Tag Archives: Mitsubishi

Per Eklund Prepares Heikkinen For Finnish Rallycross

Posted on 20. Apr, 2010 by .

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Photo Credit: Photo: © Lennart Pettersson

Mike Jager has recently covered Per Eklund’s protege, Toomas Heikkinen where he will participate in the first two events of the 2010 Finnish Rallycross Championship.

It was in March where we first learned that Heikkinen is being groomed by Eklund for future rallycross events with the Eklund team.

The Swedish Rallycross Championship, the ‘Rallycross Norden’ events and probably eight events of the 2010 FIA European Rallycross Championship is the plan for Per Eklund this year. Like Michael Jernberg yesterday, Andréas Eriksson this last saturday, and Kenneth Hansen last week, Eklund also attended Strängnäs Motorstadion for some testing before the season. He had this time only brought his “old” SAAB 9-3 with him. “Everything underneath is the same – it is only the model that is older – otherwise it is just as fast as my other Division 1 cars,”he explained.
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Per Eklund Chooses Heikkinen For Finnish RallyCross

Posted on 03. Mar, 2010 by .

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Photo Credits: http://www.erc24.com/

Per Eklund appears to be grooming a young protege who will be joining Eklund Motorsport. A Finn, by the name of Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen who will be racing in this year’s Finnish rallycross according to enthusiast, Mike Jager

It’s nice to see experienced professionals realizing that for continuity sake, a younger generation needs to be transitioned in.

Finn Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen has made the move from circuit racing to Rallycross and will take part in this year’s Finnish ‘Super Rallicross’ championship in an Eklund Motorsport Saab 93 ERC.
Heikkinen (18) will contest a full season in the Finnish championship as well as driving the Saab in the Finnish round of the ERC in July. Further outings will be considered on the basis Heikkinen’s progress. Starts in the Swedish ERC round, and late season ERC events that fall after the end of the Finnish championship are under discussion.

Having raced karts since the age of eight, Heikkinen progressed to cars in a fairly conventional career path and drove in Formula Renault events in 2008 and ’09. The move to Rallycross is not unique; Finland’s most recent European champion, Jussi Pinomäki, was also an accomplished racer before switching codes.

“It is great to start taking part in a sport in which Finns have a fantastic history and several European champions. My team manager, Per Eklund, has also won the European championship, and Matti Alamäki, the living legend of Rallycross and a five-time European champion, is still driving in the Finnish championship. In company like that, you just have to grab the wheel like a man!” said Heikkinen, “Obviously there is a huge amount to learn. Just to start with, I’m not familiar with the high-powered engine and four-wheel drive of my car. During the winter I have been learning to drive a four-wheel drive vehicle in a Mitsubishi rally car on various Rallycross tracks. Rally driver Riku Tahko has been sitting beside me, and I’m starting to get the hang of it.” In kart racing Heikkinen was a contemporary of Timmy Hansen, Tom Blomqvist and Marcus Ericsson, he was a race winner during the 2009 Formula Renault NEC Cup season.
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Per Eklund Wins FIA RallyCross Championship In Finland

Posted on 22. Oct, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: RallyCross.com

Per Eklund Wins FIA RallyCross Championship In Finland in his Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan.

Here are the details below thanks to Mike Jager.

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Eklund wins in Finland!
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A Saab Enthusiast Predicts Saab USA’s Future

Posted on 12. Nov, 2008 by .

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As a follow-up to the illustration of poll’s titled “the people have spoken” about the future of Saab Automobile, one Saab Enthusiast writes Saab History to share his thoughts about Saab Automobile USA’s future as well!

Here is his piece in his own words:

Saab’s USA Future

I don’t know if the website monitors the news, but while proposing that Saab have its own head rather than sharing it with Cadillac and Hummer I would like to point out the following:

1) Hummer is not much longer going to be a GM brand as it is up for sale. Either it will be sold or dissolved, but GM is not going to invest in it anymore. Now the head of luxury products will only worry about two divisions – Cadillac and Saab.

