Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 15:02:47 -0800
From: "pablo" <pabloATsimplyhombreDOTnet>
Subject: Re: GM plans Saab Restructuring

"C Sutherland" <> wrote in message news:r0It$ > [excellent info snipped for brevity] > " .. All 900 models can be transformed by our spring and damper combination, > Track control arm bushes and Steering rack clamp. All these > items are a must, to sharpen the handling and steering to the standard > that most customers demand and expect of a SAAB. .." I was wondering whether anyone with a newer vintage 9-3 has tried the aforementioned improvements, and can confirm that the enhancement is noticeable? I might consider it for my 9-3 convertible, since anything that improves rigidity is a good thing in a convertible... > I remain a Saab owner so as well as whatever brand snobbishness > encouraged me to buy a 9-3, there was a bit of brand loyalty in there > also. Yes, buying a car like a Saab is also an emotional decision. If we'd all just went for the extreme rational, there are -and there arguably always have been- more economical choices that perform sufficiently well. The "brand philosophy" element will always be part of the equation, and when you buy into it, will tip the balance in certain direction and even outweight some of the more rational aspects of the decision... > > The chassis works quite well in Viggen setting - no one has ever > >accused that car of being a poor handler that I know of. > > The Viggen was a very intensive project to remove as many limitation as > possible from a mundane chassis to produce a really high performance > car. It took Saab's special vehicle unit and TWR to develop it. ... It is my understanding -and this was the Saab salesperson talking- that the 9-3SE convertible and 9-3 Viggen convertible are "identical" (meaning same base) except for the engine tune, and being set lower and stiffer suspension. The base chassis supposedly is supposed to be the same, which also the Abbott web site seems to hint at when stating ".. TWR's Final tune of the chassis, only consisted of changes to the springs and dampers and miscellaneous steering bushes .." Again, my point is not that the 9-3 is a magnificent handler, but rather than if the Viggen works well with just changes to springs and dampers, it was Saab's decision to engineer the base 9-3 to be softer and less of a pure handler - not necessarily because of limitations of the base chassis that were impossible to overcome... I drove the Viggen, and while it was sportier and all, it did not seem structurally stiffer than the 9-3 - but I am referring to the convertible form, I did not try out the hatch coupe configuration. ...pablo PS: On an off-topic note, the mention of ... "best selling convertible of the year" three years running in the United Kingdom ... had me once more wondering about convertibles and the UK. You'd think they wouldn't be popular given the obvious, and yet you have a whole tradition of great convertibles! Mental note: I've got to get a Morgan one day...

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