Archive for February, 2008

Saab Turbo-X & Cross-Wheel Drive Opportunities

Posted on 29. Feb, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

The 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X is what is referred to as the “halo” vehicle for Cross-Wheel Drive (XWD) for the Saab Automobile Brand. Having had the chance to briefly test drive a prototype last summer, here in the Washington, D.C. area, I was certainly brought up to speed on the driving characteristics of this new technology, but I must admit that a more inclimate terrain would have helped paint a better picture of these capabilities for the visitors here on Saab History.

Following this test drive, I was invited to see, following the global launch in Frankfurt, the North American Launch at the Boston Auto Show on November 27th, 2007. It was at this event that my curiousity peaked with regards to Saab’s new cross-wheel drive system.

As of late, there have been a number of members of the press such as Edmunds, Expressions and others who have apparently had been test driving and reviewing this 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X up in Northern Sweden while staying at the Ice Hotel. The Ice Hotel, I should add, is now one of the quintessential Scandinavian experiences today. So, as I mentioned, I am delighted to see that these members of the press have had these experiences and have had nothing but positive reviews across the board, but one question has been asked of me here on Saab History: Where are the Saab Enthusiast bloggers such as Saab History, Trollhattansaab and others, and where are their reviews of the Turbo-X from a driving perspective? As far as I know, neither of us have been invited to this event to test drive the Turbo-X, and we aren’t exactly sure why. I think that we would like to be optimistic that we will also get our opportunity to test drive the Turbo-X to share with other Saab enthusiasts, but where and when, we do not know. I should emphasize if it is not already abundantly clear, the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X is clearly an enthusiast vehicle for the Saab Automobile brand. On the topic of “enthusiast”, in mind, I see that there would be some strong value in having enthusiasts report on this enthusiast vehicle TO other enthusiasts.

It is my hope that the Saab Enthusiasts get a chance to experience the Turbo-X before not too long. I have also said it before and I’ll say it again, Saab Automobile USA needs to apply a similiar program that Saab Automobile Sweden is doing up in Northern Sweden to the United States. This program should be applied modified to suit the New England region of the United States. In New England, Saab USA’s original home market, and President of Saab Automobile USA, Steve Shannon‘s roots, and still makes up approximately 40% of Saab Automobile USA’ sales nationwide. These factors alone, combined with the incredible snowfall this year in this region should make New England an important area in which to carry out a promotional program like this with the Saab Turbo-X and Cross-Wheel Drive.

This program should include aggresive real-life test drive promotions during the winter season (think snow & ice) where perspective buyers could experience cross-wheel drive in their own elements in key geographic areas managed by local dealerships and Saab Automobile USA in the North East as I have mentioned earlier.

It is important to remember that besides a program like this with the Saab dealerships in the United States, you also have the ski resort demographic to market and promote this technology to, also in New England. The Ski Resorts have indicated here on Saab History, that they are eager and waiting for Saab to come back to that venue and promote their Cross-Wheel Drive with the Turbo-X.

turbox_rear.jpgFrom the enthusiast oriented test drives of the Turbo-X, to specific Saab dealerships doing test drives with the public in appropriate geographic regions, to Ski Resorts in New England showcasing the Turbo-X & Cross-Wheel Drive, Saab Automobile USA has a plethora of great resources in which to showcase and promote the XWD, and therefore the oportunities would appear almost limitless for the brand in the United States.

It is my hope that we can see many these opportunities combined with many others, begin being explored in the immediate future here in the United States during this monumental milestone for the Saab Automobile brand with Cross-Wheel Drive. This much anticipated and awaited technology is just too important and critical today for the Saab Automobile brand and therefore these opportunities cannot be overlooked.

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Saab History Welcomes Cherry Hill Saab As Sponsor

Posted on 29. Feb, 2008 by .



Photo Credits: Cherry Hill Saab

Saab History Welcomes Cherry Hill Saab As Sponsor! It is interesting to note that Cherry Hill Saab began their operations when Saab-Scania at the time, offered only one model in the United States, the Saab 900 which was just shortly after Robert J. Sinclair took the corner office as President of Saab-Scania of America. A year later, APC was introduced in the 900 Turbos and then, the first convertible prototype was designed and introduced in 1983 and rest was history.

Enjoy their writeup on their company history below in their own words:

Classic Cars Auto Group started in 1978 as a family owned and operated business here in Southern New Jersey. The Saab Franchise was acquired by us in 1981. It was started in a 3500 square foot Showroom on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Over the years it grew and was moved to our current location, a state of the art facility housing both the Saab and Jaguar Franchises.

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Team D in Pacific NorthWest Finish Alcan Rally

Posted on 29. Feb, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Team D

Team D out of Portland, Oregon who I mentioned this past November after a lengthy preparation have now completed the Alcan Rally.

The Alcan 5000 Rally began on February 17th in Kirkland, WA and ended on the 26th in Jasper. Alberta, Canada and spanned approximately 4710 miles.

map.jpgTheir vehicle driven by Dan & Hans, came out 1st in class and 7th overall out of 24 participants. It looks like their trip was pretty worthwhile although their 1985 Saab 900 Turbo sustained some front-end damage along the way.

It’s nice to see some die hard Saab enthusiasts taking a classic out in the elements. Congratulations to Dan & Hans of Team D of Seattle, Washington!

To read more about their trip, please visit Team D’s blog.

For more information about the Alcan 5000, please visit their website directly.

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Garry Small Saab – Customer Testimonial

Posted on 28. Feb, 2008 by .



