Saab History

Saab Aero – Performance models

Saab Aero Performance Models

Saab has always been know for fun to drive cars. And the show this even in a special way Saab has during the years made several different performance models. Most Saab enthusiasts have heard four powerful words: Aero, SPG, Viggen and Hirsch, and each of these extensions represents one powerful Saab car series. The classic SPG only sold in North America, in the rest of the world is was called either Aero or Turbo 16S.

We also have the Aero which has been around for a long time and variety of models, from the classic 900 to the Saab 9-3 SS (SC) and Saab 9-5NG.Twenty years ago Saab showed a new high performance model the Viggen. Not long after, Saab offered the market even more powerful Hirsch-branded machines, snd the Saab 9-5 Hirsch as the most powerful Saab car ever.

Saab 900 Aero (SPG)

The first Aero was a 900 Turbo, this car was shown to the public in the year of 1984. Saab got an enormous positive response from the press and media people so they decided to make reality of the, at the time fastest Saab every developed for regular use. This resulted in the Saab 900 Turbo 16 or Aero/SPG as we often call it. Read more about the 900 Aero/SPG models here. In thier last days, now, ten years ago, Saab offered the so attractive Aero emblem on all of its models. Including the 9-5 Wagon and 9-3 Convertible.

Saab 900 Turbo SPG

After the 900 Aero came the 9000 Aero. The 9000 Aero was introduced in 1991. It had a 2.3-liter turbo engine with 200hp and a top speed of 230km/h (one 9000 achieved as much as 305 km/h). Some of these Aeros were also delivered with the highly attractive “Red-box” giving it another 20hp resulting in 220 wild and potential horsepowers.

Saab 9000 Aero

The 9000 CC Aero had a special spoiler-kit just like its younger sister the 900 Aero. It also had a special interior as well as all the extra you could get to a Saab in the beginning of the 90s. There was also a limited number of 9000 CD Aeros produced, these cars did not have any spoiler-kit but otherwise it was the same as the CC Aero.

 The Aero was the top of the line Saab model in 1995 in terms of both performance and features.
The Aero was the top of the line Saab model in 1995 in terms of both performance and features.

In 1993 it was time for the new 9000, the CS to be fitted with the Aero emblem. This new Aero had a 2.3-liter turbo engine with 225hp and a top speed of 240 and a torque that went as far up as 342Nm already at 1800r/min. 0-100km/h was finished in 6,9 sec. This Aero also had a special spoiler-kit although discreet just like its predecessor the 9000 CC Aero.

Saab 9-3 I generation Aero

The 9-3 became an Aero in the year 2000 the same time the 9-5 got its Aero emblem. The 9-3 used Saabs 2.0L turbo engine, this time with 205hp and a torque of 280Nm. In 2001 The 9-3 Aero got the same look as the 9-3 Viggen this because Saab stooped sales of the Viggen model in Europe.

Saab 9-3 I Aero - the 4 cylinder 2.0L, 151kW engine is reasonably quiet and has a very smooth delivery of power.
Saab 9-3 I Aero – the 4 cylinder 2.0L, 151kW engine is reasonably quiet and has a very smooth delivery of power.

This new 9-3 Aero had the same engine as the 2000 Aero but it had a little different interior with the Viggen seats, the Viggen spoiler-kit was also applied.

Saab 9-5 Aero = B235(R)

Saabs latest Aero model the 9-5 Aero debuted in 2000. It used the regular 2.3L turbo engine as used in the 9-5 2.3t. But their the similarities ended. The Aero engine had among many new features a new very powerful turbo as well as a more powerful fuel injection-system. With manual transmission the 9-5 Aero offered a torque of 370Nm using Saabs “overboost” function.

 The B235R engine of the 9-5 Aero was capable of providing immense torque
The B235R engine of the 9-5 Aero was capable of providing immense torque

In the year 2001 the new 9-5 had its premier this meant another 20 horses to the Aero stable as well as an even stiffer and lower chassis compared to the 2000 9-5 Aero. From model year 2006 to end of production, the 264 PS (194 kW; 260 hp) B235R was the standard engine in the 9-5 in both the 2.3T and Aero trims. 2006 had only one badge designation, the 2.3T and appointments normally found on the Aero could be added via a “Sport Package”.

From 2007 onwards, SAAB added an Aero badge to the trunk lid to distinguish from regular 2.3T models. In addition, almost all standard features on the Aero were standard on the 2.3T, the exceptions being sport-tuned chassis, two-tone leather upholstery, “Anniversary” wheels and brushed aluminum interior trim, all of which were standard on Aero and not available on the 2.3T.

Saab 9-3 Aero - Very responsive, light, fast and POWERFUL. The Aero kit makes the look timeless.
Saab 9-3 Aero – Very responsive, light, fast and POWERFUL. The Aero kit makes the look timeless.

Saab 9-3 Aero (II Generation)

The Second generation of 9-3 was eventually launched in July 2002 for the 2003 model year. In 2003 Aero models, along with the Arc, Linear and Vector models were available with the standard manual transmission a 5-speed gearbox, and with the 6 speed a £200 optional extra (UK market price.). 6-speed manual was standard on U.S. Vector and Aero models. The aero label was worn mostly by Saab cars with the most powerful engines, petrol 2.0 and 2.8 engines, and TTiD twin-turbo diesel engine.

Erik Carlsson and Saab 9-3 Aero Carlsson
Erik Carlsson and Saab 9-3 Aero Carlsson

Saab 9-3 Aero Carlsson

2010 marked the 50th anniversary of Erik Carlsson‘s first win for Saab on the RAC Rally in a Saab 96. A limited edition of 96 Aero Carlsson 9-3 was released priced at £26,495. The 9-3 Aero Carlsson features Saab’s cross wheel drive (XWD) system, a turbocharged engine, 2.8 litre V6 producing 280 hp and 400Nm of torque through a 6-speed automatic sentronic gearbox.