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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I've just come back from blagging a Hirsch 93ss stage 2 Aero for the last hour.
Thought I'd give you all a sort of 'mini' review cause alot of you, like me, wanna upgrade and don't know what to do.

Car specs..

2005 93ss Aero (in black) 5 speed
Hirsch stage two engine upgrade including, ECU, Intercooler and Exhaust system
Spring kit
19 inch alloy three spoke wheels

First off the car looks fantastic. I'm not over on the three spoke wheels, I prefer the other Hirsch wheels, but overall with the little Hirsch badge on the back it looked great. I have to say that inside the car felt more 'solid' than my 2003 Aero but then again my car has done 52,000 miles more!

Chassis
I think that the spring kit lowers the car by about 10mm. I think. But while it doesn't look like a drag car, it does look a little lower and better for it.
On my drive I took a nice road that I use with my motorbike. First impressions. Fantastic. Just driving out of town, and going over little pot holes the car was much more composed. I know that my car suffers a little from, knocks and sort of loose feeling. Its great on good surfaces and brilliant at speed but those knocks can feel like something is not quite right. The Hirsch car glided over the whole lot the car felt great. No body roll when accelerating hard or going round corner. The car also had the 19 inch rims, but i'm sure the springs are more to do with the car running so good and not so much the wheels. After driving the car, I'm tempted to go for a set of springs first! The Hirsch car also tracked more accurately as well. Not that its ever been a problem with my Aero but it was better.

Performance.
Pulling away in first gear, hard, is a bit better than a standard Aero. Like many of you, I feel that the standard Aero when pulling away in first gear, it just runs out of boost far too quickly. I think this is the main reason that the Aero only has a modest 0-60 . Boost by the turbo in first gear is way down on the other gears. But on the Hirsch its better. But just better not great. However, click it into 2nd and that feels more powerful than a standard Aero by a good margin. Turbo whistle is louder, not hugely so, just nice.. and the exhaust note great. 3 - 5 gears the car pulls much more than a standard Aero. It feels quicker than the Subaru WRX and BMW 330ci sport I drove by a good margin. Very impressive. Oh and changing from 2nd to 3rd while pushing hard made the wheel spin, kicking a bit of Torque steer (see below)

Costs (all prices UK pounds)
The painful bit. Too painful if you ask me. The whole complete package of stage 2, springs, and wheels comes to 4911.50 uk pounds including Fitting and VAT
Heres the breakdown (inc fitting not inc VAT)
2405 for the stage 2
375 for the springs
1400 for the wheels

Overall
Now while I think the car was fantastic, I think it was said on this website that if feels more like a v6 and I'd agree, 5000 pounds is ALOT of money (getting close to 9000 dollars for our US friends) and I can honestly say that I could not see that much moneys worth. Maybe 3000 pounds. Then I'd be seriously thinking about it. But not that much. However this did of course have rather expensive 19 wheels on. I think i'd be tempted to go for the springs. And hope they make my car at least nearly as good as the hirsch car. There is no way I'd buy those wheels though. The sound of the exhaust was really nice though. Not to much around town, but blip the gas though and you get a nice deep sound. If you are looking for a loud pipe though, you might be disapointed. For me though it was just right. On idle it just gave a quiet but deep sort of burble. Lovely. One thing i did notice, my Aero idles around 800rpm. The Hirsch would sit at closer to 900rpm but if i didn't touch the gas for more than a few seconds, the rpm would drop to around 600.

You can also though have one bit at a time, but I think I was told that this would work out a bit more expensive! Also. Torque steer IS an issue. The Hirsch has 252 bhp. A couple of times pressing hard on the gas while cornering, Torque steer did raise its ugly head. Once or twice the steering wheel did kick some even though I didn't press that hard. It wasn't a problem, but its there. Even the guy at the dealers said that for a front wheel drive car its about at its limit. We had a quick chat about the upcoming V6 Turbo. He said an Estate (wagon) version in August/September time will be the first to use the V6 (in the UK at least) but didn't know when the SS would be coming. He said, and I agree that it could prove to be too much for front wheel drive and said 'lets hope it is AWD and has the Subaru chassis.' me too...

Until i drive or at least sit in a BSR stage 1,2 or 3 I can't of course compare it to any of them. Just the standard Aero. But I was very impressed. The Hirsch car is for sale at 26,000 pounds. Its alot. As it stands its just too much for me at least. Needs to have 3rd of the cost off and it would be much more attractive, more so considering that stage 3 BSR is 1400 pounds. Then of course fitting but it would still be half the cost of the Hirsch. I'm not counting the Hirsch out, no way, its exacly how the Aero should be as standard in my opion, standing up to the opposition much better, But 880 pounds JUST for the chip? I don't think so. Not my money anyway. If anyone at Hirsch or Saab is reading... Sort out the costs better and I'd be standing outside my dealers Monday morning waving money around like you wouldn't believe! ...Cheers
 

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Great write up Bladey.

Couldn't imagine parting with £5k for a set of wheels, springs, intercooler and exhaust with a reporgramming of the ECU.

Until such time as I win the lottery, I have decided mine is remaining stock standard. It IS quick - just quite subtle about it. Drove a 330ci the other day and that feels much the same - fast but not obscene. That makes a lovely noise though - the BMW.
 

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Good review - Move over Clarkson!I wonder how many people they figured on that would actually buy the Hirsch Stg2 upgrade as a retro fit item? If you were buying a new 210bhp Aero and remotely considered spending that sort of cash, then wouldnt it be obvious to wait and buy the new 2.8V6T??? I wonder if the cost of the stage 2 will come down when the V6 is out, they are really going to be treading on each others toes, both power and cost wise.
 