2) Saab and Cadillac share parts – more than people care to admit. The Saab 9-3 Aero currently has a 2.8 L V6 engine that comes orginally from the Cadillac CTS. Saab engineers did add a Mitsubishi turbocharger (I believe) but it is still a Caddy engine. Cadillac is also selling a rebadged 9-3 in Europe as the BLS. True, it does not sell well but it is more product sharing. It is not such a stretch to have the same person running these two divisions.

3) Finally, as has been in the news a lot lately, GM is hemmoraging – badly. It lost over $6 Billion in the last quarter alone, and is on the verge of global bankruptcy. Saab in Europe is a break-even proposition right now, and Saab USA loses a ton of money. If GM is to cut costs where do you think they will cut first? Where they are losing money. My bet is that Saab USA may no longer exist if the company declares Chapter 11 and has to reorgranize. At best, it will offer three cars the 9-3, 9-4 and 9-5 – and they might be at Cadillac dealerships.

It is too bad that the auto industry is in so much turmoil right now and the global economy is in bad shape, but the reality is GM cannot afford two divsiion presidents – especially for a division as small as Saab is in the USA.

Sincerely.
A 2006 Saab 9-3 owner

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Ten Years Of The Saab 9-5, A Comparison

Posted on 24. Feb, 2008 by .

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Photo Credits: Carl Levine

This is a great writeup on the comparison between the 1998 Saab 9-5 and the current 2008 Saab 9-5, by Carl Levine of Granite-Embedded Systems, the inventor of the Audio Troll device that seamlessly integrates the Ipod and the Saab.

I find this writeup a great addition to my recent writeup of the 2007 Saab 9-5 Anniversary Edition done this past October.

Enjoy this piece in his own words:

Ten Years Of The Saab 9-5, A Comparison 1998-2008

Tonight we’re gonna party like its MY99 and take a look at the evolution of Saab’s flagship model in its ten years on the American market. The premium segment in 1998 was quite fresh with a brand new Audi A6, one-year-old BMW 5-Series, fairly recent E-Class Mercedes-Benz, a beautiful new Volvo that looked unlike anything Gothenburg had made before called an S80, a myriad of leather-clad Camry and Accord badged as Lexus and Acura… and then there was the Saab 9000. The venerable Saab 9000 had been a staple of the premium car segment for twelve years before it faded away into the hallowed halls of the Saab Bilmusem and the worldwide used car market, and by the end of its run, sales were at their all time lowest. I contend that the 9000 grew old gracefully, but I also had faith that Saab would start being a bit competitive on the market so that its replacement would be a short-lived car lasting four or five years before a complete overhaul.

At the 1997 Saab Owners Convention in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, Saab introduced the 9-5 to the American market; a 4-door notchback sedan replacement for the versatile and cavernous 9000. The Saab faithful had mixed feelings about the new car which abandoned the innovative hatchback design that had become the most popular body style for Saab since its introduction on the 1974 Saab 99. Light pressure turbo engines carried over from the then-discontinued 9000CS variant with a few internal changes to reduce friction and increase efficiency, along with an all new version of Trionic to make that motor do its thing. The Saab faithful had their feelings, but its impact on the market was never fully realized in the wake of customer perceptions of the brand and ineffective marketing.

The 9-5 went on sale in April of 1998 with a base price of $29,995. Two months later, the car I’m driving today rolled off of Trollhättan’s assembly line headed for its new home in Wilder, Vermont. And much to the contrary of my assertion that Saab would have replaced the vehicle with something more advanced and competitive within 4 years, brand new 2008 9-5s are still rolling out of Trollhättan with no structural differences. In this article, I will be discussing the 9-5 from the viewpoint as an owner, technician, and former Saab sales associate in an effort to show that despite its advanced age, there is no reason why these cars shouldn’t be flying off the lots of Saab dealers around the world.