Saab History site sponsor, Garry Small Saab of Portland, Oregon has recently received a wonderful letter from one of their new customers where he praises them for their truly excellent “Saab Service” and customer service experience.

It sounds like this place is the right Saab dealership to go to in the Pacific North West for Saab service.

A thank you to Garry Small Saab for this submission, and a wish to Jay Hoffman for many more fun years in his Saab!

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Saab France Launches Interactive XWD Experience

Posted on 28. Feb, 2008 by .



Image Credit: Saab Automobile France

Saab Automobile France has recently launched an interactive XWD ‘Cross-Wheel Drive’ online experience microsite.

This site gives you short of a real-life test drive in suitable driving conditions, a way to see how the XWD responds. I found that this experience almost reminded me of the previous Saab BioPower game offered for people on their cell phone.

While I found the site to be somewhat helpful and informative. There are a lot of signs for XWD here as you can see on the signpost, and I bet most of the people in the United States are wondering where the sign is leading them to purchasing XWD in United States at this time.

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A Saab 9000 Saves A Man’s Life in Maine, USA

Posted on 28. Feb, 2008 by .



A man driving a later model Saab 9000 in Maine recently was travelling on an overpass and hit ice and consequently launched off of the road and was airborn until he landed about 30 feet below on top of a guard rail alongside Interstate 95.

Once again, thanks to Saab’s safety cage and other innovative safety features this man is alive as a result.

Enjoy the piece below thanks to Maine Today:

Photo Credits: Maine Today

PITTSFIELD — In one of the more spectacular area car accidents in recent memory, a Burnham man in a Saab sailed off an overpass and landed on a guardrail on Interstate 95.

Franz Spiegel, 43, of Burnham, complained of chest pains, but survived. He was the only person involved in the accident, according to Maine State Trooper Derrick Record.

“When I heard the call, I was expecting a fatal,” he said. “He probably wasn’t going a ridiculous speed for the road, but it was probably too fast for conditions.”

Spiegel had been traveling from Burnham to Canaan when he hit an icy patch on the bridge and veered up onto the guard rail around 10 a.m. Sunday. While Spiegel was being loaded into an ambulance, a walk up to the top of the overpass revealed snow and ice that had been packed into rounded bobsled-like chute over the interstate.

It was the ramping effect of the packed ice sloping up to the guardrails, coupled with perhaps a little too much speed, which enabled Spiegel’s vehicle to slide up onto the guardrail, according to another Maine State Trooper, Sean Kinney.

9000_mainea.jpg“Luckily, he landed so most of the vehicles” did not have a difficult time avoiding the Saab, Kinney said.

Several drivers witnessed Spiegel’s Saab slide along six sections of guardrail along the Johnson Flat Road overpass — roughly the width of the two interstate lanes plus the areas on the shoulders — before plummeting to the highway below, Kinney said.

No witnesses stayed at the scene long enough to be interviewed, however.

The car landed rear-first and upright, straddling the guardrail along the northbound lanes of Interstate 95, its back end teetering over a snowbank and its front end hanging over the asphalt shoulder.

Both rear wheels appeared to have broken from the axle and dangled at odd angles. Fluids and broken glass collected below the front end of the vehicle before it was lifted onto a flat-bed truck and towed away.

Traffic was light, as it was a Sunday morning. Cars and tractor-trailers backed up perhaps a half a mile while first responders worked to clear the left lane. At about 11 a.m., fire trucks were beginning to pull away from the scene.

Joel Elliott


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Saab History Welcomes Swedish Motor Cars As Sponsor

Posted on 28. Feb, 2008 by .



Please welcome Saab independent, Swedish Motor Cars of Falls Church, Virginia, as a sponsor with Saab History. Saab Enthusiast owned and operated, Swedish Motor Cars prides themselves on their Saab sales, service and restoration projects and are the most accessible Saab independent in the Washington, D.C. metro region!

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Saab Enthusiast Starts Saab Radio Station in the USA

Posted on 28. Feb, 2008 by .



A Saab Enthusiast is starting a Saab Radio station in California in April 2008!

Here is his writeup in Nines Magazine that he wrote that I have republished with his permission:

This will be a great addition to the Saab community! Just think, we could have our Saab Owners Convention broadcast on radio among other things!

Exciting news for the Saab community! After 25 years of being a broadcast journalist and connector of resources among and for people, after meeting so many people who LOVE these cars (and loving them myself) I have decided to focus a radio program exclusively on Saab. It’s expected to hit the air in April!

I got first introduced to Saab in the 1970’s when I would go into New York CIty with my friend to pick up orders for our food co-op on Long Island. I felt like we were driving an indestructible missle. These days I connect people to Saabs. I love learning about the little kinks and personalities of each model. So much so, I decided Saab needs its own program.

My Saab radio series will air on KRXA AM in Camel, California. It’s 10,000 watts of pure radio power covering an unusually large listening audience large listening audience in a great market area. We’re even “streamed” worldwide over the Internet 0 so even if California isn’t local to you – rest assured, we’re heard virtually everywhere. The station has six phone lines which means we can have multiple guests and call-ins.

The programs will fill with humorous and even miraculous stories about owning a Saab, insights from Saab mechanics, life saving stories and all the characters and qualities of people that make up the Saab community. It will also feature such legends as the “saab angel” and the “saab wizard.” I am also putting together Saab specific contests that will drive listeners to sponsor web sites. We will also feature Nines own, Seth Bengelsdorf.

I am hunting your stories, advice and, most importantly, sponsorship. Call or e-mail me today so we can chat and learn more about how Saab radio can help you.

Glenn Brooks

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