Archive for 'Boston, Massachusetts'

The Saab Automobile Partnership With Boston-Power

Posted on 12. Mar, 2010 by .


Film Credit: Saab History

On December 15th, Saab Automobile announced their partnership with a Swedish coalition for the advancement of zero-emission vehicles.

One of the businesses that was announced in this partnership, was award winning Boston-Power of Westborough, Massachusetts, provider of next-generation lithium-ion battery technology.

Once Saab’s future became secured with a new buyer, Saab History took the initiative to contact Boston-Power in order to learn more about their partnership with Saab Automobile as part of this coalition. Having the opportunity to meet with Founder and CEO of Boston-Power, Dr. Christina Lampe-Önnerud for an interview and a tour of the facilities, it became quite clear that Saab’s future in electric vehicles was moving fast. Boston-Power’s excitement, energy, experience and knowledge is evident, and their unique position will certainly support a long term partnership with Saab, for both Plug-In Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles (PHEV/BEV).

This partnership received funding from a $12 Million Dollar Swedish Energy Agency grant and as indicated in the film, will produce up to 100 zero-emission fully electric Saab vehicles based off of the existing 9-3 platform by the end of this year.

The lithium-ion battery system used in the Saabs is based on Boston-Power’s Swing 4400 battery cells. This battery system has the necessary extended calendar life, high energy density and is 20-50% more efficient in overall volume compared to traditional systems today.

As Sweden continues to make progress towards sustainability and climate change by being off of fossil fuels by 2020, this partnership between Boston-Power & Saab Automobile aims to accelerate this movement. Dr. Lampe-Önnerud, a Swedish entrepreneur in Saab’s largest market in the United States, drives this message home with Boston-Power’s battery technology.

“We at Boston-Power are very excited about the opportunity to be part of a coalition of companies helping Saab bring its first zero emission vehicle to market. Saab’s reputation for engineering leadership makes it the perfect partner for Boston-Power and the coalition. Its commitment to technological innovation perfectly complements our passion for delivering market-leading portable power solutions for the automotive market.”

I am very excited about this partnership and would like to celebrate the first of the test fleet vehicles produced by test driving one and sharing that experience here with you on Saab History.

A special thanks to those at both Boston-Power as well as CHEN PR, for the opportunity to bring awareness of this game changing technology partnership with Saab Automobile.

Boston-Power, Inc.
2200 West Park Drive
Westborough, MA 01581-3961, USA

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Saab History Reviews Saab 9-5 Friction Tester Boston, MA

Posted on 22. Apr, 2009 by .


The Saab Friction Tester Program has been running with a company called Sarsys in connection with Saab Automobile AB, formerly Saab-Scania AB since the mid-seventies.

12.jpgSarsys with head offices in Trelleborg, Sweden; continue to push the envelope when it comes to intelligent design and engineering of the Saab friction tester systems that are well integrated in the Saab automobiles, in order to keep the runways safe at airports all around the world.

The first Saab friction tester or SFT for short, first debuted in a Saab 99 and since then the it has been outfitted in a Saab 900, 9000, NG900, 9-3 and the 9-5.

Today, there are many Saab Friction Testers in use from an original 1986 Saab 900 in Burlington, Vermont to two facelifted Saab 9-5 SFT’s in Munich, Germany.

41.jpgAccording to rumor, there has been talk about an old Saab 900 that has been operating at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. As part of my quest for more information, I managed to get in touch with the folks that manage Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, Massport to set up a visit to explore this further.

As part of my visit thanks to the folks at Massport after arriving on a SAAB 340, I learned that this rumor was in fact true, however that 1986 Saab 900 was replaced in 2005, with what but another Saab, this time a 2005 Saab 9-5 Wagon/Combi.

This opportunity involved getting the chance to literally be escorted out onto the runway at Logan International Airport with an experienced Saab Friction Tester pilot from Massport. As we drove out onto the runway, I got to learn about not only why the SFT was chosen again due to it’s unique integration of systems that no other competitor has been able to match, but also it’s all-weather abilities that are unique to Saab. The timing of opportunity was done in the spring/summer/fall (maintenance mode) part of the year opposed to the most demanding time, the winter otherwise scheduling may not have permitted.