Let’s meet the contestants:

nines292_7_300.jpgIn the Scarabe Green corner, we have my 1999 Saab 9-5 SE. 2.3 liters of Swedish fury tied to a 5-speed manual transmission. Trionic box has been upgraded to the Saab Performance ECU, yielding an apparent 200hp and 229 ft/lb of torque. Original engine, original turbo. As an SE model, this car is equipped with Sand Beige classic leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, 9-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, sunroof, and that nifty passenger side mirror that dips down when you stick it in reverse. This car stickered for approximately $38k in the spring of 1998. This car has towed my life across New Hampshire on its Class-II hitch, chased bad guys with unrestrained cargo in their pickup truck at 120+ mph (after one of his pallets hit and exploded on the front of my car, no less), made me abandon my pursuit of becoming an educator to design an iPod adapter for it and otherwise provided me with 75k miles of unsurpassed reliability and performance. Best Saab I’ve ever owned from a practicality and reliability standpoint. Oh, and did I mention it has (as of this writing) 228,000 miles? Yeah. Awesome.

nines292_3_300.jpgIn the Jet Black corner, we have my local, friendly Saab dealer’s brand new 2008 Saab 9-5 2.3T. Still 2.3 liters of Swedish fury tied to a 5-speed Sentronic automatic transmission. In this tune of Trionic 7 in concert with a Mitsubishi TD-04 turbocharger, this 9-5 makes 260hp and 258ft/lb of torque. The 2.3T trim is what we would used to call a base model, but there is nothing base about it. “Aero” seats, all the stuff from my SE (except the rear heated seats) and some nifty available stuff like Xenon headlights, folding side mirrors and rear park assist.


Overview:

The fundamental differences are merely skin deep. The 9-5’s exterior was redesigned for M02 and M06. At that time, the front and rear facades were revamped and the suspension got a little tighter each time. I’ve had the pleasure of driving every model year of 9-5 since its introduction, and the improvement in the past 10 years has been phenomenal. Of course, all of these changes are bolted onto the car. Saab has not had to change the presses for anything structural in any significant way since 1997.

The 2006 redesign has been an issue of great contention from the moment it was revealed in 2005. I’d even go so far as to call it divisive — it alienated a customer base that was perhaps in the market for something a bit more conservative in design. As a long-time Saab owner and enthusiast, I’d be remise if I didn’t say that the design has grown on me over time and that if I were in the market for another car of that size, I’d totally get one. The improvements that began in 2006 and have carried forward into this model year are what the car should have been 10 years ago, but Saab never had the foresight to realize how important a really tight suspension, painted door handle and trim, an expandable audio system and big bolstered seats could have had in the initial public offering.

Back-to-Back road test:

In the interest of empiricism, I’ve selected a road test course that involves highway driving as well as intricate driving along tight, twisty New England roads. Driving the same course in both cars will give a pretty good indicator of not only how amazing the changes have beento the 9-5 over the past ten years, but also how a 10 year old 9-5 with
nearly a quarter of a million miles still gets on!

nines292_2-1_300.jpgSlipping behind the wheel of the 2008 car, the first obvious difference is the height of the seat cushion. For 2008, Saab made the Aero-style bolstering standard equipment across the 9-5 range with varying qualities of leather depending on the variant. In this humble 2.3T model, the leather was the same quality of previous years Linear or Arc models with a rough, well-wearing pebble-like texture. The instruments have carried forward from the 2006 redesign and are more consistent with the rest of the product range. Performance from a cold start was consistent with other Trionic-7 equipped cars, and the Sentronic manual shifting was subject to a bit of lag. With this in mind, I kept the automatic gearbox in drive and let sport mode pick my battles. The first leg of the course involved normal, suburban driving. This 9-5 cruised along quietly and comfortably as the heating system and seat heaters started to come into effect. XM radio is standard across the Saab range for 2008, and the sweet sounds of XM9 provided me with a good soundtrack to remind me of this car’s roots… in the 1990s. Enter part two of our little 10-mile-loop, a quick blast two exits west on a 4-lane arterial highway. At this time, I switched into Manual mode and let my fingers do the talkin’. A safe cruising speed was attained quickly, without excessive noise, vibration or harshness. The B235 under the hood is the last of a legendary line of Saab (and Saab-Scania for that matter) built engines and I will still argue that it is quieter than the L850-based aluminum block B207 series in the 9-3. Direct lockup in 4th and 5th gears provided the same smooth acceleration and impressive performance as a manual transmission equipped car as the gearbox was not constantly hunting for the right gear under acceleration. In the third and final stage, the 9-5 handled the twisty roads heading to the back entrance of the dealership like a champ.

