14 August 2017

More than an old car #31: Saab 900

Open-top, or convertible cars remain popular on our roads given the humid climate and how good it is to feel the wind in your hair when you are driving. This 1990s Saab 900S convertible and 1989 900 Turbo sedan are unique classics-although it doesn't look very old, it remains popular till today and successfully established itself as an icon of the 1990s.

Saab, an acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget" (Swedish Aeroplane Company Limited) was founded in 1937 by the Swedish government. It started out manufacturing aircraft in anticipation of World War 2. After the war ended, it entered the automobile manufacturing market in 1945. Saab went bankrupt in 2011, where it is currently owned by a Chinese consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden. Saab is a well-known icon of Sweden and its vehicles are subjected to high safety standards such as the 'elk test'. 

The Saab 900 was first produced in 1978, where it featured a number of unique characteristics such as a deeply-curved windshield to provide maximum visibility, a curved dashboard and a special door design. There were different variants such as a 4-door sedan, a convertible and a 3/5-door hatchback. The convertible version only appeared in 1985 when it was noted that this would be popular among American consumers. Making one was not easy as additional safety features had to be considered. It was powered by a 1985cc 4-cylinder engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 200km/h with an acceleration of 9.6 seconds [0-100km/h]. It was 4.69m long and weighed 1340kg

Production of the Saab 900 ended in 1993, with more than 908,000 produced including 48,888 convertibles. Saab has an unusual market following consisting of intellectuals and enthusiasts. There are quite a number of them on our roads despite its rarity and you can identify it by its unique wedge shape. Driving an almost-30 year old car requires much dedication and love, and I hope to see more in the future!

No comments:

Post a Comment