21.jpgThe runway testing began with an overview on systems, then a run-through on how the systems operated in motion as we drove at a steady 40mph in this rightsized 4-cylinder 2.3t powered Saab 9-5 complete with automatic transmission and paddle shifters.

The object with the friction tester is to be able to accurately report friction coefficients on all of the runways at any given time. The system that is well integrated into the SFT, involves the following.     

* An electronic calibration friction coefficient measuring system with handheld device.
* A 350 gallon water tank spanning rear seats and trunk.
* A hydraulic wheel that is controlled to be raised and lowered onto the runway that sprays water onto the wheel to be measured.
* A reduced fuel tank of only 5 gallons.

After experiencing a few run-throughs of the system in operation from start to finish spanning approximately 1,500 feet on a few runways, I got the surprise of a lifetime. I was handed the keys as I was offered to test drive the Saab Friction Tester myself literally on the same runway at Logan Airport.

scan.jpgAs you will see as part of the video provided, I managed to keep the speed limit around 40 with some variations, I finally got to experience a modern Saab Friction Tester from the driver’s seat.

I have said it before and I will say it again, it continues to make me happy that Saab Automobile, born from jets and known for safety on the roads and in the air, utilizes an automobile to ensure safety for their aircraft counterparts.

It is my hope that my review (writeup & video), not only proves that the rumor that this Saab Friction Tester exists, but it serves as an educational and informational example of the need for Saab Friction Testers at not only Saab’s number one market in the United States (the North East region) but other airports that strongly value safety for any and all of their commercial and freight aircraft.

31.jpgTest driving a Saab Friction Tester at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, a major international airport in that represents a region which has one of the largest amounts of Saabs per capita in the United States was a an opportunity that I will never forget.

I want to thank all of the folks at Massport that managed to take time out of their day to organize the necessary logistics and schedules in order for me to have this experience to share with others here on Saab History.

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Saab History Reviews SAAB 340 Aircraft Maine To Boston

Posted on 20. Apr, 2009 by .


The SAAB 340, the second commercial aircraft from SAAB since the Scandia 90, had its maiden voyage in January of 1983.

4.jpgThis 34-passenger turboprop plane jointly developed with Swedish SAAB aerospace company and United States based Fairchild industries, has had an excellent track record since it’s debut and continues to be well regarded as safe and reliable air transportation all over the world.

In the North East region of the United States, where Saab-Scania began their North American offices, the Saab-Fairchild (SF340) has had numerous flights between regional and international airports over the years.

The first of many included flights out of Maine a few years after the debut of the aircraft. Today, the SF340 continues flights between major and municipal airports such as Augusta, Maine. In Augusta, the capital city of the state of Maine, there are now three routes a day to and from Boston, Massachusetts. There are also flights to Bar Harbor as well as Preque Isle.

According to Colgan Air’s Nancy Witham, “There have been over 400 inbound and outbound flights carrying over 1,200 passengers since March”. As summer arrives, this figure is hoped to grow significantly as tourism season is in session.

2.jpgI had the great opportunity recently to enjoy one of these flights thanks to the folks at Colgan Air out of Washington, D.C.

My takeoff experience with the SAAB 340 from Augusta, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts was comforting knowing that this small Swedish-built aircraft from a company that focuses on safety first, took off without any drama and extra weight and engine noise commonly found in larger jet-engine based aircraft.

Once we made it to 10,000 feet a far cry from traditional flying altitudes found in just about every other aircraft today, I got probably one of the most enjoyable sightseeing experiences as we hugged the Northern New England coastline all the way to Logan Airport. As a passenger sitting comfortably in the leather business-class like seats, I received first class attention from courteous staff at all times.

3.jpgAs we began to descend, the ringing in the ears normally experienced, was non-existent and the touch down was a smooth transition from air to ground. One of my favorite aspects of this experience was the fact that passengers don’t have to wait long to get off of the plane. With only 34 passengers it doesn’t take long to get off the plane, but what makes the process even faster besides passenger count, the ability to simply walk down a small flight of stairs directly onto the tarmac and enter the airport terminal. Now that’s efficient!

The SAAB 340 has a long history of reliable air transportation and today it continues to serve as a beacon to safer, more energy-efficient transportation in the airline industry for professionals or tourists alike.

