Why don't SAAB go rallying? [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Why don't SAAB go rallying?

Dr Rock
15th March 2005, 04:18 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, I don't tend to follow motorsport anymore so I may be out of touch, but I was just wondering at the weekend that if Saab went rallying like they used to do, it would improve their image and performance and hence sales? Look at Mitsubishi, Subaru, Citroen etc. All doing well in the rallying and all having improved image on the street...

Any thoughts anyone?

15th March 2005, 05:03 PM
I've asked myself the same thing and written about it too in an open letter to Bob Lutz (http://redinterior.typepad.com/trollhattan/2005/03/a_rallying_call.html). Unfortunately they just don't have a vehicle that would suit at the moment, but the upcoming 9-6x that's being designed in conjunction with Suuby may provide a suitable platform. Maybe.

I just realised something as I was thinking about this. Saab don't currently make a 2-door or a 3-door car (apart from the convertible). Right?

That's a crime.

15th March 2005, 05:34 PM
See, Saab has the 9-2x now, and I bet that if they applied their OWN turbo technology to it, they could make it nice and fast, dependably. But if they started competing with Subie with their own car, Subie probably wouldnt appreciate it. It sure would be nice to see a TRIONIC 9-2x... Give the 2.0 liter boxer some good pistons & oil squirters, 20 pounds of boost, and maybe an intercooler that is in a reasonable location and see if it keeps up with those 2.5l STi's :cool: I think Subaru only rallys its sedan anyway, so maybe they wouldnt mind the SAAB if it had different technology and looked different enough... Unless they started winning :cheesy:

Isnt there a 2wd class for rally? I suppose if there is it is for cars that are a bit more lightweight than ANY of SAAB's current offerings.

Subie and Mitsu race 4 door cars in rally.... I think drive wheels are more of a limiting factor...

15th March 2005, 09:34 PM
Make an AWD Viggen and Rally that against the Subie WRX STI and the Lancer Evo VIII :cheesy: We'll show them that way.

15th March 2005, 10:02 PM
1.it cost money to support a racing (http://server4.103092804.com/Release3/linkredirect.php?h=42142,308406,1110942655) team(millions)

2.they don't have a car (http://server4.103092804.com/Release3/linkredirect.php?h=40005,308406,1110942655) if they wanted to

as a luxury brand saab needs to leave the dirt racing (http://server4.103092804.com/Release3/linkredirect.php?h=42142,308406,1110942655) alone and sip tea with bmw and audi on the asphalt. maybe pump some adreneline into the next generation 9-7X and enter it into the Dakar Rally


16th March 2005, 09:11 AM

:o Hottness.

Agreed, a SAAB in the DTM (would that even be possible? is it german-only?) or in that new touring car championship in the U.S. would be very nice. GM even already runs the CTS-V in that series, so why not a second team?

16th March 2005, 09:14 AM
1.it cost money to support a racing (http://server4.103092804.com/Release3/linkredirect.php?h=42142,308406,1110942655) team(millions)

2.they don't have a car (http://server4.103092804.com/Release3/linkredirect.php?h=40005,308406,1110942655) if they wanted to

as a luxury brand saab needs to leave the dirt racing (http://server4.103092804.com/Release3/linkredirect.php?h=42142,308406,1110942655) alone and sip tea with bmw and audi on the asphalt. maybe pump some adreneline into the next generation 9-7X and enter it into the Dakar Rally

I don't think a supped up 9-3SS has much of a chance against a M3 on the tarmac. Maybe in the wet, but saabs aren't amazing on the track.

16th March 2005, 09:20 AM
it would at least be fun to TRY with the 93SS. I mean it's not that light duty of a car...

16th March 2005, 09:42 AM
when saaab get's their ish together and can make high performance vehicles then they can start entering into these races

16th March 2005, 11:36 AM
The new Saabs have a sleek and sporty look. But to me they look a bit too wimpy. Saabs used support an enthusiast lifestyle more than they do now. They could get you to work in comfort and style but when you wanted to escape and venture into the wilderness for an adventure you could do that. When you drive an old Saab it seems content with cruising around from place to place but hidden just out of sight it begs for an adventure. In my opinion the newer Saabs don't have this hidden "edge". Its purpose seems to be for pampering the driver in luxury, style, class, and sporty handling. All that is great but it hides the thrill of adventure.

A rally program could bring some ruggedness back the brand. A grassroots rally program would be easy to develop in the United States and Canada. Saab could offer stripped down cars at a big discount. Then they can support teams with a parts truck. They could rally a 2wd car or an AWD car. It really doesn't matter.

Subaru recently stopped sponsoring their rally teams in Canada after winning 6 manufacturer championships. That gives Saab an opportunity. A switch from Subaru to a Subaru based Saab rally car would be a relatively easy switch for drivers. Starting a full blown WRC team might be a little out of Saabs reach but could create excitement for the brand. I can already imagine commercials showing clips of the old Saabs rallying, comments about how Saab introduced turbocharging to rallying, clips of the new car in action, as well as clips from Saab events, clips of people doing enthusiast activities with their Saabs, and clips just showing the Saabs in a more refined atmosphere.

16th March 2005, 05:56 PM
I like your thinking RS68. There is SO much to be gained from this and I just don't get why GM would bury their heads in the sand. The marketing and engineering gains that could be made would be huuuuuge if the program were properly supported and duly successful.

