Saab History

Saab Aero Academy: The Fascinating Past of Saab’s Performance Driving School in America

Saab Aero Academy: The Fascinating Past and Racing Legacy of Saab's Performance Driving School in America

SAAB AERO AcademyDiscover the Saab Aero Academy: The Fascinating Past of Saab's Performance Driving School in America, With Instructors from Open Wheel Formula Racing, Sports Car Racing, and More!

Saab has a rich history in the American automotive industry. The company has been producing cars in the US since 1956 and has been a favorite among car enthusiasts for decades. In December 2006, Saab USA made an exciting announcement:the Saab Aero Academy would now be standard offer on all MY 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero models“. This program was designed to help Saab owners improve their driving skills and practice accident avoidance techniques while enjoying the thrill of piloting high-performance vehicles.

The Saab Aero Academy is an intensive two-day course held at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. The program combines driver education with the excitement of piloting high-performance vehicles. It consists of 80 percent advanced handling exercises on specially constructed training tracks and 20 percent classroom time. The program is instructed by professional race drivers who are active in open-wheel formula racing, sports car racing, endurance racing, and oval track racing.

Enrollment in the Saab Aero Academy is free for Saab owners who purchase or lease a 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero Sport Sedan, Convertible, or SportCombi, equipped with the award-winning 250 hp 2.8 V6 Turbo engine. Owners of 2005 model year or newer Saab 9-5 Aeros also qualify. Customers enroll in the program by having their dealer submit their information to Saab Cars USA.

Saab Aero Academy
Saab Aero Academy: A Deep Dive into the Thrilling Past of Saab’s Performance Driving School in America with Expert Instructors and Over 1,400 Enthusiastic Participants

Upon receiving a Saab Aero Academy certificate, the owner calls an 800 number to register for a particular session. Enrollees must pay for their own transportation to Road Atlanta, hotel accommodations, and meals.

The program includes various exercises designed to improve reflexes and car control skills. For example, enrollees experience a skid pad where they learn how to control a car with proper steering, throttle, and brake responses. The program also includes “threshold” braking, which teaches how to apply brakes, improve reaction time, and avoid brake lockup.

A lane change exercise is designed to improve reflexes and car control skills, while a slalom course tests timing, throttle, and steering skills – all while avoiding the orange cones. Finally, enrollees participate in an autocross, a scaled-down race track that tests cornering, braking, acceleration, and skid control while using 100 percent of the car’s potential.


Saab USA’s announcement of the Saab Aero Academy as standard equipment on all MY 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero models is just one example of the company’s commitment to its customers. Saab USA is in the midst of the most aggressive new product development offensive in its 58-year history as an automaker.

The 9-7X, Saab’s first SUV, was introduced in June 2005, and the five-door 9-3 SportCombi, which rounds out the 9-3 range, went on sale in November. A refreshed 9-5 sedan and SportCombi, the flagships of the Saab lineup, were set to be in dealerships by the start of 2006.

In addition to the new cars, an all-new 250-horsepower 2.8L V6 Turbo engine was standard equipment in all 9-3 Aero models. This engine was named among the industry’s ten best engines of 2006 by the editors at Ward’s Communications.

Viggen Flight Academy

Saab’s commitment to its customers is evident in its decision to make the Saab Aero Academy standard “equipment” on all MY 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero models. This program is a testament to Saab’s commitment to excellence, and it is no wonder that over 1,400 Saab owners have participated in the Aero Academy since it was founded in 1999 under the name “Viggen Flight Academy.

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