Woohoo, first review of 9-3SS Aero V6T ! [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Woohoo, first review of 9-3SS Aero V6T !


SaabKen
11-05-05, 07:42 AM
Picked up the hardcopy last night, dang it was Cdn$9 !

I still find with the tons of torque it's purported to have that the 0-60mph time is comparatively high, albeit with autobox. But didn't the classic 9-3 Viggen achieve it in the low 6's ?


http://www.autocar.co.uk/FirstDrive_Summary.asp?RT_ID=214907


http://www.autocar.co.uk/popups/gallery.asp?RT=214907
(http://www.autocar.co.uk/popups/gallery.asp?RT=214907)

Saab 9-3 Saloon 2.8 V6 4dr
Test Date 03/05/2005 09:00:00
Price when new £24,495

Bigger isn't always better

So where better for Saab to show off its new 250bhp V6-powered flagship 9-3 than on the roads around its Trollhattan HQ? Indeed, the steely grey eminence of the Saab factory seemed to be permanently on the horizon (which may have said more about the lamentably short test route than the size of the factory).

So where better for Saab to show off its new 250bhp V6-powered flagship 9-3 than on the roads around its Trollhattan HQ? Indeed, the steely grey eminence of the Saab factory seemed to be permanently on the horizon (which may have said more about the lamentably short test route than the size of the factory).

Although it generally prefers to use turbocharged four-cylinder engines, Saab does have a record of using V6 engines from parent company General Motors. Both the 900 and 9000 had the option of a V6 motor, and early in the life of the 9-5, a highly unusual ‘asymmetrically turbocharged’ V6 was on the options list (which is where it stayed).

Saab’s determinedly independent attitude meant that the current 9-3 wasn’t offered with the V6 engine, relying instead on its famously punchy four-cylinder units. You get the feeling that Saab would have been happy to continue to tweak its core engines had it not been for overwhelming market demands.

Saab engineers say that six-cylinder engines make up just 20 per cent of the European market for medium-size luxury cars like the 9-3. In the US, however, the ‘entry luxury’ market is dominated by the demand for six-cylinder engines. And with the transatlantic market so important, a big motor is vital.

The new engine

The 2.8-litre turbo unit is based on GM’s new ‘global’ V6 architecture, which will also be the basis for next-generation V6 Opel and Alfa Romeo engines. Although much of the development work was carried out by Holden in Australia, Saab says it was closely involved during the ‘conceptual design and development’, mainly because Saab is GM’s centre of excellence for turbocharging.

The all-aluminium 24-valve V6 powerplant has four chain-driven camshafts, the inlet camshaft getting electronically controlled variable valve timing. Saab says the cylinder heads are unique to its version of the V6. Also unique are the pistons (which are cooled from underneath by jets of oil) and the sintered steel conrods.

It gets a high-tech manifold, too. Double skinned and hydroformed (bent into shape by massive water pressure) with stainless steel liners, it is said to help reduce cold-start emissions.

But most distinctive of all is the turbocharger’s installation. A single, twin-scroll water-cooled Mitsubishi unit, it is mounted on the right of the engine above the transmission. Two separate inlet tracts feed it, one from each bank of cylinders. As the exhaust gas pulses alternate between each cylinder bank, the turbo’s twin scrolls get alternating blasts of exhaust gas.

Saab is also very proud of writing its own software for the engine management system, which can limit the engine’s torque output in slippery conditions. That’s useful, because there’s masses of torque. The engine ticks over at 720rpm and by 1500rpm 90 per cent of the twist action is already being delivered. By 2000rpm, the full 258lb ft is on tap, and it is available right around the rev counter until 4500rpm.

Performance

Saab says this is its fastest-accelerating production car ever, but with nothing more than a brief drive around Trollhattan we couldn’t confirm this. In six-speed manual form, the official 0-62mph figure is 6.9sec, with a top speed in excess of 155mph.

