The first heat wave of the year is behind us. A practical test for the 9000 CSE. Because he is the only Saab available this summer. So far he has used the hot season to hatch problems. Then the urge to drive to the workshop in Fechenheim was particularly pronounced. Will it be different this year?
33 degrees Celsius and more
Cars and heat, that's one of those things. My Saab Turbo X was generally unable to withstand temperatures above 30 degrees. Not particularly thermally resilient from birth, the V6 reached its limits in the tightness of the engine compartment. A larger charge air cooler brought relief. They were once able to do better at Saab.
It is always impressive how the unit designed by Per Gillbrand deals with the summer heat. No matter how warm it gets, the 9000 is stoic and takes its course. Loss of performance, poor acceleration, these words are not familiar to the old, hopelessly oversized Saab machine. It has enough space in the engine compartment, lots of air around the engine block and it is generally thermally healthy.
In any case, the heat is not impressive in any way, whether stop-and-go in city traffic or a traffic jam on the highway.
Climate control and the heat
The weak point in recent years has been the automatic climate control. Actually, this ancient system is still a piece of cake today, the engineers gave it everything that was technically possible back then. The sensor for the position of the sun is a Saab innovation, it controls the cooling particularly emphatically. In the modern car today you will certainly find more effective and sophisticated systems. But nothing that would make the antique Saab technology look old.
Hardware has been the weak point in recent summers. The Saab 9000 is built in 1998, of course, the age gnaws at him. Again and again one component caused trouble. Sometimes it was the air conditioning compressor, then a valve or a hose with a leak. That caused frustration, because whenever it was particularly hot, it came to a disaster.
And driving a 9000 with its large glass surfaces without air conditioning is torture and not fun. Everything is different this summer. The system works impressively effectively and reliably like a Swiss clockwork.
Has the persistence paid off, along with some nice workshop bills? It seems so. Driving a Saab 9000 is fun, even in extreme temperatures. Hats off to the designers who came up with this Saab. We shall see whether the peace is deceptive. Summer has only just begun, whether the 23-year-old Saab remains convinced remains open. In any case, the gut feeling is good. And that is seldom misleading.