Currently round trip airfare between Augusta and Boston is $269.00, although prices can vary. This competitively priced airfare usually finds itself around $60 less than similiar flights at nearby Portland Airport.

11.jpgAs the summer travel season gets close, I highly suggest choosing Colgan Air’s SAAB 340 whether you are in the North East of the United States or any of their 20-routes throughout the United States.

I want to thank all of the folks at Colgan Air that managed to take time out of their day to organize the necessary logistics and schedules in order for me to have this experience to share with others here on Saab History.

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Saab USA Cancels Boston Auto Show Press Conference

Posted on 03. Dec, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History / 2007

It has just been brought to my attention that Saab Automobile USA has cancelled their press conference on press day, Wednesday, December 3rd at the Boston Auto Show.

In the meantime, if you happen to be nearby and want to visit the show, you’ll get to see the Saab 9-X Air Concept as well as the 9-3 Convertible Special Edition.

Great, cancelling a press conference in your #1 market in the United States, good call.

Update: Saab USA recently contacted me this morning to indicate that they never planned a press conference, so why are the folks at the convention hall telling me this : “Press Day is actually Wednesday, December 3rd, and Saab has cancelled their press conference.”?

Two stories here..

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Saab 9-X Air & 9-3 Convertible Debut At Boston Auto Show

Posted on 02. Dec, 2008 by .


The Saab 9-X Air Concept Car & 9-3 Convertible Special Edition debut at the Boston Auto Show beginning on December 4th through this weekend.

For Immediate Release – December 2, 2008

New England International Auto Show Debut this weekend

Saab Raises the Roof in Boston, Present and Future: 9-3 Convertible Special Edition and 9-X “Air” BioHybrid Convertible Concept

Boston — The first ever Saab Convertible made its world debut at the Frankfurt auto show in the fall of 1983. Now, 25 years later, a Special Edition of the Saab 9-3 Convertible in bright champagne metallic makes its debut in Boston at the New England International auto show, which opens to the public this Thursday, December 4 ( In addition, the futuristic 9-X “Air” BioHybrid Concept will also be featured at the Saab display in Boston. Well received at its world premiere in Paris earlier this fall, the 9-X Air is an innovative design study exploring what a next generation open-air Saab could look like.
Saab surprised the automotive world when it pioneered the concept of a ‘four season, four-seat’ soft top Convertible. Designed to be practical and stylish, the Scandinavian-styled convertible changed the perception of open top vehicles to be used all the year round.

“Saab has sold more than a quarter of a million convertibles worldwide and the latest edition of the 9-3 highlights the timeless design and responsible performance that Saab convertibles have always represented,” said Steve Shannon, executive director, marketing and product, Saab Automobile USA.

x09sb_n3049.jpgThe special edition Saab Convertible will be available in three metallic colors to include Jet Black, Carbon Grey and the new Bright Champagne. It features Saab’s signature 2.0-liter, 210 hp four cylinder engine and can be matched to six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions.
Special content includes influences from the Turbo X performance model, such as the design of the front bumper and steering wheel plus carbon fiber interior finishes and black floor mats with grey binding. Like the Aero version, the rear shows dual exhaust pipes and an anthracite grey bumper insert. Five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels will be standard.
Expected to arrive in dealer showrooms in January 2009, the Saab 9-3 2.0T Special Edition Convertible will be priced starting at $ 46,725 including destination charges.

1203531.jpgAs a hint where Saab might take its convertible in the future, the 9-X Air BioHybrid concept will also be featured at the New England International Auto Show in Boston. Well received at its world premiere in Paris last October, the 9-X Air is an innovative design study exploring what a next generation open-air Saab could look like.

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Saab Is To Boston – A Reflection of Rivalries

Posted on 22. Sep, 2008 by .


I have been just made aware of a nice reflection today just after the Yankees turn their back on their dynasties ballpark, while the Red Sox continue to enjoy a nostalgic continuation of their past and a hopeful future at Fenway Park.

Gunnar Heinrich, a contributing writer for The Motor Report has published a brilliant piece reflecting the rivalries titled “Saab Is To Boston As BWM Is to New York”.

Having met Gunnar in New York City, ironically for the Saab Reflective event back in March and again at the Turbo-X event in Boston this past May, I am beginning to realize his interest in the Saab brand.