nines292_6_300.jpgUpon leaving the dealership, after driving the 9-7x Aero of course, I found myself at the helm of the beast of a car that was once as nice as the 2008 I had just driven. Approximately ten-thousand times the mileage of the test car, my 9-5 felt more like an old 9000 than anything else. The steering, for instance, was really tight and responsive on the brand new car as one would expect. Back in 1999, when I worked with these cars and drove them every day, the steering was nice but never as heavy feeling as the 2008. The five speed manual gearbox, still crisp and
somewhat quiet at its old age put the power to the pavement as I replicated the test circuit. Clearly Saab was doing something right with the very early 9-5 models, because the reliability and build quality is still superior between the 1999 variant and the 2008. Some materials have changed, some for worse such as the dash pad or the seat upholstery and some for better like the carpets. Early 9-5 models had issues with the plastic rivet ripping the carpet by the A-Pillar and having the carpet essentially “shrink” in place. Changes over time as a whole have improved the car, but it was never consistent with the amount of marketing the company could have been doing to move the cars off the lot. In its prime, the 9-5 was quite the volume seller and dealers had no problem moving ones in popular colors such as Scarabe Green, Midnight Blue, Sun Green (Dime for every one of those I sold in 2001…), Silver, Steel Gray and of course, Black. Companies like Johnson and Johnson used the 9-5 as a company car, issuing them to many of their regional employees and introducing many of them to the brand for the first time.

In Closing:

nines292_5_300.jpgTo bring it all together, the 9-5 has been an amazing car for Saab around the world. In America, it gave buyers a more conventional car to aspire to in the Saab range and spurred a number of conquest sales in the first 3 years on the market. The 9-5 was the victim of a number of really ineffective marketing campaigns (or lack thereof for a number of years) and even Born From Jets can’t seem to bring the masses in like it does for the 9-3 series. Of course, the story is much sweeter across the pond where the 9-5 is not only a popular car among individuals but also in fleet sales and public service. While some argue that the 9-5 has grown long-in-tooth, and perhaps uglier over time, we can be thankful that it will never see its awkward teen years like the 9000 did. But we cannot discount the 9000 because a lot of the same endearing qualities that manifested themselves with age in that car also hold true in well-cosseted 9-5s. Wear items such as front lower control arm bushings are very similar in design between the 9000 and 9-5, and wear out in the exact same fashion for instance. The 9-5, however, is significantly more reliable and predictable in its failure trends as it ages than the 9000 ever was. Repair costs are significantly less, and used parts availability for those trying to keep older ones running is quite plentiful with all these misinformed customers changing their oil once a year.

nines292_1_300.jpgThe Saab 9-5 is the last vestige of what I would refer to as an old-school Saab. Saab engineers were given a somewhat more modern GM platform to work with in 1993 and spent 5 years making it feel like a Saab. Compare this to the NG900/C9-3 series which was running on a 1989 platform from 1993 till 2002, and four years of development. Most of those development years were spent increasing the efficiency of vehicle assembly, whereas the 9-5 development was clearly more product-based and signaled the start of what was at that time a very comprehensive plan to turn things around with GM as half owner of the company. GM’s full ownership of Saab was questioned when the purchase of the other half took place in 2000, but having seen how GM can leverage international resources to build a Saab 9-3 that is finally competitive, I am confident that when the 9-5 reaches the end of its run it will have a very worthy replacement.

