Black is back. News from the Turbo X.

For almost two years, the Turbo X in our fleet, and Blogger's toy has lost none of its original appeal. The Saab is probably the last compact four-wheel facsimile from Trollhättan with a supercharged V6 under the bonnet. Because the trend is everywhere in the automotive world to small engines, with four or fewer cylinders.

Turbo X on the lift
Turbo X on the lift

The environment and the wallet may be pleased, the automobile gourmet accepts it with horror. A problem of the Turbo X is the heat sensitivity in the summer. If the temperatures climb above 25 degrees, then the diva and zips refuses performance, Remedy must be, and the first thought goes to Switzerland. Hirsch Performance offered a performance kit that included 20 additional horses and a larger intercooler. It goes, clearly, to the container for hot air. An appropriately sized intercooler works wonders and eliminates the thermal discomfort.

It is an open secret that Hirsch Performance has a "iron reserve" for emergencies or special customers even in sold-out parts. Well, to make a long story short, the blogger is neither an emergency nor is he seen by Hirsch as the preferred person. All requests, through different channels, did not help. Even three years of positive and free reporting, with a strong Swiss readership, were no trump card. Hirsch stayed hard. Just so it is not misunderstood: I did not want to give something, or at a special price, but simply buy the service kit. So there had to be an alternative, even if the thing was not over.

The Saab Parts AB, my preferred supplier of original parts, could not help as well, so I ended up looking at Maptun. In Sweden, the corresponding intercooler was available, and took care of the settlement Till of SU. He runs the German Maptun agency, and the LLK became Bamberg within a few days Saab center delivered.

Why the Turbo X suffers from thermal problems becomes clear at the latest when you see the original intercooler removed in front of you. The original part, it comes from supplier Valeo, is at best a toy. In comparison to the Maptun solution, it is clearly under-dimensioned and, quite frankly, qualitatively at least questionable in direct comparison. The new LLK, on ​​the other hand, looks massive, carved from the full, and recalls the quality that Saab built decades ago in the 900 Turbo as an intercooler.

In principle, you do not go wrong if you give your engine a larger-sized intercooler. The old Saab 900 Softturbo versions had none, an upgrade did the car noticeably good. This has not changed in recent years, because the basic rules remained the same: cooler air brings better performance, better combustion and thermal stability. So a great intercooler is always well spent money.

The installation and removal takes a little over a good hour in the workshop. The new Intercooler fits 99% perfectly, we just had to improvise on a mount. With the LLK now no millimeter space is given away, and the next summer with the heat in the Rhine-Main area can come. That theoretically, with the new intercooler from the Turbo X could get more power - boost pressure to 1.5 Bar should be possible - is another matter. Because that was not the point.

An addendum still. There was still the matter with deer performance. Days before installation, the Swiss volunteered, and it would have been possible to obtain a performance kit from Hirsch. For the friendly - fair price. But Maptun had already delivered, and I had no desire to reverse the purchase at Maptun. And somehow I had resigned myself to not belong to the primarily important clientele in St. Gallen. Other bloggers, but not me. Honestly - I can live with it.

29 thoughts on "Black is back. News from the Turbo X."

  • Oh well.

    Hirsch's prices are for a KIT and MIT legal entry. This means that an appraisal for commercial use (no individual approval) has been prepared. Maptun, Nordic, SKR, .. do not match that. A single component is of course cheaper than a kit.

    When I imported my 95 to Switzerland at that time, I immediately got the corresponding reports from Hirsch-Performance to allow the 95 here. That was absolutely perfect and accommodating. I was there and saw the folders with reports. Anyone who has ever asked for a special acceptances, has an idea of ​​what such a thing costs and that needs to be converted to the products. This is normal cost accounting.
    What Hirsch-Performance does not do are things like Live SID, that does not fit into their concept. There are no special requests or only with appropriate contacts.
    And Hirsch-Performance communicated quite clearly some time ago that they no longer manufacture and sell anything for Saab.

  • Thank you Tom for your report on the LLK of the Turbo X and the hint that Hirsch AG is offering another one for sale. I took that as an opportunity and called right away. What should I say, resp. write: Will have the 300 PS installed tomorrow !! So, thanks again for your “contribution” ... The Turbo X - driver from the southern Alps!

  • Yes, the heat and the TX - I consider the reasoning of Hirsch as understandable as I think the 300 PS with performance kit under "cool" operating conditions for real. The TX is fun and is just a great car, whether with 280 or 300 PS.

  • I wanted to hand this over to LLK and Hirsch-Performance.
    I have the 300PS strong performance kit from Hirsch in my Turbo X.
    This year in June, I had a performance test done at SHIFTECH Engineering.
    The result was: 281,3 PS at 4.800 upm and 417 Nm at a temperature of 18 ° C 990 mBar Luftdk.
    Here is the answer from Hirsch to my dealer:
    The stated maximum performance of 280Ps was reached at about 4.800 upm and not at 5.300 upm as it should be. Unfortunately, the problem is the heat, ie there was insufficient air cooling during the measurement.
    The Saabs with the 2.8 V6 suffer from poor cooling (in general) and with such a measurement, extreme. Since the temperatures have become too high, the SG has decreased the power.
    It ends with the following sentence:
    I hope to serve you with this information and if the customer does not believe it, he is welcome to come over and have the measurement carried out here.
    I will not take a measurement in Switzerland.
    Whether 281,3 or 300PS I'm just happy with my Turbo X, the best Saab I've had.
    Best Regards
    Guy

  • Just looked at Maptun for a Maptuner, very interesting

  • Difference between E10 and Super I do not notice, but with E85 he is more agile.

