A look in the rearview mirror shows that something is different here. Where the Saab 9000 CS window nestles harmoniously in the hatchback, the 9000 SC attracts with almost endless widths. The SC is a stately station wagon that shows more presence than the sedan delicately drawn by Björn Envall.
Everything in the cockpit looks familiar. Instruments… Operation - for the driver everything stays the same as in the CS. Saab drivers immediately feel at home. Only the elegant Alcantara sky reveals the unique piece. How does the 9000 SC drive, which looks so much like a series, but is the opposite of Enval's design?
Flashback! The 90's. 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. This is how Envall realized his vision of the wedge shape - a mass-appropriate 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 from the motorway it goes on the country road. The 9000 SC flies over the slopes, does everything playfully and effortlessly. The streets are getting narrower and the pavement is getting worse. We are looking for suitable places to take photos. A practical test for the station wagon. How rigid is the body? Saab has integrated a roll bar into the C-pillar of the 9000 CS. It provides more rigidity than in the CC, and in the event of a rollover it provides more survival space. During the renovation, the roll bar was cut open and the new roof was integrated. Can something like that work?
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 look into the loading compartment. If I were a motor journalist, I would now rave about the wide-opening tailgate, great loadability and the luggage compartment that is very easy to use. 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 lonely stretches, a little more than the race management allows, the turbo bites and gets along really well with its 4 gears. The Saab does not look uncultivated, nor does it know a turbo lag. The station wagon flies over the track, the handling is fun, the 9000 would have had what it takes to be a sports station wagon in the series. Sure, the design is 90s, like the whole car. It's a well-designed vehicle, nothing about which is coincidental. The form strictly follows the function, inside and out, and that is the real strength of the Saab 9000, which the station wagon also has.
I like the Saab 9000 SC. Without any ifs or buts. If it weren't for 400 hours of work between me and the station wagon, I would ask Markus Lafrentz if he'll build “mine” for me. The aero seating provides the best lateral support and perfect seating. The motor is a piece of cake with almost infinite durability. The best Saab engines were in the 9000 generation, in the successor work was done on emissions behavior and weight optimization, which came at the expense of robustness.
Yes, the 9000 SC is fun ... a whole lot! For large families, dog owners, land barons and all people with increased loading requirements, it would have been the right, noble fast transporter. 200 hp would have been enough for probably 230 or 240 km / h. I didn't try it during the test drive. A missed opportunity for Trollhättan? Yes, clearly and again. A station wagon would have been a big hit and could have moved Saab's image sustainably. Maybe more would have been possible.
Dreams ! What would have happened if Saab had brought the 90 SC as a station wagon with 9000 hp and all-wheel drive in the early 280s? A 4 × 4 super station wagon for the German autobahn, the counterpart to the four-wheel drive vehicles of an up-and-coming brand from southern Germany? The 9000 CS 4wd already existed, it almost went into production. Then another 4 × 4 got in the way, the 4wd hit the siding. Another story, maybe I should tell it on the blog. Yes, the Saab 9000 SC 4wd would have been possible if things had developed a little differently.