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Well done Bladey. I agree with the price, add 5000 pounds to the price of the Saab and you can buy a LOT more performance (in another car). Half that would have got me into a 6.0L 400hp Monaro/GTO! Still might one day ;)
 

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Would that be Bond Street Saab ? If so, next time I'm down there, I might blag a test drive - even if the car is unsuitable, I'd still consider some level of Hirsch upgrade (not the 5 grand package tho :eek:). Nice review, btw :cheesy:
 

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Hi Bladey, Brilliant review, I think you've made my mind up for me. It is far too expensive of course and if it wasn't for the warranty issue, I don't think they would get any buyers. I had toyed with the idea of a stage 1 now and add the intercooler etc later, but that first 900ish pounds for the 20 bhp ecu upgrade, just seems poor value. I don't understand why they can't reduce the stage 1 to get people interested and then use the interest to generate sales of the more expensive stage 2 and other kit.
 

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One possibility?

If the stage 1 ECU tune is retained with stage 2, and the freer breathing that the larger intercooler and exhaust offer delivers the extra 22 bhp, could we get stage one and then have a larger intercooler manufactured elsewhere, together with a sport catalyst.

That doesn't sound anything like another £1800 worth of parts.

As I said earlier, unlikely I will tune mine - I think that the performance that I would like, together with the dynamics of the car are not going to come from the Saab.

For now - it stays sandard and collects miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks chaps...

After driving my car to work this morning i think first thing i'm going to do is get the springs. 375 plus VAT inc fitted and no warranty issues. Expensive but worth it. I found the Hirsch much nice ride, especially at low speed. This morning every rattle and knock seemed to be amplified!

I may in the future still consider the stage 2 upgrade. After all with BSR its nearly 1500 quid but still have to get it fitted. Then there is the warranty issues, parts and fitting.

Springs ... then ECU.... Then the rest to make up stage 2.

BSR still apeals but at leat now i'm happy that 252 bhp 370nm is just how i want my car. Together with the lovely sound from the zorst...

Anyone know how much you are looking at to spend with a garage to fit the exhaust system (stage 3) from BSR?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
smurkenstein said:
Would that be Bond Street Saab ? If so, next time I'm down there, I might blag a test drive - even if the car is unsuitable, I'd still consider some level of Hirsch upgrade (not the 5 grand package tho :eek:). Nice review, btw :cheesy:
Yeh by the way it was Bond st... move quick though cause its up for sale!
 

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I also have a Hirsch Aero ST2 here in Taiwan, I been compare with my friends BSR ST3, it feels like Hirsch are bit too smooth in acceleration. from 90km/h to 200km/h I been pull behind 4~5 car length. i guess hirsch has put limitation to protect the gear box. for that money i dont think it's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
willside said:
I also have a Hirsch Aero ST2 here in Taiwan, I been compare with my friends BSR ST3, it feels like Hirsch are bit too smooth in acceleration. from 90km/h to 200km/h I been pull behind 4~5 car length. i guess hirsch has put limitation to protect the gear box. for that money i dont think it's worth it.
Good to hear from you willside. ... am i right in reading that your mate pulls away from you fairly comfortably ... how long does it take for him to pull out 4 -5 lengths?
 

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Aero_adam said:
If the stage 1 ECU tune is retained with stage 2, and the freer breathing that the larger intercooler and exhaust offer delivers the extra 22 bhp, could we get stage one and then have a larger intercooler manufactured elsewhere, together with a sport catalyst.
From what I understand (willing to be corected) the ECU programs are NOT the same for Step1 and 2, so adding the other bits later to a Step1 ECU probably would be money wasted without getting the appropiate software in the ECU to match....
 

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Bladey said:
Anyone know how much you are looking at to spend with a garage to fit the exhaust system (stage 3) from BSR?
$300-$500USD .. I had two or three dyno pulls in the cost ...

Make sure you take it to a muffler specialty shop.
 

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aeropilot said:
From what I understand (willing to be corected) the ECU programs are NOT the same for Step1 and 2, so adding the other bits later to a Step1 ECU probably would be money wasted without getting the appropiate software in the ECU to match....
I think you are right. But I also thought that once you buy the hardware to get to Stage 2, the ECU update is included (provided you already bought the PPC for Stage 1).

I also got the impression that all this can happen just by communicating with BSR over the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ctrlz said:
I think you are right. But I also thought that once you buy the hardware to get to Stage 2, the ECU update is included (provided you already bought the PPC for Stage 1).

I also got the impression that all this can happen just by communicating with BSR over the internet.
Think he means Hirsch ECU not BSR??
 

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ctrlz said:
I think you are right. But I also thought that once you buy the hardware to get to Stage 2, the ECU update is included (provided you already bought the PPC for Stage 1).

I also got the impression that all this can happen just by communicating with BSR over the internet.
yeh Bladey's right thats BSR, also BSR stage 1 & 2 run the same software, the difference between the stages are the addition of a freeflow filter and an exhaust.
 

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Did I make any mention of BSR or either Stage 1 or Stage 2........:roll:
 

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Bladey said:
Good to hear from you willside. ... am i right in reading that your mate pulls away from you fairly comfortably ... how long does it take for him to pull out 4 -5 lengths?
we been head to head at 90km/h in 3rd manual mode, he instantly pull me behind for 3 lengths and keep the same distance till 3rd 6000rpm. when i shift to 4th it's another pull to 4~5 lengths.
 
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