  • When the E10 was so cheap a week ago, I had a tank full of E10. The car looked tired and heavy.

    We currently have the E85 at € 1,07 🙂

  • Because of the E85 I also went to Maptun, there was 2012 in December times ne 25% action and since then the 9-5 with E85.

    My impression: He turns up joyfully and you notice the more horsepower.
    The consumption with E85 is 12,5 - 14 liters, the liter costs us 1,12 €.

    Luckily we have a small gas station here that also offers that. 😉

    Greetings Andreas

  • Of course it depends on how you see it, because it was not primarily about an increase in performance. However, the LLK would be the basis for an increase in performance up to 340 horses. Highly theoretical of course, and not feasible with the series part.

  • Since then it would really make sense to put the engine under controlled conditions to the test, and to compare the power output - not that you get for 750 Euro but then only a few loose horses in addition ...

  • Whether the extra power is measurable or even noticeable on the Saab is difficult to say, but it is true that on the Nardo high-speed oval is waited just before sunrise to drive the Reckordfahrten.

  • Thanks for your two quick answers.

    Nice that you can take the positive side effect (slight increase in performance under the same conditions) and that he not only measurable.

  • Hello Frank,
    At Maptun you can program your car yourself with the Maptuner, but the software is married to your VIN, so you can not transfer the software from the old one to the new car.

    I left my car directly from km 0 Hirchen, but when the warranty was gone I switched to Maptun because of E85 capable tuning. I was happy with both of them and now I have on my Maptuner the original software, the software from Hirsch and from Maptun, and I could if I wanted to switch back and forth, takes 15 min. In fact, I just have to be careful, since only the software from Maptun E85 is suitable.

  • The Turbo X with the new LLK should have a bit more readout, within the scope of legal tolerances of course ... It can not be determined so far, neither the low outside temperatures nor the full highways give it the opportunity. For other Saab models, 9-3 / 1 and 900 / 1, the difference was "more noticeable".

  • Yes, the Intercooler is also available for the 4 cylinder. Do not think that you can do something wrong with that 🙂

  • I drive the 9-5 2.3t from 1999, so I can not speak for the model discussed here. But from my own experience, I would say, the performance gain is noticeable. If the temperatures in the summer on about 30 degrees, then I notice in my moose also that the engine reacts a lot slower. There are also somewhere performance curves for other SAAB models ... if you just need to check Saabsunited, I mean, somebody would have looked into that. On the other hand, the power gain is not so pronounced at cold temperatures - it probably depends on the temperature at which the nominal power curve has been measured and how far in which direction it deviates. If the power curve was measured at 15 ° C, and I drive around in winter at an outside temperature of 5 ° C, then the performance increase is of course not as noticeable as the power loss at 35 ° C.

    The fact that the charge air temperature plays a role, however, can already be seen from the fact that it is written as test parameters on the data logger.

  • If I continue to follow the explanation of PhiBo and the physics with the LLK, then that would mean that the car will also have more power in winter - due to the even cooler charge air and the resulting larger air mass with a cylinder charge - compared to the old LLK, should have.
    Now the question arises for me whether the extra power really sets in in winter and if so, whether it is perceptible or measurable at maximum?

  • To my knowledge, the deer kit was developed to solve the problem with the too high temperature. What the LLK brings we will see in the summer, the heat test is still pending.

  • And I thought the problems with the Turbo X is the high water temperature and not the charge air temperature. That was also the reason why Hirsch took the kit out of the program.

  • Is this synonymous for the 2.0t (BioPower)? I also notice the differences, how the air is outside. Especially in the summer, stuffy downtown, he walks out of the garage for the first few kilometers extremely agile - and after 30-40 minutes, he feels quite dull ... the turbo hardly remember anything. Would there hiss nothing, you might think he was broken ...

  • That's right. But worth every dollar and in relation to the deer kit (good 2000,00 €) almost cheap

  • No money. But what do you do not do everything just that the car is fine.

  • Good suggestion. There are some of the readers who have played Maptun instead of deer. Let's see what's up!

  • Thanks, that was well explained and better than I can ;-). The cooling surface is certainly double, the LLK uses every available millimeter.

  • Find it good that here are shown alternatives, Hirsch price sometimes questionable especially the handling of flexibility.

    Haette Saab does not guarantee the Hirsch Tuning, the behavior would certainly be different ...

    Especially when chiptuning you should think about it, you can forget it once installed in another car. Maptun has as I have seen here here are beautiful solutions that you can also expand again (externally ...)

    Interesting for people who have more vehicles or maybe want to change, want to offer separately in the sale or ...

    Would not it sometimes a nice report the different Tunigvarianten times to drive against each other and report?

    Greeting Frank

  • The workshop seems to me somehow familiar ... but the cooler from Valeo looks pretty cute - then you immediately come up with the question: "Is he still growing?"

    One point I have to insert at the point but: The intercooler affects the density, cooler air is denser than hot, thus takes place at the same volume flow (influenced by the pipes and pressure) a higher mass flow of air towards the combustion chambers, and thus then the performance advantage. And with the Maptun cooler, the cooling surface seems to have doubled, which in turn makes for a noticeable effect.

    As one wonders if someone has tried to turn the weight screw again, or just wanted to save a few euros - for a flagship model like the Turbo X actually unimaginable.

  • I would have taken the kit. What did the Maptun LLK cost?

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