Saab 9000 SC test drive

The look in the rearview mirror shows that something is different here. Where the Saab 9000 CS harmoniously fits the disc in the hatchback, the 9000 SC lures with almost endless distances. The SC is a stately station wagon, which shows more presence than the limousine delicately drawn by Björn Envall.

Saab 9000 SC
Saab 9000 SC

Everything looks familiar in the cockpit. Instruments ... Operation - everything stays the same for the driver as in the CS. Saab drivers feel right at home. Only the elegant Alcantara sky reveals the unique piece. How does the 9000 SC, which looks so much like a series, go the opposite of Envall's design?

Flashback! The 90 years. The second 9000 generation was more than the evolution of the CC. The CS, the abbreviation stands for Combi Sedan, got a new, high rear and a low front. So Envall realized his vision of the wedge shape - a mass-suitable interpretation of the Saab EV-1, Which catapulted the 9000 into the avant-garde league. The futuristic Wedge 80er and 90er sent Citroen with the XM into orbit, the Saab 9000 CS was inferior to the Frenchman.

The station wagon, on the other hand, is not a wedge, not an interval. He is closer to Sweden. An angular tail, plenty of space. Utility for the real life. Saab again. Envalls wedge design or not.

Under the bonnet of the 9000 SC works a Saab B234L. 2.3 liters are distributed over 4 cylinders. Moderately charged he brings 200 PS to the 4 gear automatic. Sounds less spectacular, but is full of power and draft. The vehicle weight is low, turbo and ZF transmission live in harmony. The sophistication of the B234 family is still a poem, the machine runs silky smooth by today's standards.

On the highway it turns out that 200 Turbo can grab PS from Saab. Confident and fleet-footed sprints the 9000 in the fast lane, the turbo needle shows full steam. Rich acceleration from medium speeds is an 9000er domain. Displacement, turbocharger, power on call. The Södertälje Turbo makes joy, everyone else may look to comfort the exclusive estate rear. Is also very nice.

Down the highway, take the road. The 9000 SC flies over the runway, doing everything playfully and without any effort. The streets are getting narrower, the pavement is getting worse. We are looking for suitable places to shoot photos. For the station wagon a test. How rigid is the body? Saab has integrated a roll bar into the C-pillar of the 9000 CS. It provides more rigidity than the CC and, in the event of a rollover, provides more survival space. During the conversion, the roll bar was cut open and the new roof was integrated. Can something go well?

The Saab 9000 SC does not rattle, does not squeak, behaves at least as unspectacular stiff as the saloon with the hatchback. I have the impression that the station wagon could even be a bit more solid than the CS.

The view into the loading compartment. If I were a motoring journalist, I would now rave about the wide opening tailgate, great loadability and the very good use of the luggage compartment. It is noticeable that the 9000 SC is close to the series.

Examples: The inside handle of the tailgate is familiar to generations of Saab drivers; it comes out of the 9000 CS like the complete lining of the load compartment. The cover donated the Saab 9-5 SC, everything looks like a unified whole. The flap falls full into the lock, the operation is very easy. Why did not Saab build a 9000 station wagon? Incomprehensible.

The chassis was not changed during conversion to the station wagon. It comes with his rear rigid axle from the 9000 CC, also Saab it did not touch the generational change. Why? It is good-natured, comfortable and robust. In the 90 years, it was rated as hard and uncomfortable, at least in the German engine press. Today I perceive it as soft. Hard is the suspension of modern cars in persistent sportiness fever, not the SC with its base of 1995. The extra weight of the rear on the rear axle does the Saab well. He drives a bit fuller than the hatchback.

If you accelerate on lonesome tracks, a bit more than the racetrack allows, the turbo bites and gets really good with its 4 gears. The Saab does not seem uncultivated, even a turbo lag he does not know. The combination flies over the track, the handling is fun, the 9000er would have had the stuff for sports in the series. Sure, the design is 90er years, like the whole car too. It's a well thought-out vehicle that's not a coincidence. The form follows strictly the function, inside and out, and that is the real strength of the Saab 9000, which also has the station wagon.

I like the Saab 9000 SC. Without any ifs and buts. If there were not 400 hours of work between me and the station wagon, I would ask Markus Lafrentz if he would build mine for me. Aero seating conveys the best lateral support and seats in perfection. The engine is a cream with almost endless durability. The best Saab engines were in the 9000er generation, in the successor was worked on the emission behavior and weight optimization, which was at the expense of robustness.

