bloggers there. Some were auto-related and some really made me scratch my head.
Here’s a few tidbits I’ve picked up just this morning…
From Edmunds Auto Observer:
Also on hand for the Turbo X unveiling was Bob Sinclair, Saab’s long-time U.S. president before General Motors bought the Swedish marque.
Often a harsh critic of Saab’s direction especially under GM ownership, Sinclair said he finally sees Saab as having “turned the corner,” though, he said, if he’d been in charge, he never would have eliminated the hatchback.
He nudged Nesbitt during the unveiling and told him GM’s finally got the front design of the Saab right, now designers need to work on the back of the car, he jabbed.
the Turbo X brings the 9-3 “back to the future” according to Saab’s Marking manager Yanlin Sun. “We’ve targeted the Saab loyalist, especially current Viggen owners as our ideal customer for the Turbo X but we expect to get some conquest customers from other luxury brands now that we have our Cross-Wheel drive” added Sun.
Yeah, I could go with one of these……
It does beg the question, though, did the Viggen’s lashings of torque steer and subsequent dissing from the automotive press (bunch of fairies!!) damage the Viggen name, leading them to forsake it for this car?
I think it would have been perfect.
It was good to see the Turbo X get a run, with a green arrow, over at AutoExtremist. Pete De Lorenzo’s site is a serious gearhead website with a fair bit of clout and contact in the industry. His coverage is mainly a press release job, but it’s good to see nonetheless.
The Turbo X made the grade because of the mechanical package. It really is quite a step up and those saying that this car is just an Aero with XWD really need to appreciate how good this system is. And the eLSD really does make a lot of difference.
There’s also a comment published in his letters section from a reader there. If you think we’ve been harsh hoping for an extra 20hp to push the car over the 300 mark, think again….
This brand new Saab is already 70hp short for its price, or it’s $10,000 too expensive for its performance….. It’s not going to draw anyone new to the brand based only on performance numbers, and it’s definitely not going to erase the 10 years of bad press Saab has accumulated from the media like performance can often do…… I’m pulling for Saab, and I’m hoping GM will let them figure themselves out, but the big deal here is the AWD, which is 7 years too late- and it makes the rest of the car seem like a half-assed effort.
Two things about this letter….
1) The guy hasn’t driven it and I’d suggest he’s bundling this in with all the other AWD systems out there.
2) It shows why taking the car up to that 300hp mark might have been a good idea, purely from a marketing point of view. This guy’s suggesting 350hp, but I reckon a production number with a ‘3’ in front of it would have been enough to silence around 75% of the people who have been critical on this point.
And a memo to Pete D at AE, not that he’s likely to see it.
Please try one of the new wizz-bang content management systems over there. Something that can archive your material and create an RSS feed.
Thanks to the several people who emailed me about the AE piece