Saab History

The fastest Saab of its time – the Viggen

Saab Viggen

This is The fastest Saab of its time (up until 2006) – A high-powered version of the Saab 9-3 was the “Viggen“. Of course, It was named after the Saab 37 Viggen aircraft. Production ended in 2002.  The Saab 9-3 Viggen was developed jointly by Saab Automobile AB’s Special Vehicles Operations team and the Oxfordshire, England-based TWR Group. Below, here are a few unknown facts about Viggen.

The 1999 5-door version of the Saab 9-3 Viggen (Thunderbolt) in the “Lightning Blue” livery. The Viggen was developed with Tom Walkinshaw Racing, famous for their all-conquering ETCC and WSCC Jaguars.

Back in 2000 when you bought a new Viggen you also got a certificate for the “Viggen Flight Academy“, a two-day intensive driver training session held by a team of racing professionals at the world-class Road Atlanta complex, located near Saab Cars USA’s headquarters in Norcross, Georgia.

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The fastest Saab of its time, the Viggen, pictured on the Uusikaupunki plant test track
The fastest Saab of its time, the Saab 9-3 Viggen, pictured on the Uusikaupunki plant test track

4,600 Viggens were manufactured until production ended in June, 2002. All the Viggens are built at Valmet Automotive factory in Finland, Side by side with Porsche Boxter. It came with a turbocharged 2.3 L engine, (B235R) giving 225 bhp (168 kW; 228 PS) later 230 bhp (172 kW; 233 PS) on 1.4 bar (20 psi) of boost from its Mitsubishi TD04-HL15-5 turbocharger.

Viggen by Valmet Automotive

The Viggen was available in Europe only for the model year 1999 and 2000. In the USA it was available until the end of the production cycle of the Saab 9-3 Mk I. After the Viggen was no longer for sale in Europe, Saab equipped the MY 2001 9-3 Aero with some Viggen kit: Body Kit (except the big Viggen rear wing), Seats, turbocharger and intercooler. The Viggen was the original 9-3 to utilize Saab’s Trionic 7 engine management system in 1999, which processed 2 million calculations ever second.

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Saab 9-3 Viggen

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.

1 Comment

  • It actually procesed 20 Millions calculations per second.

    1MHz = 1Million operations per second. All T7’s ecu’s have 20MHz cpu. You do the math ;)

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