SAAB Tuning

500HP Saab 9-5 2.3

500HP Saab 9-5 2.3

Napp Motorspors is an automotive youtube channel built around Mazda Miata builds and driving, but the authors (Stefan and Dylan) of this video blog sometimes make an exception, so they were delighted with the potential of a Saab car, in the field of tuning and increasing power. And since the audience reacted very well to their “trip” outside the Mazda domain, the authors promise they have got some more “non-miata” type reviews in the plans as well.

Saab as an extensible platform

In this non-Mazda “trip”, Stefan and Dylan present a great example of the potential that every Saab car – in this case it is a 2006 Saab 9-5 2.3. In one of the freshest episodes on their channel, they review Andrew Plewak’s Turbo Saab 9-5. Interesting, Andew fabricated all of the parts himself and also tuned it on his own. He breaths new like into an overlooked platform by a discontinued brand making around 500hp and 480 ft/lbs.

Andrew Plewak and his Project Saab
Andrew Plewak and his Project Saab

The video is titled “The Overlooked Inexpensive Power Platform” hich indicates that car lovers outside the Saab world also recognize the potential of this Swedish brand. As the tuner himself says, this tuned Saab is something special,  because almost everything on this car has changed – everything on this car in pretty much custom made besides the fueling, but with new special flexfuel-capable 875cc injectors.

He also changed the entire car suspension system, then the exhaust system was completely fabricated, , complete with a cat-back. Roughly, right now with this setup Andrew estimate around 482 torque, this is only based on a calculation because Andrew has not yet driven a car on a dynamometer. Interestingly, unlike other Saab tuners that use Garrett turbines for upgrades, he opted for BorgWarner SX High-Performance Turbocharger.

AirWerks BorgWarner Turbochargers

Borgwarner SX - performance turbo for poor people
Borgwarner SX – performance turbo for poor people

Saab did not make extensive use of these turbochargers, except for the TTiD diesel engine, which is supplemented by Twin-Turbo from this manufacturer. Developed as a joint effort between BorgWarner and GM’s in-house racing program in 2004, AirWerks turbochargers were designed to create reliable and consistent boost for GM’s Pro FWD (front-wheel drive) sport compact racecars. The AirWerks SX and SX-E incorporate serviceable twin hydrodynamic journal bearings with a high-pressure ratio compressor stage utilizing extended-tip technology and a high-efficiency turbine stage.

However, this turbocharger does not have the performance of those more expensive models, so many call it the poor mans GT3071, because BorWarner offers its turbo at half the price. Andrew chose Saab as a development platform, primarily because of its reliability and ease of operation.

Further plans for Saab Tuning

As for further plans, Andrew announces that he will make another exhaust manifold because the second one he has made proved to be very good in the lower and middle revs, but he lacked the strength in the high-end, so he made custom tubular manifold. Then, he made a little bad luck, so he had to make a hole in the hood.

Be sure to watch the video and listen to the dialogue between Andrew and the author of this video channel.

2006 Saab 9-5 Customisation


  • 2.3-liter turbo four making around 500hp and 480 ft/lbs
  • Borg Warner s251sx agp turbo .63 ar hot side
  • Custom tubular manifold
  • Custom 3” turbo back
  • Tial f38 ewg 11 lb spring
  • Wossner forged pistons
  • Walboro 450 log fuel pump 875cc injectors


  • Koni yellow adjustable
  • BG lowering springs