In the fall of 1991, the Spotlight editorial team in Sweden made a seemingly impossible comparison. The new Saab 9000 against the Jaguar XJ, Audi 100, Porsche 911 and Ford Scorpio. The Porsche as a sports car icon, the XJ an epitome of British luxury. In contrast, the Ford stood for affordable mobility and Audi was on the way up with the new 100.
Is the comparison really that impossible? At that time Saab was in a good mood. The second 9000 generation was a hit in every respect. The revised body finally gave the great Swede the serious appearance that had been missing for years. It was safer, more rigid. The new turbo engines were technically at the forefront, the small brand from Sweden had a clear lead over the competition.
The Saab. A car for every situation.
The 9000 drove better than ever and in fact it was seen as a car for every situation. A van with a large loading area when you need it. As a turbo a sports car and with plenty of space the right car for long distances. So what could be more obvious than comparing him to the top dogs?
Jaguar competed with the XJ40. The big cat with the angular headlights is spurned by the fans today, which is anything but fair. Because the XJ 40 saved the brand in a revised form from 1990 and combined style and reliability. The advanced electronics caused trouble in the early years. 30 years later it does it again - and scares off many interested parties.
The Porsche 964 appears as Carrera 2. Air-cooled, as it had to be back then. A belief in Zuffenhausen, only with the 993 waved the farewell to air cooling in the background. You don't have to say much about the Porsche. Its design is still valid today, an icon. Back then, the interior and workmanship were great and still are today. But who compares a Porsche to a 9000?
The question of the Audi 100 is more obvious. The C4 series later became the first A6. The Audi was very ambitious and a big leap forward for the brand. A V6 moved in for the first time, Ingolstadt wanted to catch up with Munich and Stuttgart. The C4 didn't quite work, but it significantly reduced the distance to the competition. With the C4, Audi was one of the most dangerous adversaries for Saab.
Jaguar, Porsche and Audi. I knew all three as new cars. But not the Ford Scorpio. A budget car. But very popular back then and a size on the market. The Scorpio stands for the extinct species of large sedans for an affordable price.
A comparison with potential for cult
The Saab is doing great. In terms of comfort, it is close to the Jaguar, in terms of utility, it all plays against the wall. Unsurprisingly, its advanced technology makes it the most economical to move. The big hour of the Saab 9000 CS comes when accelerating from medium speeds. The discipline that is crucial in everyday life.
The Saab even pulls away from the 911, which has nothing to counter the torque of the Swedish machine with its naturally aspirated engine. In the end, in the sum of the properties, the editors see the 9000 CS in front. He sure is. Because it offers the possibilities of a sports car, a luxurious limousine and a station wagon in a car.
The test is fair, albeit with a wink. After all, who is testing a Jaguar and a Porsche 911 against a Saab 9000 CS? Only Saab people can come up with this. The film from autumn 1991 was only intended for internal use. It's a shame to say.
Because with a larger audience he could have become a cult among Saab fans.