The Turbo X is a fascinating vehicle, its weakness is the relative heat sensitivity, which it acknowledges with loss of power. To give the high-performance Saab more cool charge air, we have in November 2013 to a new LLK resorted.
After there was no alternative offer from Saab, only came Maptun and Hirsch Performance as a supplier in question. Hirsch could not or did not want to, so the weakly dimensioned series part was exchanged for a new intercooler from Maptun.
Until the test, whether the operation has really eliminated our heat problem, took several months. In July 2014 it was time. Best weather, sun and 29 degrees in the Rhine-Main area. With friend Achim on board I start for a test drive. Our test track, the A66 in the direction of Fulda, is not very busy, almost unlimited and allows high speeds. The Saab does what you expect from him. Speeds over 200 are driven as at low temperatures, from power loss or emerging displeasure, otherwise immediately noticeable in summer heat, no trace. The thermometer in the cockpit remains stuck stoically in the middle position. Always impressive is how the Saab storms up the long slopes, as if there were no limit to the compact station wagon.
The TX clears the left lane, all 280 Swedish Turboelche provide propulsion. That's fun, but only highway is fade in the long run. For the way back we leave the A66 near Bad Orb, take the small country roads of the Hessian part of the Spessart under the four-wheel drive wheels. Over small, idyllic places like Jossgrund we drive in the direction of Bavaria. Here is the Turbo X in its natural environment, here he has fun. When accelerating up to 90% of the driving forces go to the rear wheels, the TX shoots from the curves like an arrow. And anyway, the cornering is awesome, Haldex and eLSD provide grip without end.
The sound, however, provides goose bumps, the engine screams, growls, bubbles, depending on speed and mood. He cheers loudly as soon as he is allowed to ride. The local thoroughfares we take comfortably. With little speed he rolls through the sleepy little villages, the Schwedenturbo is then barely audible. That too is possible. Finally we drive Saab and not BMW M3.
Meanwhile, the thermometer has breached the 30 grade mark. It's lunchtime, the sun burns relentlessly, the automatic air conditioning has to do and keeps the interior pleasantly warm. In the narrow engine compartment now hellish temperatures must prevail. Time for refusal? The expectations are disappointed. The new Turbo X intercooler does what it should, the Maptun part is worth every penny. Once home, the Turbo X cools down in the parking lot for a while, the vehicle crackles sensually, after a sporting trip through Hesse and the Spessart.
Why Saab has installed such a undersized Valeo LLK in the TX, is actually incomprehensible. In Sweden you could do that better. Turbo technology was a basic skill, and the Saab 99 Turbo, Saab 900, 9000, and even the first 9 3 always had the best quality. Our Saab 9-3 Aero with Viggen Body Kit has now got a deer LLK, the difference to the series is barely noticeable. But this is another story.
With the Maptun LLK, the mesmerizing TX is now where it always should have been. Not to be ruled out that extreme temperatures and stop and go could lead to a drop in performance. But for 99% of driving situations, the Swedish High Performance Turbo is now doing what it's supposed to: Performance!
For Saab, the time of the compact athletes with 6 cylinders under the hood is unfortunately over. There is no need to hope for a new edition in the current situation. The automotive environment, however, is thinking about it. Inflated 4 cylinders, which should convey something in the direction of technical enthusiasm by means of a sound generator, do not seem to be the last word on the topic.
An engine is mechanics, not computer technology. There will always be people who appreciate and seek that. A few days ago BMW made a clear statement for the 6 cylinder in the compact sports car, and Daimler is thinking aloud about a comeback of the straight-six. Who drives like I prefer Saab, should grab as an alternative to the TX. We have, with expert advice from the Saab Centers in Kiel and Bamberg, created an extensive Turbo X buying guide that will appear in the next few days. More about Saab, and about a whole Saab collection, you can read on our Youngtimer Blog.
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