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<B>Source:</B><BR><I>SAAB Scania<BR>Geneva Auto Show<BR>March 5, 2002</I><P> <IMG SRC="http://www.hirsch-performance.ch/img/95limo.jpg"> <P><B>Saab Creates New Partnership</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Saab Automobile and Hirsch Performance of Switzerland are to develop a portfolio of sporty engine, chassis and styling enhancements, branded 'Saab Performance by Hirsch', which will allow customers much greater scope to individualize their cars. A stunning, 305 bhp Saab 9-5 Aero wagon was unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show as a first example of the distinctive enhancements to be offered.<P>Saab has identified a growing number of discerning customers who want to further develop the sporty individuality of Saab cars. The long-term agreement with Hirsch Performance AG, proven Saab specialists with long experience in customizing Saab cars, will ensure these demands are met for current and future products in an exclusive way that is consistent with the values of the brand. Thomas Lindskog, Saab Automobile's Aftersales Director, said: "Our customers express a clear preference for individuality and want to be able to customize their cars according to their own taste. 'Saab Performance by Hirsch' products now allow them to go much further in terms of performance and design, sharpening the edge of our top of the line models."<P>A wide range of enhancements for current 9-5 models will be available from July. Engine and chassis upgrades, taking maximum power from 250 to 305 bhp and torque from 350 to 420 Nm, are intended for Aero models, whilst many of the interior and exterior styling products can also be fitted to other variants. Customers can 'mix and match' as they wish, ordering just one or two items exclusively through Saab dealerships, or specifying complete packages which will be fitted at 'Saab Performance by Hirsch' centers, where staff are trained and certified to carry out the work. 'Saab Performance by Hirsch' products will be fully guaranteed by Saab and Hirsch Performance AG.<P>It is the first time Saab has agreed to co-operate in this way with an outside supplier in the aftermarket. "We are pleased to create this partnership because Hirsch Performance has the market knowledge and flexibility that is needed to develop these exclusive, relatively low volume types of product," explained Lindskog. "The character and design of these enhancements is very much an extension of the sporty, dynamic aspects of our brand and there will be no compromises as regards quality and durability".<P>A wide range of components from the extensive 'Saab Performance by Hirsch' range includes engine, suspension, brake and wheel upgrades and an even wider selection of exterior and interior sports styling additions, including seats, fascia and interior trim. René Hirsch, Chief Executive Officer for Hirsch Performance AG, said: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work closely with a manufacturer such as Saab and we look forward to a long term association that will also include developments for future product ranges.<P>"We both believe there is tremendous potential for this form of customer individualization. We have the flexibility that is required for this work and it is also reassuring for customers to know that these products are endorsed by Saab."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Good news for SAAB! It kind of sounds sort of like a performance division, like Volvo R, BMW M, Audi S, Jaguar R, and Mercedes AMG. The only strange thing is that they claim that their 305 bhp 9-5 Hirsch Aero wagon does 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds. That seems kind of slow for that amount of power, plus the 420 nm of torque.<P>-Drew<p>[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 03-05-2002).]
 

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Yeah, I read about that company before on this Taiwanese car magazine. From what SPG9 guys told me, they have some even crazier project cars. Not sure...never a Saab guy, even though their new models are really looking good. Their cars call out, "I'm a graceful, handsome gentleman.."<P>Not sure if I'm the only one seeing that. You know, that each car got its own personality thingy?
 

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I think saab has the right idea with the aftermarket thing they have started. My friend's got a 9-5 with BBS RKIIs right from the factory. I think that's a good idea, let the people that know performance do the performance and let saab worry about the reliability and making a better car. I learned how to drive on a 1967 (i think) Saab 99 Turbo. Though saab did hit a little ditch there in the early 90s, i think they are making some good cars now. and WOW, the Viggen looks GOOOOOOD!! <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/biggrin.gif">. I think saab will follow in Volvos footsteps in their slow introduction to the American aftermarket scene. Maybe there will be a sudden explosion like audi had with the A4. Though I love the individuality of the volvo, it would be nicer to get some more competition and get some prices down <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif"> Oh well, enuf for now...<P>
 
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