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Gordy's Abbotted Aero
My car is a 97P Aero which was Abbotted last summer. I'd owned it for 2 years and had been driving it for 3 months without a turbo (financial problems prohibiting a fix). I was being embarrassed by just about anything on 4 wheels and that, coupled with my brother's announcement that he was buying an M3 convertible, encouraged me to invest my annual bonus in getting the turbo fixed and some mods.
At that point of time I only knew of Hirsch and Abbott doing Saab mods (ie before I found Saabcentral and Saabscene). Looking at their respective websites Hirsch seemed to be running down their 9000 catalogue and Abbott were detailing it all with an easy to follow "bang per buck" catalogue so Abbott it was.
I wanted a road legal monster so I sat down and worked out what I could afford and approached Abbott. My brief to them was I wanted a road legal car that could keep my brothers M3 in sight and I had £x to spend - what would they recommend? Their list was as follows: Gas Flowed Cylinder Head, Big Exhaust Valves. ITG Sports Air Filter ECU Upgrade Stainless Steel Exhaust System (Turbo Back) High Flow Intercooler Boost Control Valve Recirculating Dump Valve Lower Stiffer Springs (30mm lower) Koni Dampers Poly Wishbone Bushes Poly Anti-Roll Bar Bushes 308mm Brake Kit (Abbott added the clear side repeaters by themselves) This differed from my list in only that it did not include an upgraded Anti-Roll bar, Giles informed me that this was not necessary on an Aero (although this would seem to be at odds with their spiel on the website).
I accepted their recommendations and the car disappeared South for a planned 2 weeks. (Giles kindly offered to meet me halfway to swap my car for a loan car - very useful when you live in Scotland). One other point, as the 97 Aero has its cat on the downpipe, the car failed it's MOT emissions test with the Abbott downpipe fitted. Unfortunately, the cars stay with Abbott extended to 4 weeks as the Cylinder Head work (which they outsource to a 3rd party) took longer than expected.
Got the car back and, oh boy, what a difference!! The standard car (when it worked properly) was certainly no slouch but now it just kept pulling and pulling. Overtaking in the 50 - 70 range is a joy, stick it 3rd, aim at the horizon and light the afterburners. I've never maxed the car because I'm too chicken but I've noticed that acceleration does reduce markedly around 130mph. I now know that by choosing Abbott I've probably paid more than I needed to to achieve the same performance but they are a highly respected company and their products are top quality. As I'm intending to keep the car long term, I should get my moneys worth.
As for my brothers M3, he can beat me but he has to put some serious work in.
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