I find, after reading this piece, his comments with Saab are right on the mark, further reflecting that the Saab & Boston Red Sox partnership should have been granted back in 2003, all along!

I did find it interesting that Saab leveraged their limited ad dollars with two ads that featured a 2008 Saab 9-3 during last year’s New England Patriots versus New York Giants superbowl. Not a bad idea to continue this trend of showcasing Saab between these two rival cities here in the United States.

Realizing that people such as myself, Gunnar and others see these opportunities where the market is falling right into Saab’s lap today, is important, but what would be even better would be to see GM realizing this and communicate this to the general public.

I still somehow, believe that the general public does not know Saab exists in the way they need to know.

I leave you with “Saab Is To Boston As BMW Is to NYC” by Gunnar Heinrich and hope that this doesn’t make all New York Saab drivers want to relocate to Boston.



BOSTON and New York have an ongoing quarrel.

And if you live in the Northeastern United States, you’re caught in the crossfire.

Take poor little Connecticut as an example.

The Nutmeg State is caught exactly between Gotham and Beantown and seems to be the Verdun fields of trench warfare between sports teams. From the Bronx and Jersey City, Yankees (baseball) and Giants (football) fans have invaded the bucolic state from the west, while Red Sox and Patriots fans have claimed the eastern fields and pastures.

Each fan is as red faced, loud mouthed and obstreperous as the next.

Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, District of Columbia all seem to sit perched on the sidelines, secretly gunning for Boston while watching Gotham and Beantown, posture like two drunken Irishmen trading insults at a bar; each on the precipice of throwing the first punch.

The catch is, New York is a ten time heavyweight champion coming in at over six foot seven. They call him “the Machine” while Boston is this spry, angry little man who fans charmingly call “Li’l Mick.” Not really, but it’s a good characterization – work with me.

New York is the crossroads of the world while Boston is the ten car pile up that’s I-95 hitting I-90 backing into I-93.

There’s really no explaining this ongoing rivalry. Contest over. NYC wins.

BMW and Saab have much the same strange relationship and it’s easy to understand why.

BMW is to New York as Saab is to Boston.

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Saab Automobile Was To Be Official Car Of Boston Red Sox

Posted on 28. Aug, 2008 by .



This news just blows me away, and here’s the inside scoop thanks to an insider:

According to a recent insider whom has contacted Saab History in confidence, there was a deal in play back in 2003 where none other than the Boston Red Sox contacted Saab Automobile USA to be their official car sponsor.

turbox_plate_boston.jpgThe sum of monies to seal the deal was under 250k, and all Saab Automobile USA had to do was get their advertising agency (Lowe Brindfors in New York), to convince Saab USA’s marketing people to do it, but Lowe declined and let it pass.

As we know, the following year (2004) the Boston Red Sox went onto win their first world series in years, again in 2007 and during that time Volvo picked up the sponsorship deal worth over a half a million dollars.

Talk about opportunity lost, but even more, why couldn’t Saab Automobile USA’s advertising agency seal the deal, was it that they were located in New York and were not looking out for their client, but even better yet did not want their home town (New York Yankees) to loose their edge by giving their competitors, the edge?

I’ve always wondered what it would be like if the Boston Red Sox was the official car of the Saab Automobile, and now we’ve found out that the Red Sox wanted Saab USA, but Saab USA’s marketing & advertising team could not sign the dotted line.

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The 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X Test Drive Film

Posted on 03. Jun, 2008 by .


Film Credits: Bader TV, Post Production: Saab History
The 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X Test Drive that took place in Andover, Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 20th is now available in a film above that showcases the highlights from the day from the arrival at Saab History site sponsor, Herb Chambers Saab of Boston to the actual test drive itself at a closed parking lot course in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Thanks to Saab Automobile USA’s film crew, Bader TV, Saab History has been able to get permission to use their footage and piece it together with some post production work that should get us very excited about this much anticipated halo vehicle for cross-wheel drive, the 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo-X.
Think of this film as a sequel to the first film where the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X had it’s North American debut in Boston, Massachusetts this past November.
I hope that this film has been able to best capture the experience for you here on Saab History.
A thank you to Saab Automobile USA and Bader TV for making this coverage possible.

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Production Concept