17th March 2005, 11:16 AM
Imagine this with the SAAB grille:


17th March 2005, 03:26 PM
That must be the best sponsorship ever!

18th March 2005, 12:35 AM
Must be hard racing with that cotton-tail :o . And how do they get the ears into the helmet?? ;)

Stellar I
18th March 2005, 12:37 PM
Imagine this with the SAAB grille:

18th March 2005, 01:11 PM
oops, my mistake.;oops:

I got the wrong Opel, should have been the Vectra:


20th March 2005, 08:57 PM
correct me if iim wrong, but isnt this a rally saab??


21st March 2005, 01:10 AM
It is indeed. Per Eklund. Pikes Peak winner just a few years ago. I guess if he can handle a 9-3 that powerful on a hill like Pikes, then he can take on those 3 without risk of heart attack. ;)

21st March 2005, 08:08 AM
Anyone read Swedish?I think this article talks about him making a 9-3 Sport Sedan rally car?


Per Eklund, Saab och Clarion Team Europe i fortsatt samarbete

Eklund kommer att tävla med nya Saab 9-3 Aero SportSedan nästa EM-säsong.

Det är nu klart att Saab klassar sin nya 9-3 Aero SportSedan för tävlingsverksamhet. Samtidigt offentliggjordes på Bilsportmässan i Älvsjö att man fortsätter samarbetet med rallycrossföraren Per Eklund och hans team, Clarion Team Europe.

- Jag ser fram mot att få tävla med den nya modellen samt mot ett fortsatt gott samarbete på samma nivå som tidigare med Saab, sa Per Eklund när nyheten om FIA-klassningen och skalbytet presenterades på fredagen.

Saab kommer att bistå Per Eklunds team vid byggnation av tävlingskarosser, medan slutgiltig anpassning till Eklunds egenkonstruerade chassi, motor och transmission sker helt i det Arvika-baserade teamets regi. Det sistnämnda är något som man poängterar från Saabs sida.

- Det finns mycket som talar för att bilen kan komma att bli mycket konkurrenskraftig, menar Björn Berglöf, motorsportkoordinator på Saab Automobile i Trollhättan, och fortsätter:
- Bland annat höjs rallycrossbilarnas reglementsenliga minimivikt från 1.120 kilo till 1.200, vilket är till fördel för Per Eklunds Saab som redan har varit för tung denna säsong jämfört med de WRC-bilar man tävlat emot.

Berglöf ser främst arbetet med att tillverka många karosseridetaljer i kolfiber och andra, i bilindustriella sammanhang, nya material som en speciell utmaning.

- Tävlingsbilen byggs kring en ursprunglig Saab 9-3-kaross, men modifieras med kolfiberdetaljer. Vissa delar kommer att specialkonstrueras av teamet direkt för att passa fyrhjulsdrift, berättar han.

- Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan är idealisk för ändamålet, menar Per Eklund. Bilens grundkontruktion är utpräglat sportig med en mycket vridstyv kaross.
- Själva arbetar vi med tekniska lösningar och material som tangerar Formel 1, så detta har alla förutsättningar att bli en mycket konkurrenskraftig bil, avslutar han.

I april 2005, när EM rullar igång, lär vi se frukten av arbetet, då står regerande svenske mästaren i rallycross på startlinjen med en ny Saab 9-3 Aero SportSedan. Samtidigt läggs Eklunds SM-guld 1997 och EM-guld 1999 med den gamla Saab-karossen till historiehandlingarna tillsammans med två segrar i den klassiska backtävlingen Pikes Peak.
Men till den rekordtidiga SM-preimären i rallycross, på snö och is i Höljes, den 26 februari, kommer Per Eklund i den gamla Saaben.

Göran Björklund, Newsroom

21st March 2005, 09:00 AM
I think they should go rallying, the problem that they don't have a car to do it isn't a real problem since Peugeot races the 307 CC (the convertible metal top one), mitsubishi has always raced a four door... the 9-3SS would do just fine.

DTM would be nice too but it has much less visibility than WRC. Those cars are race cars than only have the name in common with the original car, a 9-3SS would work for DTM too.

And, for GM helping Opel rather than Saab making it race the DTM instead of Saab, that's old story. I always think how good would had been the Opel/Vauxall VX220 marketed as a Saab Sonett..... :cool:

21st March 2005, 11:12 AM
Considering how much GM has been losing with Saab over the last decade or so, I don't see a race team anytime soon. One of GM's big problems with Saab is advertising. They didn't do any till the SS came out. That's not a way to sell cars. Another thing is training the dealerships on how to fix and do the techII settings. This is a big drawback, since they have endless programming options, but the tech's don't know how to do it. I wish I could afford to pay my own way through Saab tech school and a techII. That could probably be pretty profitable.:cheesy: Well hopefully Saab starts pulling a profit so we can see a Saab sponsored sports sedan race team. That would be cool to see on the speed channel.

roller girl
21st March 2005, 04:18 PM
there is/was/will be again soon at least one Saab out there doing SCCA Rally


granted James isn't factory sponsored, which is what i think you are all getting at here but....

there is a link in there with a clip of him right after he passed an Evo at Rally NY (the last race the green machine ran:cry: )


they take a bit to load but are great...the one labled "acute right" shows him come zooming by and then the evo that he passed....you can almost hear the driver of the evo cursing the green machine as he goes by ;)

21st March 2005, 04:47 PM
correct me if iim wrong, but isnt this a rally saab??

There's a car in this picture?