The 9-5 is rumored to be up for replacement at some point in CY2009, with a new Anniversary variant due out this fall.

This article can be downloaded as a podcast at http://www.ipodmysaab.com/nines292.m4a (requires iTunes).

/Carl Levine is the owner of Granite Embedded Systems in New Hampshire, dedicated enthusiast and former Saab salesman./

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Per Eklund Wins London RallyCross

Posted on 10. Dec, 2007 by .

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Swedish rally legend, Per Eklund has officially won the London RallyCross mentioned earlier last week.

Eklund won the London masters today!

After qualifying 2nd despite not having the ideal tyre (Avon cross-ply heavy wet pattern) Per made a fantastic start with London-based Irishman Ollie O`Donovan the pole-sitter also getting off the line with a good start, the two cars alongside eachother into the first left-hand kink.

Both cars were launched skyward and contact was made in mid-air, fortunately Pers Saab 9-3 4x4t landed better than O`Donovan who`s Tony Bardy prepared Peugeot 306 4x4T16 ended up hitting the barriers and sustaining damage to front and rear right-hand suspension and stranded just off the racing line.

The race continued with Tony Proctor (Yorkshire) in his Harry Hockley prepared Ford Puma 4x4t taking up the chase to catch Per Eklund with Dublin Based Irishman Dermot Carnegie Fiesta ST4x4T and Steve Hill Mitsubishi Evo 9 also in hot persuit.

Proctors chase ended a few laps later after spinning-out and stalling, leaving Carnegie to pick up 2nd place and Hill to complete the honours with 3rd.

After the race Per picked-up hitch-hiker Ollie O`Donovan, who then drove Pers Saab with the 61 year old Eklund standing proud out of the side of the drivers door to enjoy the cheers of the crowd, whilst the other drivers enjoyed a feast of donuts, Carnegie in particular who managed to treat Tommy Grahams Escort to a sand-blasting.

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Saab Rally Driver Profile – Stig Blomqvist

Posted on 05. Apr, 2007 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

Anders Jensen of Saab Stickers, a consistent supporter of Saab history has done an excellent job in providing information about legendary Stig Blomqvist, so I have decided to provide you his information instead of re-inventing the wheel.

Following this writeup, I have also provided a detailed year over year rally summary of Stig Blomqvist with the SAAB automobile from 1970 until 1981.

As soon as he had his driving licence, aged just 18, he was behind the wheel of a Saab 96 -64 at a local rally event near Swedish Karlstad. Astonishingly he finished in 2nd place overall and from that moment his career took off. He drove with the Saab team in the rallies outside his home turf, which gave him his first international victory at the 1971 British RAC Rally. Over the decade he also excelled closer to home, winning the Swedish Rally in 1973, 1977 and 1979. He continued with top performances with Lancia and Lotus Talbot and at the beginning of the 80s he was one of the first drivers to introduce four-wheel drive to the rallying world, driving an Audi Quattro. Competing alongside other Rally masters such as Walter Röhrl, Markku Alén and Hannu Mikkola, he achieved five victories in 1984 and became the World Rally Champion.

His rally career was on top form in the group B car era and he showed his excellence with the Nissan, Ford and Peugeot teams. In the 90s he used his experience of two wheel drive cars to help the Skoda Motorsport team to develop the Felicia Kit Car. In what later became rally folklore, during a guest appearance at the 1996 Rally of Great Britain, he finished 3rd overall with a Skoda Felicia Kit Car 1,6.

In 2001, Stig Blomqvist, together with co-driver Ana Goni, competed in the World Rally Championship with a group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, finishing in 5th place overall in the 2001 FIA group N classification.

