Saab History

Unfulfilled Dream: Super Saab 9-5 Viggen with 285 hp!

This is an interesting Saab story of 2001. In fact, 1998 has started production of special “Viggen” model – A high-powered version of the Saab 9-3 was the “Viggen”, as it wrote the Swedish Aftonbladet.

On the success of the 9-3 Viggen model, the SAAB Cars company was preparing at the time a special version of Saab 9-5 models – Saab 9-5 Viggen.

2001 company was testing a super-tuned version of the 9-5. The car had to be called Saab 9-5 Viggen and to be the most powerful Saab until then (and Saab’s fastest car ever). Saab chassis engineers tested the four-cylinder 2.3-liter turbo engine tuned to 350 horsepower, but the engine was brutal, and to bring down the immense power on the ground was impossible without all-wheel drive.

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Saab 9-5 Viggen - Illustration: AFTONBLADET
Saab 9-5 Viggen – Illustration: AFTONBLADET from 2001

Saab has also tried with 300 hp, but ideal setup is found on 285 horses nad 415Nm. Also, The chassis is stiffened with new springs and new shock absorbers, according to information from the Swedish Öhlins.

In the exterior, most notable change was in the front bumper, which is with “oval air intake” (Viggen) provided the additional engine cooling. it was envisaged that the Five-spoke 19-inch wheels are standard, to make room for larger brakes.

Saab 9-5 Viggen - the artistic vision by Matti Linna
Saab 9-5 Viggen – the artistic vision by Matti Linna

The expected price was about SEK 350 000 or $40,000 for US market. Saab 9-5 Viggen  is slated to appear on the market next year, specifically in the fall of 2002

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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.


  • I am really enjoying the articles you have been posting. I have been an ardent Saab fan for over 20 years and I’m surprised some of the stuff you have posted I’ve never heard of. I am curious if the 9-5 Viggen was really something Saab was considering producing or is this just speculation from auto mags? I have been considering creating something like this myself. I want to take the first gen 9-5 and reengineer it significantly to make it better looking, faster, more ridgid, better handling, and smoother. To create what the 9-5 could have been if Saab had continued development with the chassis. I have a deep desire to help keep these cars on the road and provide something for the diehards to have that can hang with contemporary cars. I’m a bit pensive about the whole thing as I am unsure if there are people willing to pay to have an older car this throughly reworked. All that said I’m curious if you have some inside info to share on what Saab really was planning. More details. Thanks:)

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