SAAB Tuning

BSR PPC Upgrades for Easy Saab Performance Tuning

BSR PPC - his little beast behaves like a rocket at the traffic lightsBSR PPC - his little beast behaves like a rocket at the traffic lights

The Swedish company high-tech BSR specializes in optimization of car engines and software, both in terms of performance and environmental control. Apart from the Saab cars that interest us, BSR offers professional tuning services for a large number of brends, using, among other tuning technologies, the PPC Tuning system, developed by BSR.

ECU programming

BSR specialists have a high level of competence and experience in ECU programming, engine management and emission technology, and since 1991. They have performed optimization of car engine control software. Comprehensive test equipment combined with their own programs for emulation and optimization gives them the one of market leading position.

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BSR ECU upgrades

In BSR, they have their own product development, mainly for Saab, Volvo, VAG, Ford and Opel/Vauxhall. BSR also develops sport exhaust systems, superb air filter sets and Opti Flow packages. Because of all of the above, they have several commissions from car manufacturers and car import firms. Theri environmental commitment is strong and they carry out active research projects into converting engines to alternative fuels.

BSR environmental activity

Less known is their environmental activity, and this company has been working in this field since 1997. Among other things, they also worked to improve legislation on exhaust standards, and thus played a role as a referral body to the proposed bill “Exhaust Cleaning 2000“. These efforts have resulted in legislation changes and a certification system for conversion of vehicles for alternative fuels due to take effect in January 2008 .

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Through active research, BSR conducts projects for converting vehicles to alternative fuels. BSR is involved in several environmental projects, among others an EU project (BEST) with the Environmental Administration of the city of Stockholm for converting petrol engines for use with ethanolBSR was chosen as a “Super Company” two years in a row by the magazine Veckans Affärer as well as selected as a Clean Tech Company by the magazine Dagens Miljö.

E85 fuel pump

1997, BSR was the first in Europe to convert a gasoline-powered car to the E85 and has since influenced the authorities to adapt the legislation.

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Dedicated to performance and records

Koenigsegg decides to show the world what the new CCR is capable of. In January Koenigsegg and BSR’s technicians arrive to the Nardo track in southern Italy. The present world record of 387km/h was achieved by a McLaren F1 driven on a complete straight test course. Will it be possible to break the present world record on a circular track at all? (McLaren F1 “only” reached 376km/h on the circular Nardo track)

Koenigsegg - 2005 Fastest car in the world - 388km/h
Koenigsegg CCR – 2005 Fastest car in the world – 388km/h

Besides, there are rumours saying that the Ferrari Enzo “only” reaches 345km/h on the Nardo track. The whole test is supervised by BSR’s technician Mikael Edstrand. Only the slightest deviation in the important engine parameters could be fatal. After some minor adjustments on the chassis the legendary Loris Biccochi manages to reach 388km/h with a Koenigsegg CCR. With that, the present world record is pulverized!

Saab Performance Tuning

Let’s go back to performance tuning of cars, BSR as one of the best in the world in this area, especially in the area of performance tuning of Saab cars. But before we actually see what “Performance Tuning” is?

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What is Saab Performance Tuning?

In simple terms, the performance of your Saab is governed by the engine management system, which uses software to monitor and control the way the engine behaves and responds to driver input.

By carefully modifying or “tuning” this software, it is possible to enhance the potential of the Saab engine to provide increased performance without sacrificing normal drivability – this is generally referred to as ‘performance tuning’.

Saab 9-5 BSR PPC
PPC available for Saab 9-5 1.9Tid 150Hp. BSR PPC provides 184Hp/412Nm.

As you can see from the above, you need: technical equipment, extensive experience, special hardware and software to improve car performance, which means you need specialist service. Still, is it all possible to do it all on your own, without service and without specialized knowledge? The answer is – yes, thanks to a solution developed by BSR – BSR PPC.

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What is a BSR PPC upgrade?

The BSR PPC or ‘Portable Program Carrier‘ is a hand-held device which allows quick and effective performance tuning of your Saab.

The PPC is supplied preloaded with modified engine management software which, when downloaded to your Saab, allows increased engine power and responsiveness. After installation, you will notice the improvements to performance and driveability immediately.  BSR’s PPC allows your cars ECU to be modified with specialised tuning software without any mechanical modifications or even having to lift the bonnet.

How is the upgrade performed?

The BSR PPC connects with a special cable to the computer bus of the car via the OBD port. After detecting the car and PPC, press Enter when the PPC asks “Tune car?”. After just few minutes the new modified settings are loaded into your Saab ECU and that’s it.

And that’s all, it only takes a PPC device, a couple of minutes and your Saab promptly gets a performance boost. The operation is reversible, so if for some reason you want to go back to the original factory setup, this is not a problem either. While downloading tuned software to your car the PPC device also reads and stores your car’s original software.

You can repeat this procedure as often as you like. The same procedure restores everything to its original state, and you can repeat the procedure countless times, though only on the same car, you will need an additional license to tuning another Saab.

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Is this bad for my Saab? Will it make it unreliable?

No, the tuned software supplied on each PPC is the result of extensive development and testing by industry experts to ensure that all performance increases are well within the safety margins of Saab’s famously ‘over-engineered’ drivetrains.

Although the tuned software allows considerable performance improvements, consideration is also given to component reliability and longevity

Are there any special servicing requirements for a Saab that has been tuned?

No, a car that has been tuned with BSR’s PPC should continue to be serviced as per Saab’s published recommendations.

Will my Saab be quicker?

The simplest answer is “yes”, immediately after you take off your device and for the first time, you will experience improved performance – the car accelerates faster and more powerfully. At the “Stage 1” level, which does not involve hardware add-ons such as changing the exhaust or suction system or fuel injectors, the power increase goes up to 25%.

For example, the BSR for Saab’s 2.0T engine with T7 management, which provides 154hp at the factory, offers “Stage 1” which brings an additional 67hp boost to 221hp.


Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

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