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Sunday, June 17, 2012

The smell of petrol and the sound of a V6

On today's summer convertible trip with into the countryside I realised that both, the beautiful smell of petrol as well as the sound of my V6 with the roof down is slowly fading away. Euro 5, 6, 7 ... 42. Well OK, while working in the IT industry, I'm used to changes in the technology, so why do I fight with myself in accepting the electricity plan of NEVS.

So the whole trip I've tried to imagine how the day would look like in an electric convertible.

I like the smell of petrol while refueling the Saab. It is something switching me into the mood of "now we're going to drive". In the electricity world it would mean unplug the car from the socket in the garage, if there is one. No feeling, nothing. Just like when I pull a table lamp out of the plug. Boring.

Starting the engine with roof down is another positive attack on the feelings. I don't have a tuned exhaust, so it's not aggresive, but there is a deep trustful sound, a melody in my ears. In the convertible coming from the back side, which is an additional kick. In the electricity world ? Bzzzzz.... maybe even this Knight Rider absurdity. Again boring. Driving absolutely the same.

Today's trip was 220 km long. No need to watchout for gas stations, planning anything. In an Saab ePower the 200 km is a starter to be worried wether I come home or not. Should I expect a plug on the parking place of the archeological site, our target, where 6 - 7 cars were parking ? Of course not. So a very little chance to even get there.

This was enough for me. Sorry, I will not buy an electric car, unless I am forced to. Saab makes no difference. Hybrid may be a different story, but this would require me to reprogramm my brain from "driving" to "moving from place A to place B". Why should I ? Ecology ? Well, I've read somewhere, that when someone removed from Prius all the electric stuff, it had a liter less fuel consumption, than the hybrid. C'mon.

We've heard about that there is still Mahindra in the game with NEVS. Rumours as so many in the past. Also, that what we see now is intentional and it will change in the future. Someone tries to play with emotions of the Saab fans ? NEVS told in the start, they will focus on China, which is understandable, but no a single little world towards the Saab community in Europe, something like "we plan something for you, but stay patient, we are not there yet". Saab fans learned to be patient, but as anybody else they need to know for what to wait. Until now I feel only "we don't care about you at all". What do you think will be the answer ?

I stay devoted to the existing Saab spirit as it is now. The future ? I tend be in "no future" mood all the time in the last days ... unless a surprise comes.


  1. hey, man -

    like your site alot. I'm a huge SAAB fan, currently on my 4th and 5th ones. I've an 07 Aero S/S and an '01 Viggen vert.

    Both are lovely machines; the Aero just wants to run, you know? I typically push my drives hard, 85-90 MPH, but when I go easy in the Aero, at 60 it's like I just tap the gas pedal gently and the car leaps forward.

    The Viggen is raw power, despite the 1st and 2nd gear governors which keep the torque down. The four cylinder engine is amazing, but I must confess, the OEM wheels are cottage cheese, they get curb rash so easily! Darned shame, too - they're simple and beautiful.

    I don't have a subframe brace so I get all the ubiquitous "torque steer" that the Viggen is famous for... and I love it! Still, it's an older vert, and prone to a little bit of rattle and groaning when going over rough spots. I thought that was normal until my SAAB techs told me that SAAB had basically built in the solid, sedan-like feel with no rattling into the later model (2007+) convertibles. How would you classify your vert in this regard?

    I don't know what kind of OEM tires they gave the Aeros in Europe, but mine came with Continentals sports contact. I noticed that when taking curves beyond 60mph, i'd get some sound from them. They were very comfortable, though. I upgraded to Continental ExtremeContact DWS and can tell you that the comfort level is still there, plus the car hugs the road like a slow dance with your favorite girlfriend!

    For me, I love them both; the Aero is the better car, but it's like apples and oranges as there is nothing out there quite like a Viggen. The one complaint, the rattling over bumps - I attribute to a bit of crankiness, just like the owner. but like the owner, that car still has alot of Yippee-Kai-Yay under the Hood!
    About the only thing I would do to change them would be to swap concepts; get an '07 or later vert and a Viggen coupe. And Yes, I would do that, even given today's reality with our beloved brand. In fact, if I had the money, I'd buy 4 or 5 more - get a turboX, a 9-4X, a couple 9-5's, an older 9-5 Aero (miss that one; it was my 3rd one which I sold to get the Viggen). Like you can you see, I've got the bug - bad! And happily so.

    Anyways, keep up the great blog - like reading your stuff and the pics are nice (how do I put a pic into a post?). There's a sunny day with cotton puffs in the sky and open, winding, hilly roads to push our Jets on...

    ViggenJetsMan -

  2. hey Viggen man,

    thanks for the post, it made my day. A Viggen vert uff, honestly If the would be a classic 900 convertible and a Viggen convertible and I should choose one, I really don't know whatbwould be the result.

    re rattling : no rattling at mine while going over rough spots. But the chassis is hard, I feel everything on the road. Good so. But not any real uncomfortable sounds or feelings. However i have the torque steering as well,ndiscussed that on forums and the result is, that you cannot fix it fully. Ok I overtake more careful.

    re tyres: i dont know about the oem tyres as well. Tried Michelin PS3, they lived for 15.000km, hould longer, so now I have for summer Goodyear Eagle F1 Assymetric 2 (P911 OEM tyres) and they are awesome. Sporty and lying in the curves great.

    If I would have the money, I would go forbViggen convertible, 900 classic, the last 9-5 as well as 9-4X. I testdrove the last 9-5 petrol 2.0 and liked it a lot. Got the bug as well... Which causes huge problems in company car choice :)

    again thanks for your post. i'll definitely try to do my best with blogging. the thing, that i do not buy an electric Saab doesn't mean, that I stop to love Saabs. It's just as someone would stop producing Harley bikes with combustion engines and do them electric only... it will come one day, but we're not there yet.