Yes, the 9000 SC is fun ... a lot even! For large families, dog owners, land barons and all people with increased load requirements, he would have been the appropriate, noble express transporter. 200 PS would probably have been enough for 230 or 240 Km / h. I did not try it during the test drive. A lost opportunity for Trollhattan? Yes, very clearly and again. A station wagon would have been a big hit and could have sustained the image of Saab. Maybe more would have gone.

Dreams ! What would have been, if Saab Xnumx had the beginning of the 90 SC as a combination with 9000 PS and four-wheel? An 280 × 4 Superkombi for the German Autobahn, the counterpart to the four-wheel drive vehicles of an up-and-coming brand from southern Germany? The 4 CS 9000wd already existed, it almost went into production. Then came another 4 × 4 in between, the 4wd drove to the siding. Another story, maybe I should tell her on the blog. Yes, the Saab 4 SC 9000wd would have been possible had things developed a little differently.

17 thoughts too "Saab 9000 SC test drive"

  • Great cars, and the boat on the roof ...... ..

  • Great report from a great 9000 !! Hope the pick up is something like that !?

  • seems as if especially the 9000 very much the imagination and ingenuity of "hobbyists" (sheet metal artists) stimulates. As Wolef suggests, there may well be an 9000 pickup somewhere. I know of 9000 he tow truck versions in Kiel and in the Czech Republic. Would be worth almost a small series here on the blog for the birthday. Or are there other similar Saab models similar Trollhättan versions?

  • Why did not Saab build such a 9000er as a station wagon? Well, I think there was enough competition at that time in their own GM camp (Opel Omega, Vectra, Chevrolet?) ... That would have brought GM like the 901er a cuckoo in the nest ....

    • If that was the reason, but GM would have been pretty much on the wrong track, probably they were too. A group with several brands should be careful to succeed with all brands and models. It should not be seen that a sold Saab SC means that an Opel Caravan is therefore less sold, but that, for example, a Mercedes T-model, a BMW Touring or an Audi Avant is less sold.

      • Peter but sure they were on the wrong track. Otherwise, the downward trend of the Saab brand would not have progressed so quickly. What came after the 901er and 9000er, directed by GM? Halbgare models that emerged from other models of Opel and only slightly better than Saab. (9-3 I) When 9000er it was here that Lancia built his theme, Fiat his Croma, etc., but all of them did not come to the 9000er (no matter in which version as CC or CS or), because Saab be independent Model built and not like GM, a half-cooked model of Opel was set, according to the motto "Take this and make something out of it ..." That can only go in the pants ...

  • These are two nice reviews of the 9000 SC.
    Since our four SAAB and the small KIA are well looked after at Lafrentz, we are relatively often there and we could not hide the "big construction site". So I had the privilege to follow the conversion gradually and Micha sometimes stopped for a few minutes in the Schnack.
    I have also seen the tedious phases - the result is awesome for a DIY. In a series, the 80er tailgate would certainly have been slightly adapted to the 90er design of the CS. The car would be with the addressed by Tom drives the blast and as in Germany station wagons always go well, here would have been a market.
    But how good the old 9000er base is, GM and others have not recognized before. that would have to appear at the time of the CC (instead of the CD maybe?). Especially with combination introductions SAAB gave away a lot of time to the competition.

    • Nice that you have kept our secret! We already had reservations because the 9000 SC was shown again and again in the showroom and in the yard

  • At the risk of making me unpopular here, but I would not have wanted such a 9k SC.
    Found / Find the CS-flap MUCH more elegant and in the CS you get almost as much as in a modern station wagon.
    So I'm more annoyed that Saab did not launch a CombiSedan version of the 9-5. So you have to decide on the successor-9-5 just between chic or practical, the 9k CS could do both at the same time.

    • I agree with you. Personally, I would have stayed with the CS and I'm not a real combo fan, but they would have sold.
      I'm sure no SUV in the garage (not even by SAAB), but the crowd buys the things ....

    • The CS rear is more elegant, there is no combi of the world ran. But as a complement to the hatchback, the station wagon would have made sense, he would probably have become my company car then.

    • I feel the same way. When OG 900 so no one has missed a station wagon and the NG 9-5 mE would have a hatchback version probably design technically better to solve than the station wagon. Even my current car is a five-door and I did not want to swap it for a wagon version (not even against the soon available SUV).

      That does not mean that I find the conversion bad, it is in my opinion by far the best successful Kombiumbau a Schrägheckaabes,

  • A great tribute to the 9000er that never existed. Maybe one or the other former development engineer will tear away a tear because such a great car was not built.

  • Short question ... was also on the rear axle adjusted something regarding stabilizer or springs?

  • I would like to read the four-wheel history, too

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