Saab History

40 Years of The Saab 900!

Saab 900 Turbo

Saab’s sporty saloon wasn’t just a great car, it brought Turbos into the mainstream as a dependable, practical, durable proposition…

Launched in 1978, the Saab 900 was to run for an amazing 40 years, though most consider the first-generation model, which ended production in 1993 was last ‘true’ 900 and that the second-generation 900 (1994-1998) was just a Vectra in disguise (according to some opinions, of course).

Saab 900 Turbo

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From the 99 to the 9000

The Saab 900 is an evolution of the much-loved 99, but with a number of changes including a longer nose to comply with US crash regulations. The 900 was not Saab’s only model – in 1984 the larger 9000 executive saloon was introduced, though this was not a ‘true’ Saab but part of Type Four collaboration that also spawned the Lancia Thema, Fiat Croma and Alfa Romeo 164.

Stolen Saab 900 interior
Stolen Saab 900 interior

Turbo Power

Saab didn’t invent Turbochargers, but it did make them reliable, efficient and mainstream. Its oil and water cooling system increased durability and its Automatic Performance Control (APC) had a knock sensor to reduce boost pressure under load to protect the engine and allow different octane fuels.

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Saab 900 Turbo

Engine Choice

Alomst all 900s had the same 2-litre in-line 4-cylinder configuration. Successive evolution from single-carb trough twin-carb, fule-injected, turbo-charged, intercooled and 16-valve engines brought power and performance, culimating in the 175hp Saab 900 Turbo S.

Back to front

The Saab 900’s enginewas mounted ‘backwards’ with power  delivered from crank at the front and fed via chain-driven primary gears to the transmission, which  was mounted underneath the engine and delivered power to front wheels.

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Aero Effect

Saab shamelessly plugged its aero industry expertise when marketing the 900 – who can forget the Stunning Draken and Viggen? The deeply curved windscreen and curved egonomic dash added to the effect.

Saab 900 C interior

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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