RIP SAAB

SAAB 1

Image Courtesy of Elliot Esterman

By Elliot Estermann

It all began in 1946. World war II was over and the 13 Swedish  aircraft engineers that were left in the SAAB: [(Svenska Aeroplan AB (aktiebolaget)] were out of commission, since there was no longer any use for war jets. The 13 engineers decided to make cars. Their first invention was the revolutionary SAAB 92 or URSaab (“original Saab” in English). The car was extremely aerodynamic. Every SAAB car that was ever made was named after SAAB’s many aircrafts. Many years later in 1997, the Saab 9-5 was introduced after discontinuing the 100% GM made Saab 9000. (GM bought SAAB in 1990 and blocked other companies from having the opportunity to buy the brand, which decreased the value of the SAAB brand and completely ruined the company. When GM acquired SAAB in 1990, it has been steadily losing money.)


In 1997 when the 9-5 was released, the Saab was named the safest car in the world. It had extremely advanced safety features. In 2006, the “Dame Edna” Saab 9-5 body style was released. The headlights were supposed to resemble the eyeglasses of comedian Dame Edna. The 2007 through 2009 versions used the same Dame Edna body style.

My family has owned over 10 different SAABs so far, and the SAAB brand has become a sort of tradition in my family. When I turned 16, I was given a 2009 Saab 9-5 Aero. The  versions of the Saab 9-5 comes in both sedan and wagon form with the same specifications. They come in stock with a 260hp inline 4 turbocharged engines with a front wheel drive transmission. There are two versions of the car– the 2.3T (2.3 liter high pressure turbo), and the Aero. The Aero version comes with an upgraded sport tuned suspension.

Once the best in class turbo kicks in (Saab has been using turbochargers in all their cars since 1970) the 9-5 overtakes and outperforms the Porsche 911 turbo.  All SAAB’s come with a button called Sport mode. This button increases the performance of the engine and suspension, with shorter gear times for outstanding performance by a significant amount.  The interior in this car comes stock with leather cooled and heated seats in the front and rear, and heated and cooled leather steering wheel with alcantara and suede accents. This is extremely rare for a base model car.

The first time I drove this, I fell in love. So much power in a car that doesn’t look very fast. Although 260hp does not sound like a lot, the computer that tunes the maximizes the performance in the car makes it feel like you are driving a high end sports car.
A few months after I bought the car, I modified the car a bit. I bought a car computer tuner which unlocks 475HP, includes a bigger turbo, aftermarket cold air intake and a Borla exhaust.
In 2010, a new GM made 9-5 was introduced that it was a complete failure, which eventually led to inevitable– SAAB went bankrupt, and ended all car production in 2012. In the beginning of 2013, the Chinese company, the Modern Energy Holdings, bought Saab. Today all us Saab fans can do is hope for the best.

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