The only further thing we could glean from Saab’s limited official figures was that the manual V6 can run from 50 to 75mph in top gear in just 8.3 seconds.

Sadly, the test cars were US-spec 2006-year models fitted with six-speed automatic gearboxes. The transmission changes gear swiftly and smoothly, but hard acceleration induces a kind of extended slurring reminiscent of a slipping clutch.

Nevertheless, this is certainly a rapid car. Overtaking doesn’t require anything more strenuous than gently extending the ankle. And overtaking is the 9-3 V6’s forte. As you’d expect from the most modern V6 engine available, it is smooth and seamless, but in many ways lacking in character. Admittedly, hooked up to a manual gearbox it could be a very different story, but that won’t improve the dull engine note, despite Saab specially tuning the twin exhaust pipes for a more sporty sound.

Were I in the market for a fast Saab, I’d still be tempted by the four-cylinder 210bhp 2.0 T Aero engine, which has an appreciably sharper feel than the V6. Indeed, Saab will still offer this engine in the UK, partly because of its lower CO2 rating (204g/km versus 252g/km for the V6, making for lower company car tax bills).

As hugely competent as the V6 engine undoubtedly is, we will reserve final judgement until we can try the car with a manual gearbox in the UK. But we’re tempted to bet that the V6 is an answer to a question only really being asked in America.

Hilton Holloway

TuuSaR
11-05-05, 08:11 AM
Saab should emphasize the "low pressure" or not to mention turbo at all.

In Finland there's saying: "even magpies laugh" and danger is, that comes to reality, when people heard this V6 TURBOOOOO!!

CleveSaab
11-05-05, 10:23 AM
"As you’d expect from the most modern V6 engine available"


:cool:

Rob in Atlanta
11-05-05, 12:26 PM
The US Aero will have a Six-speed AUTOMATIC transmission?

93Linear
11-05-05, 12:42 PM
The US Aero will have a Six-speed AUTOMATIC transmission?

Yup, yup ... remember reading that with the engine the options were 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto. Hopefully the auto wont be the ~only~ choice for the US market, but just an option.

I just did some looking/thinking that may make the quoted accelleration numbers a bit more respectable ... The numbers are for 0-62 (emphasized for the sake of my fellow Americans who like to say the 6.9 is for 0-60) using a 6-speed automatic. For the current Linear (sorry ... had trouble getting to the Aero numbers), there is a difference of 1.2 seconds for 0-62 between the 5-speed manual (faster) & the 5-speed auto (slower). 1.2 seconds ... and with a 5 speed that may actually shift one time less than the 6-speed auto.

So anyway, the point ... quoted time is for 0-62mph (100kph) for an auto (more drivetrain loss) with 6 forward gears(extra shift??) It ~could~ very well be that with a manual version and decent launching/driving skills, this car could reach 100kph in low (or even sub) 6's. Of course, this is conjecture at this point, but I think we can see the possibility given the difference in times from previous models equipped with manual vs auto.

Just a lil something for the naysayers and doubters to chew on ... ;)

SaabKen
11-05-05, 02:02 PM
Actually according to the article, Saab's official 0-62 time is 6.9 sec for the 6-spd manual (see below):

"Saab says this is its fastest-accelerating production car ever, but with nothing more than a brief drive around Trollhattan we couldn’t confirm this. In six-speed manual form, the official 0-62mph figure is 6.9sec, with a top speed in excess of 155mph"

Not being naysayer, just bewildered how with so much (or too much) torque at the bottom end the car still couldn't break the 6-sec barrier. Wonder if an LSD would help.


Yup, yup ... remember reading that with the engine the options were 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto. Hopefully the auto wont be the ~only~ choice for the US market, but just an option.

I just did some looking/thinking that may make the quoted accelleration numbers a bit more respectable ... The numbers are for 0-62 (emphasized for the sake of my fellow Americans who like to say the 6.9 is for 0-60) using a 6-speed automatic. For the current Linear (sorry ... had trouble getting to the Aero numbers), there is a difference of 1.2 seconds for 0-62 between the 5-speed manual (faster) & the 5-speed auto (slower). 1.2 seconds ... and with a 5 speed that may actually shift one time less than the 6-speed auto.

