My personal Saab passion started with a Saab 900 S Sport. No, not really. Already a few years earlier I had a Saab 900 turbo, but with fresh school and without income, the 900 first time a dream.
In 1992 it was so far, a brand new 900 S Sport was in front of me. What followed over the years were three more Saab 900 S, strangely enough always from 1992. If you climb into a Saab 900 from the 90s today, you first feel the intimate closeness to the passenger. Although the 900 is not small at almost 4.70 meters in length, it is very narrow with a width of only 1.69 meters. Every “Chelsea tractor” today, without exterior mirrors, is more than two meters wide, which makes space in the interior but annoyance in the parking garage.
As always, the ignition key belongs in the lock between the seats - a turn - the Saab starts with the unmistakable ignition sound of sporty cars from the late 80s. The exhaust immediately falls into the sonorous roar that the 900 fans love so much - our hearts are beating.
We roll from the yard, accompanied by the typical 900 soundscape that no other car offers. A car magazine, the Autobild Klassik recently wrote the 900 have no sound. What the hell did these people drive?
We go on the country road, the hinged rear windows are open, the turbocharger whistles when the power is called up. The 900S Sport resembles the 900 16 S full turbo with its Airflow Kit, which is not only an ornament but also has a better CW value - but has “only” 141 HP as a soft turbo without APC. At 1.200 to 1.300 kilos in weight. Our 900 S Sport is equipped with an additional charge air cooler, which has a positive effect on the thematic load and performance. Because cooled air brings more power.
The Saab is a front-wheel drive and a really old construction. It keeps surprising how well the 900 puts its Turbo PS on the road. You can feel the influence on the steering, but only at full throttle and on wet roads.
The 900 is extremely good. The seats are dainty to the present scale, but awesome. The leather, 1992 with hefty 2.850 DM surcharge, is also worth 20 years later its money. Thick, durable, comfortable. Equipped with an automatic seat heater. The dashboard is ergonomic, inspired by the aircraft industry, and encloses the driver. With the curved front disk comes the feeling of an aircraft cockpit. A design element that Saab has resumed with the new 9-5. The operation is no mystery. In the Saab 900 one sometimes wonders where the progress of the last years has remained.
We leave the Spessart and go on the A3. It is now night, the A3 has little traffic. We are brave - whistle for the speed limit. In front of us is the A3 housing near Hösbach, a long tunnel tube. Side windows down, accelerating. The turbo hisses and the 900 roars through the tunnel. No sound - no way. The 900 sound has addictive potential. But be careful. From time to time there are uncool people in the tunnel at Hösbach who are allergic to violations of the speed limit. Even with a Saab 900 there is no humor. Allegedly.
Down the highway, back to the starting point. On bad roads the quite hard suspension of the landing gear is noticeable. It was acceptable before 20 Jahern, today it needs qualities of taker and a certain Saab love. In general, the noise level in the 900 is quite high. Which is due to the short gear ratio, the somewhat bony gearbox, in the 900 S, good for brisk acceleration, especially on the highway with high speed level but annoying. Here is a remedy in which you switch to a gearbox from the 900 16S, which is translated longer.
The Saab 900 is still well air-conditioned today. The ventilation nozzles are controlled with negative pressure, while adjusting the ventilation comes a hissing noise. Fascinating. The Klimaanalage, even then with 3.430 DM quite expensive, works well and is just a black 900 a must.
Back at home. We shut down the 900 S after being allowed to idle for another minute. From the engine compartment a crackling and crackling of heated metal can be heard, as only the cars of the past could. The Saab lives, he has heart and soul, no question. Opposite is the Mercedes off-road vehicle of the neighbor. He does not live, he has no sound. Suddenly we realize how boring the boxes of modern times are. Uniform, without soul. Trimmed to perfection computer on wheels.
Our 900 from the year 1992 has driver airbag, and ABS. Plus headlight washer, heated seats and automatic seat heating. The interior is protected with a pollen filter. What more do you need ?
Especially since the 900 is the all-purpose car par excellence. Tailgate open, we see a flat loading area and 493 liters of loading volume. Luggage compartment cover gone, there are already 770 liters. Rear seat folded down - 1338 liters. Insane, because we are talking about a coupe.
The 900 is a Swede with charm. The 900 II, his successor was a culture shock for me then. Too little inspiration, too much, too smooth. So much so that I never bought a 900 II. I just did not want one. The legitimate successor to the 900 may be the 9000. Bigger, more comfortable, modern and with tailgate. Nevertheless, a car for the heart and a real Saab.
But actually there is no successor. The 900 is unique. Drive an 900, you will love him. The sound, the charisma. You will like its versatility and style. And when he's gone, you'll miss him. Guaranteed.
More Saab Youngtimer on SaabBlog.net: