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  1. #1
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    24 Jul 2011
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Cool So this little Pug followed me home...

    My wife and I have been considering buying a convertible for a while. We had the Jeep Wrangler in Alaska and I particularly miss open top motoring on warm days. A motorcycle is a big no-no for the wife, so a small cabrio was the choice. I test drove two Mazda MX5, and I had forgotten how fun these cars are to drive! I almost bought a US spec Miata for 1800 Euro. The one thing a Miata didn't have however, was seating for three people, as now that's the size of our family.

    So I wanted a four seat open top car. I really would have loved a C900 Cabriolet, but their prices are bordering Crazyland here in Germany. A Saab was out of the question. I then started looking at open cars that were four seaters and fun to drive. That's what led me to look at the Peugeot 205 CTI.

    The CTI is the Pininfarina-designed soft top version of the famous Peugeot 205 GTI, which is considered the best handling small hatchback ever made, kicking VW's butt at the game they created. The CTI is a tiny convertible but yet still sits four thanks to the wheels being way out on the car's corners. The car is 100 kg heavier than the hatchback it spawned from, but still tops the scales at less than 1000 kg (2200 lb). The engine is a rev-happy 1.6 that is coupled with a close-geared 5 speed transmission.

    I looked at three CTIs in my budget. The one I settled for was the loudest, both aurally and visually, but wasn't chosen for that reason. I chose the car because it was virtually rust-free, has been owned since 2002 by the same guy, had maintenance records since 2000, and a laundry list of new parts in the last 5 years. It has had a quality re-spray paint job in bright yellow (not original color) eight years ago, it is lowered, has a Supersprint exhaust (loud), interipor and exterior bits from a later 205 GTI 1.9, like undamaged seats, clear corners, rear tail lamps, etc.

    The car isn't without fault, with a broken fog light, a worn out top that will need to be replaced soon, two summer tires need replacement, and the left side control arm is worn too (the PO supplied a new control arm that needs installing). After stopping at the Autobahn on the way home I noticed a light fuel scent on the cabin, the smell dissipates as soon as you start driving, and it seems one engine mount is bad too. The asking price was generously adjusted for all the faults, and I paid almost 1000 Euro less than the asking price.

    Unfortunately it was raining all day, so I drove home with the top up and wearing winter tires, but I got a good feel for how fun this car is to drive. It's definitely not an Autobahn car (the 9-5 Aero fits that slot perfectly), instead this is a machine for twisty roads. The steering is lightning quick, the brakes grabby but not nervous, the suspension communicative albeit a bit on the harsh side. The 1.6 engine has a bit more than 110 horsepower, but being matched to a close ratio gearbox on a light car it provides plenty of good acceleration. Did I mention how close the gears are? Crazy close. On fifth gear it's doing more than 3000 rpms at 100 km/h (62 mph). At 150 km/h (93 mph) it was doing 5000 rpm! Top speed is supposedly 180 km/h but I bet that's when you reach redline on fifth gear. Definitely not for high speed cruising, but plenty for sprints at lower speeds.

    This is the first French car I own. I have now owned American, German, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Swedish and French cars!

    So, without further ado, here is Petit Putain:









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    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  2. #2
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpiereck View Post

    This is the first French car I own. I have now owned American, German, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Swedish and French cars!
    In terms of country of assembly, I've owned 4 Swedish, 1 Finnish, 2 American, and 1 German car. Only the Swedish and Finnish cars were long term cars. The others were cars for temporary use of a few months.

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  3. #3
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
    Thumbs Up:   2
    "Handles like a go kart" isn't just some random saying with this car. I took it out for a 1-hr drive today, still wearing narrow winter tires on steel rims, and boy does this thing go fast around the corners! I can only imagine how it will be once I get the 195/50-15 Toyo Proxes on ATS alumuminum wheels mounted. This engine loooves to rev, and does not feel right below 4000 rpm.

    After driving this car I had to get on the 9-5 and go grocery shopping, and it was night and day. Driving the 9-5 Aero I felt like the captain at the helm of a ferry boat. Compared to le Petit Putain the 9-5 lists heavily on corners, the steering is slooooow, and throttle response feel like a telegram. The 9-5 will out-accelerate and out-speed the 205, but it doesn't have that raw edge. The 205 feels like the young punk in the neighborhood who is always looking for a fight, and might get his ass whooped when the fight really happens, but he'll get a few strong punches in. The 9-5 is the old mature gentleman who keeps himself in shape, is restrained and composed, but when he gets in a fight with the young punk he'll teach him a good lesson and surprise the little fool. Totally different cars, totally different personalities.

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    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  4. #4
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up:   3
    neat! never heard of this - but I approve!

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    I used to work for Hertz at Amsterdam Airport and shuttling cars between the facility and terminal. Of all the small cars, the 205 was my favorite because the it was a bit rough but fun to drive. So much more fun than the Fiesta's and Polo's.

    Good luck with the "little bitch", I am sure the 9-5 will keep her in place and will secretly enjoy her company.

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  6. #6
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Wulfers View Post
    I used to work for Hertz at Amsterdam Airport and shuttling cars between the facility and terminal. Of all the small cars, the 205 was my favorite because the it was a bit rough but fun to drive. So much more fun than the Fiesta's and Polo's.

    Good luck with the "little bitch", I am sure the 9-5 will keep her in place and will secretly enjoy her company.
    Thanks for shuttling my Hertz car! I rented from them twice, twice from another company. Weren't cars delivered to the road in front of the terminal?

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  7. #7
    Saab Enthusiast
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    21 Nov 2010
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    2003 9 Arc
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Congrats, it is a great little car!
    I recommend you get the car back to original suspension. Peugeot simply nailed it with the 205 with regards to comfort and sportiness, all aftermarket conversions just make the car behave worse.
    Check out Wheeler Deelers episode about the 205 GTI, surely some good tips to get there.

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  8. #8
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    Thanks for shuttling my Hertz car! I rented from them twice, twice from another company. Weren't cars delivered to the road in front of the terminal?
    Yes, some of them were delivered in front of arrivals. But that was 25 years ago, a lot has changed at Schiphol airport since then.

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  9. #9
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Wulfers View Post
    Yes, some of them were delivered in front of arrivals. But that was 25 years ago, a lot has changed at Schiphol airport since then.
    Ha ha, in the days of the hand crank starter and no seat belts. Come to think of it, service was better then. Who heard of rental car delivery to the front curb outside baggage claim? One car I rented was a first generation Mercedes 190E, like the current C class. It was the late 80's, probably 1987, and the Dutch version did not have rear seat belts! You may have been the one to open the door for me!

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  10. #10
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    '00 9-5 Aero SC, 87 900i 8v
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    Who heard of rental car delivery to the front curb outside baggage claim?
    That's pretty much the way it is done in South Korea if you have a reservation. For returns too, there is a parking spot right by departures, on the curb, and you just park your car, get your bags out and hand your keys to a concierge. The first time I had to return a car to Seoul's Incheon airport I drove around the airport twice looking for a rental car return, it was driving me mad! And then I saw the one single lonely car parking spot by departures labeled "rental return".

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    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

 

 

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