So anyway, the point ... quoted time is for 0-62mph (100kph) for an auto (more drivetrain loss) with 6 forward gears(extra shift??) It ~could~ very well be that with a manual version and decent launching/driving skills, this car could reach 100kph in low (or even sub) 6's. Of course, this is conjecture at this point, but I think we can see the possibility given the difference in times from previous models equipped with manual vs auto.

Just a lil something for the naysayers and doubters to chew on ... ;)

93Linear
11-05-05, 02:49 PM
Oops ;oops: ... misread that ;oops:

But, yeah, Ken ... I think a LSD would defintely help ... then turn off the ESP and launch away. Let's all start pestering Quaife now to build us one :cheesy:

By the way ... sent a preliminary inquiry to Hirsch to see if they had plans for tuning this engine. Reply follows:

Thank you for the inquiry. We will launch the V6 upgrade beginning 2006 (step1). Power and torque values aren't available yet. The step1 upgrade takes around 1 hour.

Herzliche Grüsse / Best regards

Hirsch AG / Hirsch Performance



René Hirsch

SaabKen
11-05-05, 03:47 PM
Cool !

Now if only I were in the position to buy the new V6T Aero :cry:

93Linear
11-05-05, 04:19 PM
Cool !

Now if only I were in the position to buy the new V6T Aero :cry:

My "grand plan" is to stick with my current Launch Linear for another 2 or 3 years ... see what happens with development of the V6 & possible AWD ... save up some dough ... take European delivery ... and go straight to Hirsch, Maptun, or Nordic (depending on who is doing what then) and have them work their magic. :cheesy:

We'll see how it all works out, but I sure am looking forward to making it happen.

Swade
11-05-05, 08:57 PM
My "grand plan" is to stick with my current Launch Linear for another 2 or 3 years ... see what happens with development of the V6 & possible AWD ... save up some dough ... take European delivery ... and go straight to Hirsch, Maptun, or Nordic (depending on who is doing what then) and have them work their magic. :cheesy:

We'll see how it all works out, but I sure am looking forward to making it happen.

93, you don't happen to want to adopt a 35 year old adult male, do you?? ;)

93Linear
12-05-05, 12:25 AM
sorry ... the quota has already been filled.

Vector-SS
12-05-05, 02:11 AM
I have also realized that in MOST cases company time figures such as 0-62 are usually always slower then what is later on claimed by test magazines such as road and track and car and driver...

93Linear
12-05-05, 10:43 AM
I have also realized that in MOST cases company time figures such as 0-62 are usually always slower then what is later on claimed by test magazines such as road and track and car and driver...

I've read that exact thing here from some looong time Saab guys ... that Saab's "Official" figures are pretty much always understated ...

SaabKen
12-05-05, 10:46 AM
I always thought it's the other way around, manufacturers' times that are better because they're achieved under more "ideal" conditions with perfectly tuned and calibrated cars. Whereby automotive journal world gets whatever car they can get, test them under different conditions and with more variability in drivers, tracks etc etc etc.

Just my impression

93Linear
12-05-05, 03:06 PM
Depends on car and manufacturer ... some will overstate & some will understate.

Rob in Atlanta
12-05-05, 03:34 PM
Depends on car and manufacturer ... some will overstate & some will understate.

Some manufacturers have historically been very conservative with their figures. The now-defunct American manufacturer Dusenberg always underestimated their engines' output by 10% "as a matter of course," as Fred Dusenberg said. More extreme was Rolls-Royce, which in the not too distant past consistently quoted the output of their engines as "sufficient."

squishmann
12-05-05, 10:33 PM
unless i'm buying an M3 type of car i could care less about 0-60 times. as long as the car sounds fast and i can ride on the highway without hearing too much engine noise which translates to me the car isn't working too hard.