Monday, February 27, 2006

What Saab should be...

I hope everybody remembers that Saab was not at first an automotive company... Like BMW, and M-B, Saab started out in the aviation industry. I know I've seen the ad on TV about 1,000,000,000 times, where an F-16 jet fighter turns into the 9-7x SUV (as if you can get all of the speed and handling of a jet fighter like the f-16 into an SUV). But that’s the idea, and until know, I was sure Saab and its owner, General Motors had forgotten just what it means to have such a background. I mean come on, I know this is a blog about American cars, but while Saab is reinventing the wheel with the 9-2x, BMW is making the same wheel lighter, faster, stronger, and better then before, and they are the car to beat when it comes to sports luxury.

I think they might be on to something with this here Aero-X concept showing in Geneva. What a wonderful, sporty, innovative, and fast as all getout coupe Saab came up with. Although Saab doesn’t say if this is a stand alone one off concept, or if the basics are the same as the Opel GT (aka Saturn sky, Pontiac Solstice). I doubt it, but it never hearts to ask, maybe the Aero-X is more production ready then Saab is willing to let on.

With common lines aside, this Saab concept is one hell of a car! First let’s look at the shell... ok, nothing really new at first glance, but wait, where are the window pillars??? There are none! Saab used an innovative "jet-fighter cockpit" design to give the driver friendly coupe 180 degrees of clear vision. The cockpit's canopy opens on a central hinge moving up, and toward the front of the car (awesome!) Although nobody has any pics of the interior word is Saab chucked the traditional knob and button layout of controls and gauges in favor of a more Star-Trek way of doing things, with a plexyglass material... I have no idea how this works, and as I am stuck here in the US, I am waiting on pics from the front lines to give me a glimpse on how this thing works.

But wait, I did say this thing can move move move!!! That’s right, computer sims have placed the Aero-X's 0-60 time with that of the corvette, and M3 at 4.9 seconds! WOW! But that’s not all. Saab, in true GM fashion (now a days anyway) has developed an engine that runs on only Ethanol... as in the stuff made out of corn that is now being mixed for many of the US gas pumps at about 10%E and 90% regular gasoline. Or maybe you’re more familiar with GM's E85 program with many govt. cars and trucks and the new full sized consumer trucks (E85 is a mix of 15%e, and 85%gas). So this little sucker's only exhaust is WATER! I wouldn’t drink from a Saab anytime soon, but WOW! Oh, by the way, it's a twin turbo (anything else would just not be up to Saab's specs) V6. I don’t think the number of cylinders is really important here because the thing makes about 400 horses! Again, that’s Corvette and BMW M3 territory.

All I can really say in summary is this:

10 simple reason’s this car rocks!

1) Saab, way to go! Hope you make more like this one.

2) I want this engine sooooo bad, I hope they figure out soon if and when it will be in a production car. NOTE: the US has an Ethanol shortage so don’t be too quick to say this is the wave of the future just yet, but it is coming sooner then this writer thought.

3) I would like to see Saab get a version of the Kappa (GT, Sky, and Solstice) for it self. I know this does not go with the position I took against badge engineering, but still the more the merrier...

4) A 400 hoarse Saab!?!?!?!? I want this engine soooo bad!

5) A jet-fighter Saab actually inspired by a jet-fighter? WOW GM's designers are not so stupid after all!

6) Engine, Saab, E100, 400 hp, now!

7) All hell, can't I just have one of these things for my self?

8) Build the damn thing already!

9) One reason Saab should build this car, to quote Homer Simpson: "Don't say revenge, don't say revenge... uh, revenge?

10) I can't believe you don't build this engine already!

UP DATE: I got a hold on an interior shot, but I still have no idea what it is Saab did to rid the console of knobs and buttons and the like... but here it is, maybe you can see something I can't, even so, it is still AWESOME!


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