We celebrate an anniversary. Again ! Because actually there would have been many occasions this year. The Saab brand would have been 70 years old. The first 9-5 generation came on the market before 20 years. But the most important date ever is the September 1977.
Before 40 years ago. Saab gives the world the turbo.
It was in Frankfurt, it was IAA. At the Saab stand there is a small, pearl-white painted car. A turbo, the first of the cult brand from Sweden. The Saab 99 Turbo conjured legendary 145 horsepower from 2 liter displacement and balanced 235 Nm on the crankshaft. Spectacular, at least for the time.
Far more impressive than the data on the paper was the driving experience. The 99 Turbo was like from another world. A good sucker, until finally - after an everlasting turbo lag - the thrust started. Then little Saab ran as if all the moose of Sweden were after him. Larger, stronger and more prestigious vehicles saw only the rear. The wild turbo years had begun.
Granted, he was uncultivated and demanded a lot from his driver. The front-wheel drive had its hands full to put the power on the road. He was also a bit bitchy, and wanted to be cooled down carefully after a quick Autobahnhatz. Running after standing for a few minutes was mandatory at the time. At least until Saab introduced the water cooling in the turbo.
Glowing turbos at night, water injection for more power. Increase the boost pressure, larger charge air cooler. These were unreasonable times, and future generations will probably just shake their heads. But the turbo was from now on part of the fascination Saab. In 900, a bit more sophisticated, but still with the feeling that the afterburner is igniting. Accompanied by a beautiful turbopipe and exhaust sound. Later in the 9000 already very perfect, extremely confident and with performance that was far superior to the common road users. Who had once burned this turbo experience in the brain windings, which was dependent. Lost for all time. There was Saab and everything else was just a car from that point on.
Thanks Saab for 40 years Turbo!
Saab did not invent the turbo. But, and that's the real merit, Saab continued to consistently use this technology until the end of the brand. She cultivated, refined her. Brought the soft turbo that consistently eliminated the dreaded turbo lag.
Today almost every car has a turbocharged engine. Well, sometimes not so well done. Mostly irrelevant and without own character. The fascination that Saab turbo engines exerted can not be found in any other brand. Saab was turbo and Saab was a fascination. Nice that we were allowed to be there. And thanks for great 40 years!