Swedish premium car maker Saab is well known for its prolific high-torque, turbo-charged performance engines, and robust, aircraft-inspired engineering quality. The discrete Swedish design and individuality of the brand and its products are also key attractions for Saab aficionados.
As well as enjoying the excellence of their regular Saab cars, British Saab enthusiasts can now tailor their current 9-3 and 9-5 models with an extensive range of performance-enhancing engine, chassis and styling modifications, developed by Saab in association with Hirsch Performance AG of Switzerland.
Following a gruelling programme of quality evaluation, Hirsch Performance is now available in the UK, sold through Saab’s network of 90+ dealers nationwide. Hirsch Performance AG is the only company to receive full approval from Saab to upgrade its vehicles and transform them into the ultimate individual driving experience.
From the interior to the brakes, the engine to the chassis, Saab’s Hirsch Performance offers an extensive range of upgrades that enable the drivers of current Saab 9-3 and 9-5 models to personalise, and enhance, the performance and appearance of their car, without affecting the warranty.
Externally, Hirsch upgrades to Saab’s legendary aerodynamics are subtle but decisive. The Hirsch integrated front bumper and spoiler have faced rigorous testing and proved that they actually generate greater downforce and minimise drag at high speeds. Internally, a selection of upgrades range from a leather-covered instrument panel to aluminium racing-style pedals, drilled out to save weight and coated with non-slip rubber for enhanced driver control.
In terms of power, the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 are recognised leaders in low-end torque, but with a Hirsch Performance engine upgrade, they can be taken to another level. After engine reprogramming the Saab 9-3 1.8t engine, for example, can generate 195 bhp and 310 Nm of torque (against the standard 150 bhp and 240 Nm at 2,500 rpm). The 9-3 2.0 HOT Aero goes even further with a 230bhp or 252 bhp upgrade. For the larger Saab 9-5, a Hirsch upgrade of the 150 bhp 2.0t engine can generate 210 bhp, whilst the 185 bhp 2.3t engine can reach 220 bhp. The already rapid 250 bhp Saab 9-5 Aero is even more agile with the 280bhp Hirsch Performance upgrade, and power can be increased to over 300 bhp to give this model unexpected reserves of power.
Saab’s Hirsch Performance upgrades ensure that any modified model has even greater control with firm, dynamic suspension. Hirsch wheel and brake upgrades offer further assurance. Alloy wheels in 17", 18" or 19" that are 50 per cent stronger and 20 per cent lighter than conventional cast wheels aid grip, cornering, and appearance. Hirsch Performance enhanced braking also achieves improved stopping power - the brakes ensuring that even at speeds of 62 mph, the Saab can stop in just 2.7 seconds.
Saab’s Hirsch Performance is available as a range of after-fit accessories, offered by all British Saab dealers, to fit the current generation of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 models, both automatic and manual, petrol and diesel.Published 25 August 2005