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 an “iron reserve” for emergencies or special customers even when parts are sold out. Well, in a nutshell, the blogger is neither an emergency, nor is Hirsch seen as the preferred person. All requests, through different channels, didn't help. Even three years of positive and free reporting, with a strong Swiss readership, were no trump card. Hirsch stayed hard. Just so that it is not misunderstood: I didn't want to give anything for free or at a special price, I just wanted to buy the performance kit. So an alternative was needed, even if it wasn't over.

The Saab Parts AB, my preferred supplier for original parts, couldn't help either, so I ended up looking at Maptun. The corresponding intercooler was available in Sweden, and Till from SU took care of it. He runs the German Maptun agency, and the LLK was in 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. The original part, it comes from the supplier Valeo, is at best a toy. Compared to the Maptun solution, it is clearly undersized and - quite frankly - at least qualitatively questionable in a direct comparison. The new LLK, on ​​the other hand, looks massive, carved from the whole, and is reminiscent of the quality that Saab built in the 900 Turbo as an intercooler decades ago.

In principle, you can't go wrong if you give your engine a larger-sized intercooler. The old Saab 900 soft turbo versions didn't have any, an upgrade did the car noticeably good. This has not changed in the past few years because the basic rules have remained the same: cooler air brings better performance, better combustion and thermal stability. So a great intercooler is always money well invested.

Installation and removal takes a little more than an hour in the workshop. The new intercooler fits 99% perfectly, we only had to improvise slightly with one attachment. With the LLK, not a millimeter of space is wasted, and the next summer with the heat in the Rhine-Main area can come. The fact that, in theory, you could get more power from the Turbo X with the new intercooler - boost pressure of up to 1.5 bar should be possible - is another matter. Because that wasn't the point.

One more addendum. There was still the thing about Hirsch Performance. The Swiss volunteered days before the installation, and it would have been possible to obtain a performance kit from Hirsch. At a friendly - fair price. But Maptun had already delivered and I had no desire to cancel the purchase from Maptun. And somehow I had resigned myself to not being one of the most important customers in St. Gallen. Other bloggers do, 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 Hirsch's reasoning to be understandable, just as I consider the 300 HP with the power kit under “cool” operating conditions to be real. The TX is fun and a great car, regardless of whether it has 280 or 300 hp.

  • 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

  • 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 the E85 is 12,5-14 liters, the liter costs € 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.

  • It would then really make sense to put the engine to the test under controlled conditions and compare the power output - not that you only get a few slack horses for 750 euros ...

  • 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 should have a little more power with the new intercooler, within the framework of legal tolerances of course ... This has not yet been determined, neither the low outside temperatures nor the busy motorways allow this. With 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 cannot speak for the model discussed here. But from my own experience I would say that the increase in performance is noticeable. If the temperatures rise to over 30 degrees in summer, then I also notice with my elk that the engine reacts a lot more slowly. There are also performance curves for other SAAB models somewhere ... if necessary just look at Saabsunited, I mean, someone would have examined it there. On the other hand, the increase in power is not so clearly pronounced at cold temperatures - it probably depends on the temperature at which the nominal power curve was measured and how far you deviate from it in which direction. If the performance curve has been measured at 15 ° C and I drive around in winter with an outside temperature of 5 ° C, then the increase in performance is of course not as noticeable as the drop in performance 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 that also available for the 2.0t (BioPower)? I also notice the differences in how the air is outside. Especially in summer, when the city center is stuffy, it is extremely agile for the first few kilometers out of the underground car park - and after 30-40 minutes it feels quite dull ... hardly noticeable of the turbo. If nothing hissed, you'd think it 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.

    If Saab had not allowed the guarantee to continue running at Hirsch Tuning, the behavior would certainly be different ...

    Especially with chip tuning you should think twice, you can forget it once installed when transferring to another car. As I have seen, Maptun has beautiful solutions that can be expanded again (external ...)

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

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

    Greeting Frank

  • The workshop looks somehow familiar to me ... but the Valeo radiator already looks cute - the question immediately comes to mind: “Is it still growing?”

    But I have to insert one point at this point: The intercooler affects the density, cooler air is denser than hot, so with the same volume flow (can be influenced by the pipes and pressure) there is a higher mass flow of air towards the combustion chambers, and thus then the performance plus. And with the Maptun cooler, the cooling surface seems to be doubled - that already has a noticeable effect.

    You ask yourself whether someone has tried to turn the weight screw again or just wanted to save a few euros - actually inconceivable for a flagship model like the Turbo X.

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

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