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Six Cylinder Turbo Power gives Saab 9-3 Aero Class-leading Appeal

Posted on 20. Apr, 2005 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2005-04-20

Six Cylinder Turbo Power gives Saab 9-3 Aero Class-leading Appeal

· Unique offer in segment, more torque than other six cylinder gasoline engines

· Saab 9-3 Aero 2.8V6 Turbo fastest-ever Saab

· First gasoline V6 designed from start for Saab’s turbocharged application

· Light, compact, all-aluminum construction

· Twin-scroll turbocharger for smooth response

· Variable cam phasing for improved breathing

· Stainless steel exhaust manifolds for lower cold-start emissions

· Sinter-forged connecting rods for extra strength

· Tuned twin exhaust for sporty engine note

The Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan Aero with its new 2.8V6 Turbo engine is, quite simply, the fastest accelerating car ever to carry the Saab badge. It represents the culmination of almost 30 years’ experience from Saab as acknowledged leaders in the art of turbocharging.

For the first time, Saab customers will be able to enjoy the combined benefits of turbocharged power and six cylinder refinement in a purpose-built package. With massive pulling power (350 Nm) spread widely across the engine’s speed range, the 250 bhp/184 kW 2.8V6 Turbo generates more torque than any other six cylinder gasoline engine in the Saab 9-3 segment.

Saab Automobile Powertrain’s expert knowledge and experience of turbocharging is recognized by its role as a Center of Expertise within General Motors for the development of turbocharged gasoline engines. The Swedish engineers were therefore closely involved during the conceptual design and development of GM’s new global V6 engine architecture, ensuring it included the possibility of a turbocharged application.


Sophisticated technology

The 2.8V6 Turbo has a 60º vee-angle between its cylinder banks for perfect balance and combines excellent multi-valve refinement with outstanding performance. The all aluminum construction provides a light and compact architecture, well suited to its transverse, front-wheel-drive installation in the Saab 9-3 Aero.

The cylinder heads, each with double chain-driven overhead camshafts operating four valves per cylinder, are of high specification aluminum and unique to this turbocharged variant. The design ensures enhanced heat resistance under 85 bar cylinder pressures, as well as minimum maintenance costs.

Also unique are pistons with hard anodized ring grooves for durability and under-skirt oil jet cooling, together with steel con-rods that are strengthened by sinter-forging, a process that involves molding metal in a powered form. The exhaust valves are filled with sodium to further enhance cooling. The cylinders have cast iron liners and a bore/stoke of 89.00 / 74.8 mm.

For improved engine breathing, variable cam phasing on the inlet side is electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated, allowing continuously variable adjustment through 50º of crankshaft rotation. On the road, this translates to a more flexible power delivery and better fuel economy under different engine loads.

A die-cast aluminum oil sump is designed to increase structural stiffness and the strong, four-bearing crankshaft is made from micro-alloy forged steel, a specification more commonly seen in competition performance or diesel engines.

The twin-scroll, water-cooled Mitsubishi TDO4-15TK turbocharger, operates at 0.6 bar maximum boost with intercooling and an integral by-pass valve. It is mounted centrally above the transmission and fed by both banks of cylinders. The use of two separate inlet tracts, one for each cylinder bank, separates the exhaust gas pulses, improving gas flow, reducing energy losses and raising turbocharger efficiency. The turbine wheel is made from a special high-grade steel alloy, commonly used in the turbocharged engines of world championship rally cars, which is resistant to erosion, cracking and creeping under high temperatures and centrifugal forces.

Also unique are double-skin exhaust manifolds, which are hydroformed with stainless steel liners to improve cold start emissions by minimizing heat absorption to the manifold. Air injection into each manifold for up to 30 seconds after a cold start also helps the central pre-catalyst, positioned upstream of the main catalytic converter, achieve ‘light off’, its effective working temperature, as early as possible.

