Thursday, June 4, 2015

SAAB 99 Turbo (1978-80)

The SAAB 99 is a European-manufactured compact executive car produced by SAAB from 1968 to 1984. The first engine used in the original 99 was a four-cylinder in-line engine which was tilted at 45 degrees. The 1709 cc Triumph-sourced engine produced 87 PS (64 kW; 86 hp) at 5500 rpm. The engine was water-cooled, but unlike most cars of the time it had an electric cooling fan. Triumph soon upgraded the engine to 1.85L. 

The hood was forward-hinged and the panel extended over the front wheel arches. The windshield was wrap-around and very deep for the era. The A-pillar had a steep angle, providing excellent driver visibility. Due to the American sealed beam headlamp requirement in place at the time the USA models had a special front fascia with four round headlights instead of the two rectangular units it had in other markets. In 1977, the 99 model range gained larger front lamp clusters including side reversing lamps on markets that permitted them. Saloon models also gained new, larger rear lamp clusters and rear view wing mirrors had a larger glass area and were now encased in black plastic.

The 99 was SAAB's last rally car, first in EMS (Electronic [fuel injection], Manual [transmission], Special) guise and later as the Turbo version which was fitted with a turbocharged version of the 2L engine producing 145 hp. Acceleration 0–100 km/ 9,2 sec. 0–160 km/h 26,2 sec. Top speed 196,7 km/h.

The body was originally a 3-door Combi coupé version. It was available in Cardinal red, Sterling silver, Anthracite grey, and Black. Later in 1979-80 the company produced a two-door model, which was a limited homologation exercise, to enable the production of a rally car. It was available in metallic green (photos below). The Turbo S was a special model with factory-mounted water injection, giving an extra 15–20 PS. In 1978 there was a very limited edition of a little over 100 five-door 99 Turbos. They were only available in Cardinal red.

The SAAB 99 turbo was one of the first "family cars" to be fitted with a turbo. Popular Mechanics lists the SAAB 99 Turbo as number two on their top 10 list of turbocharged cars of all time. (wikipedia &

The 3-door Combi coupé version

1977 Test Car #934

One of the 100 99s that Saab built as test cars in 1977 as part of the development of the now-legendary 99 Turbo. This is #934 of those test cars, and one of 14 notchback testers. The 100 cars were split between markets - SW for Sweden, EU for Yurrup, and UC for USA/California, each as durability testers to gain understanding of how the cars worked in different environments. This is one of the UC cars, and it is based on the EMS two-door sedan platform. Others were the three and four door hatch models. The engine is the Triumph-based 2.0 four, but of course here sporting the turbo and related ancillary improvements. Wheels are EMS soccer balls, and the paint is Cardinal Red as supposedly were all the testers. This car has an additional badge, that being its test Car number ID on the dash. Comes with its original log book as well as all the records since new. (

Limited Homologation 2-door Special (1979-80)

A Limited homologation exercise, to enable the production of a rally car. 
Available in metallic green.

1978 Limited Edition 5-door 99 Turbo

little over 100 units produced. Only available in Cardinal red.

(Photos from,, &

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