SAAB Tuning

The Belgrade Pearl White Sleeper – Saab 9-5 Wagon (450hp/580Nm)

Pearl White Sleeper - Saab 9-5 Wagon

We have the pleasure to present to you a real Saab automotive pearl from Serbia. We are talking about the Saab 9-5 in Wagon variant, which started its life in Trollhattan some twenty years ago as a “regular” Saab 9-5 Linear with a 2.0 engine and factory 150 horsepower. Perhaps this car would have remained on factory specifications for the rest of its lifespan if it had not come into the hands of a young Saab enthusiast from Belgrade, Marko Nastovski, who gave it new life and vitality.

Marko Nastovski is a young Saab enthusiast from Belgrade whose main interest is not cars, but something completely different (he is physiotherapist), but cars are his great passion. This great passion for cars, and especially for Saab cars, was passed on to Marko by his father, who has owned and driven only Saab cars for more than thirty years. And since that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, it is logical that Marko’s choice should be Saab cars.

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For Marko, it all started very early, long before he was legally allowed to drive a car in public traffic. More precisely, when he and his friends were around 14 years old, they secretly “borrowed” his dad’s car while he was sleeping, so they drove around the city in a Saab 9000 CD.

Saab 9-5 Wagon with Modifications from 150 hp to 450 hp

Mark’s 9-5 started life as a 9-5 linear 2003, 2.0 150hp, and when it came into his hands a few years ago, it received a huge number of modifications that increased power and torque enormously. All work on the modification of the motor began with a general engine service at the local Saaboter service (Kiki), when Wossner forged pistons were added, so that engine now has a volume of 2350cc.


Modifying parts for the improvement of Saab, before installation
Modifying parts for the improvement of Saab, before installation

These initial works were followed by a series of changes, and above all, a larger Garrett turbo GTX2867R GEN II (0.86A/R) was added. In order for the engine to “breathe” better, a Do88 intercooler with custom made intake pipes was added (also, Custom made 63mm delivery pipe). Attached to the intercooler is a custom 3” (76mm) full metal intake with a Do88 cobra turbo silicone inlet hose made by Sebastian Korzekwa of Poland.

Saab 9-3X Tuned to 300HP

And before this a Hurricane motorsport intake filter (76mm) was installed. Due to better fuel supply to the engine, the injectors were also changed, and Marko chose Lucas/SMP 875CC injectors. Denso K24PR-U11 gapped to 0.8mm spark plugs.

On the exhaust side, we also have modifications, so the engine has a thermally wrapped, custom-made 3” turbo exhaust system with a Y partition that ends with a quadruple exhaust tip (with AZ-Performance tubular exhaust manifold). Additionally, on the engine it is installed Balance shaft delete kit due to being able to spin at higher RPM and increased oil pressure inside the engine.

Appearance of the engine compartment after major modifications on Saab's engine
Appearance of the engine compartment after major modifications on Saab’s engine

When the project reaches this much power, it is necessary to make adequate changes in the braking and suspension system. Regarding the suspension, there was no dilemma – the Complete B12Pro Bilstein suspension (with Eibach springs -30mm ride height) was chosen. And to improve the braking system, a Saab set was chosen – 314mm 9-3SS V6 conversion brakes with braided lines and custom Saab Griffin print.

Saab 9-5 on Dynotest after modifications
Saab 9-5 on Dynotest after modifications

Beneath the Pearl White 3M Vinyl Foil is Power

After these changes related to performance, Marko did not resist making changes to the interior and exterior to make the car look even better. The modified 9-5 Wagon got a new look in the form of a special vinyl foil – Pearl White 3M vinyl film, and everything was done in the specialized studio “Car Wrapping Team” in Belgrade, Serbia. The whole new exterior is completed with Barracuda racing alloy wheels and Shark tooth front bumper conversion, so now the whole car looks much younger and more attractive.

But still, from the outside the car looks almost like it did when it left the factory, so most people can’t even guess how much power is hidden under the hood based on looks alone. In the interior, too, Marko made a few small changes, the first of which is again partly related to performance, because he decided to shorten the stroke of the shift lever, so he installed AZ-performance short shifter for increased shift speed and much shorter gear lever. The atmosphere in the Saab cabin is improved by Fully swapped 9-5 Aero leather heated interior with Griffin logos on headrests, and Full black alcantara roof together with A, B, C pillars.

The Last Mod

And for the last mod, he would like to give big shout out for his tuner Joel Artursson also known as LauchJoelRacing who made completely 1of1 custom made tune for Marko’s car, every single parameter in the tune is made to be perfect for this exact car and every mod it has.

Power and Torque diagram
Power and Torque diagram

Power delivery on graph is insanely good, linear and strong, so it delivers full power without a moment of wheelspin even when the road is completely wet! According to Marko, Joel is literally a WIZARD, making his car run 374whp and 485wnm (449bhp & 580nm) with only 1.22bar PEAK boost!

Car is breathing like a “dragon” and puts down power effortlessly. Also, its not about the number chasing, its about this big family wagon (1800+kg with driver) doing 100-150kmph in 3.6sec and 100-200kmph under 10 seconds! Despite everything, the driving economy was maintained and even improved, And yes, it still does 6 – 6.5L/100km while cruising down the highway!

3M 1080 Car Wrap SP10 White pearl – Film tuning cars
3M 1080 Car Wrap SP10 White pearl – Film tuning cars

In addition to Joel, Marko would also like to mention Cem Fevzi in his project, he had his role in thinking and helping with potential problems that arose during the construction and adjustment process. Also, Marko expresses special gratitude to his friend Vlada, who also helped him a lot, together with Cem Fevzi.

According to Marko, this level of modification is not the end for this Saab project. He will try to push the project even further. Future plans include getting ARP head bolts so they can turn up the boost a little bit more and chase that big 5xx+ HP numbers.

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