So the GM-takeover of SAAB is to be completely lamented? Not so fast. A few really cool vehicles came about as a result of SAAB’s combined efforts with other automakers; the 9000 is probably the best example, but the Viggen, the ‘SAABaru’ 9-2X, and 9-5 Aero are also popular alternatives to the normal German performance rides out there. Today, though, I want to take a look at what many consider the low point of SAAB’s GM connection and try to unearth a diamond in the rough – because there was one.
The ‘Trollblazer’ was just that; a SAABafied version of GM’s GMT360 Trailblazer. It was really just a light reskin of the vehicle and was even assembled in Ohio. That doesn’t sound too exciting, as indeed the Trailblazer was not the shining star of GM’s catalog nor its best example of vehicle dynamics. But late in the run, GM upped the game with the ‘SS’ version of the ‘Blazer, which added a 400 horsepower Corvette-sourced LS2, giant wheels, and suspension and body tweeks that somehow made the mundane grocery-getter instantly cool. And for good measure, just over 600 were changed into SAAB 9-7X ‘Aero’ models:
The wild LS2-swapped M Coupe has popped back up on eBay, now with a substantially lowered price to $36,500. There’s a lot of custom engineering that you’re getting for free at that price, and it all looks very well executed. I originally incorrectly believed the car was vinyl wrapped but was corrected by the seller that it is in fact painted matte orange. I love the audacity of the build and it’s just not possible to get more speed for less money in the German car world. This is one really cool setup for a track car and much more unique than the typical M3 or Porsche Turbos!
The below post originally appeared on our site September 15, 2014:
If I haven’t previously voiced my displeasure with the “Lime Rock Park Edition” M3, allow me to do it now. On the face of it, it’s something I should love – a track that I grew up with and still love to frequent, one of the most historic homes of motorsport in the country tied to one of the best German cars out of the box, celebrating a union with one of the best driving schools – Skip Barber. But the Lime Rock edition is more or less a special color (which, incidentally you can purchase at any point given enough money and checking BMW’s “Individual” boxes properly) and a little track map of Lime Rock inside; you know, in case you forget where you are in the middle of the “Big Bend”. The color, I’ll admit, is pretty awesome to me and of course the competition package E92 was pretty amazing out of the box – but the premium demanded for these Lime Rock cars was simply outrageous in my opinion. What should the Lime Rock Park Edition have been, in my opinion? Well, I think the builder of this M Coupe got it right – stripped down for lower weight, big downforce and 100% more power: