The Saab 9000, our Anna project, slowly rolls through a small town. Nothing has happened yet ... but soon! Readers who, based on their own medical history, are considered to be infected or susceptible to the 9000 are advised to switch off now - and only read on at Part 7. Because this article can affect family peace and bank balance.
End of town. Free ride, accelerate, boost. The needle jumps up to the red area, the turbo whistles. Third gear, fourth gear. The turbosound mills the heart and brain, transforming men into guys. Anna has long since moved beyond the legally permitted limits. Gear number 5. Anna pulls, the turbo cheers. Turn, turn down. Like on rails, the 9000 goes through the curve, then accelerate, shift, turbo sound.
What happened? We learn Anna's flying! In Sweden there are tuning kits with up to 400 PS, but we did not want to do it that wild. Slightly more than the original 170 PS was being considered, a solution at 9000 Aero level.
Originally we wanted to test a German tuner, but it is not available for weeks in the summer, so you get out of history. Specialist Maptun is an alternative. For the 2.3t there are kits from 245 to 295 hp from Sweden. I opt for the "small" 245 HP solution. A plus of 120 Nm and 75 hp should be enough, right?
In the package for around € 700,00 is the T5 solenoid valve, which distinguishes the soft turbo from the more charged version. The valve costs € 350,00 at Saab, so the price for the complete kit is quite moderate. Maptun delivers a new engine control unit; if you return your old control to the Swedes, you save € 100,00.
Control unit and valve can be installed quickly, the immobilizer is activated via Tech2. Before the first ride, a simple calculation. The 9000 weighs around 1.400 kilograms. With 245 HP and 380 Nm each HP has to accelerate a good 5,7 kilos. A power to weight ratio, better than 10 kilos per horsepower, stands for fun. A 5 before the decimal point is a lot of fun ...
Red numbers on, the 9000 goes on a test drive in compliance with the law. The 9000 feels normal in the lower rev range. There is no sequential turbocharger at work, but an old-school machine. If the engine speed rises to 2000 revs, things get emotional. Boost pressure! Now you can see the 9000 with different eyes. Something is pushing. The 2.3 liter drives like a V8 was under the hood. You can move forward confidently from any speed.
The turbo is present when accelerating, the turbo needle signals sufficient pressure. That's how we love Saab, that's what made the brand what it is. From the country road to the motorway. The 9000 threads itself playfully. It depends so well on the gas that you want to slalom around the other road users. Then the old game. Speed limits are ended after construction sites ... Small and medium-sized cars set indicators, want to sweep the old Saab off the left lane. In response to the pushers, there is thrust. We are gone!
So I play Saab Turbo one afternoon. That makes you sick and addicting. Even worse: you can never get that out of your head. You can stay in 5th gear on the autobahn. The Saab flies, is always fed up with boost pressure. Larger, potentially stronger cars are also accelerated. Power-to-weight ratio and boost pressure are everything. On country roads you sort your way through the aisles, trucks are overtaken in a playful way. Yes, you can be childish. The fun potential is enormous, Maptun and Saab are very addictive. Don't think about it if instead of the 245 hp it were the large 295 hp kit ...
Saab feeling comes through. The old, almost lost feeling of fascinating turbos - when turbo lag wasn't a problem, when cars still wanted to be driven. You don't want to get out, you want to drive, drive, drive. And because the Saab 9000 is a child of the 80s and 90s, the driving experience comes through immediately. No computer program, no sound generator falsified. The 9000 is what it is: with the Maptun Kit, the understatement sedan par excellence. A solid, old, inconspicuous, extremely fast car. The almost forgotten product of a brand that, apart from us fans, has almost no one on their radar. Pure fun!
Saab had one 280 PS version in progress, with four-wheel drive. Unfortunately, this 9000 never came in series. Audi brought the V8 at the same time. Saab was at eye level and on the way up. The product was there, lacking the courage to make a big leap. Anyway, we have the cars, we have the fun. Engine and transmission can handle the extra power, the front-wheel drive copes amazingly well with the 245 PS. But nothing in the world is without disadvantage.
Of course, it is clear to me that in real life many 9000 are on the road with even more horsepower. As a blog you have to be compliant with the law. Therefore the note: If you want to celebrate the Maptun experience, there is no way around legalization. Magic word: individual purchase. In addition, you should think about better brakes, which I do anyway, and change the turbo hoses. That too is already on the list of things to do.
Technical questions, availability, and everything else about the Maptun Kit are answered by Till Drescher from Cardyourcar.eu, Maptun will be releasing 20% kits on the fall promotion. Do you want to have one? I guess so. More draft is good. The 9000 is one of those things that does not age but gets better. Or the more desirable the more mobile computers penetrate our everyday lives.
In Part 7 we summarize the action. Only as a stopover, Anna will continue to accompany us. We philosophize in the next part about the future of the Saab 9000, it's about money. What is Anna actually worth? An appraiser helps us further. It's exciting to see how he rates the Saab 9000.