Smart engine management

The 32-bit engine management system, with software calibrated specifically for the Saab 9-3 application, utilizes a torque-based engine control strategy and direct coil-over-plug ignition with a robust engine-mounted control unit. Ignition timing, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure, air mass measurement and the throttle setting are all key engine functions controlled by the software.

The sophisticated control strategy is designed to deliver smooth performance in all driving conditions. The system works with the vehicle’s transmission to modulate torque, providing stirring performance and excellent engine response. The system can also limit torque in low-traction conditions, helping provide confident, sure-footed driving. Variable fuel pressure further contributes to smooth idle and driving characteristics.

For driving comfort, control of the electronic throttle through the movement of the accelerator pedal is programmed to be sensitive to different driving conditions, with greater pedal movement introduced at lower vehicle speeds, such as when maneuvering or parking. At low engine speeds, the engine control system also brings the turbo in quickly by momentarily opening the throttle slightly more than requested by the driver.

On the road the new 9-3 Aero 2.8V6 Turbo packs a formidable punch and the driver will also immediately appreciate the smooth power delivery, like an iron first in a velvet glove. Apart from the boost gauge in the dashboard, the only clue to the presence of a turbocharger is an uncannily effortless rate of acceleration.

Pick-up from tick-over at just 720 rpm is instant, due to the engine’s relatively large multi-cylinder capacity. At about 1,000 rpm, the turbo begins to build a massive wall of torque that is already in place by the time the tachometer swings through 2,000 rpm. It endows the 9-3 Aero with a level of performance never before seen in a Saab car.

Maximum torque is generated all the way from 2,000 rpm to 4,500 rpm, with 90 per cent of this value available at an exceptionally low 1,500 rpm. Careful programming of the engine management software means that under a full throttle load, from take-off or low engine speeds, 90 per cent of maximum acceleration is delivered within one second.

The zero to 100 kph dash is accomplished in just 6.9 seconds, but in-gear acceleration provides even more impressive evidence of this engine’s outstanding elasticity. In top gear, the transition from 80 to 120 kph can be accomplished in just 8.3 seconds, a figure that places the 9-3 Aero among the very best in its class.

The fun-to-drive nature of this performance is also matched by an exhilarating engine note that can be heard inside and outside the car. This has been achieved by tuning the twin sports exhausts downstream of the main catalyst. It gives the new Saab 9-3 Aero a distinctive aural character in keeping with its position as the sporting flagship of the range.

The engine is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The close-ratio manual gearbox includes duel output shafts to reduce transmission vibration, together with a dual mass flywheel this ensures smooth and refined performance.

The ‘smart’ Asin AW automatic transmission is adaptive to driver usage patterns and prevailing road conditions. It can sense changes in engine performance, engine load, road gradient and altitude, quickly finding the right gear without an irritating ‘hunting’.

For closer driver involvement, Saab Sentronic, a sequential manual gearshift, is also included. When the shift lever is moved across the gate to ‘manual’ Sentronic mode, ‘up’ and ‘down’ changes can be made with full lock-up in 3/4/5 or 6th gears. This process is taken a step further by the option of steering wheel buttons, which bring gear-shifting right to the fingertips of the driver.

Overall, the 2.8V6 Turbo generates class-leading levels of torque with a seamless, turbine-like power delivery. It combines the inherent advantages of a six-cylinder engine – refinement and a rapid throttle response – with the effortless, torque-boosting properties of turbocharging.

Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan Aero 2.8V6T:

Technical Specifications and Performance

2,792 cc. V6. Bore 89mm, Stroke 74.8mm

Aluminum cylinder heads and block.

2 x DOHC chain-driven, 24 valves. Variable valve timing (inlet)

Turbocharged, intercooled.

Max boost pressure, 0.6 bar

Compression ratio, 9.5:1

Bosch Motronic engine management.

Direct ignition, multi-point fuel injection, electronic throttle control

Max.power: 250 bhp (184 kW) @ 5,500 rpm

Max torque: 350 Nm @ 2,000 – 4,500 rpm

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