SAAB LAUNCHES ALL-NEW, LIMITED EDITION 9-3 VIGGEN FOR ENTHUSIASTS WITH A PASSION FOR TURBO POWER
Aircraft-inspired Viggen targets Saab enthusiasts with a strong taste for torque
Norcross, GA - Saab made its U.S. debut at the New York Auto Show in the spring of 1956. It was there that Saab exhibited its first high performance sports car-the Sonett Super Sport prototype, a race-bred Saab still revered by Saab enthusiasts today. Since then, Saab has continued to develop limited edition performance legends, cars like the aerodynamic 900 Turbo SPG and 9000 Aero, which combined full-boost turbo engines, sport suspension and modifications with an aggressive stance.
Almost exactly 43 years later, Saab unveils an even more exclusive performance-bred Saab at the 1999 New York International Auto Show—the all-new Saab 9-3 Viggen Coupe. The Viggen name and badge honors the most agile and versatile Saab fighter jet ever developed, the Saab 37 Viggen, renowned for its innovative technology and design. Designed specifically as an advanced multi-purpose aircraft, the Viggen jet was capable of performing diverse duties, such as interceptor, strike, reconnaissance and training duties equally well.
Equally versatile, the earth-bound Saab 9-3 Viggen is designed to deliver the unmistakable thrust of Saab turbo performance while retaining traditional Saab character traits, including world-first safety features. Featuring the highest level of performance in a Saab yet, the Saab 9-3 Viggen carries on the tradition of its "hot rod" predecessors—cars like the 900 Turbo SPG that innovatively blended muscular acceleration with modified suspension and aerodynamic styling refinements. This unmistakable performance character makes the 9-3 Viggen one of the world's most entertaining front wheel drive automobiles. With 225 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and impressive torque of 252 Ib.-ft. available at just 2,500 rpm through 4,000 rpm, the driver of a 9-3 Viggen will quickly identify with the level of thrust available to Saab 37 Viggen jet fighter pilots.
Saab's highly modified and responsive 2.3L four-cylinder engine, controlled by Saab's own Trionic T7 engine management system, resonates with Saab high output turbo character and provides exceptional overtaking performance. The art and science of turbocharged performance has been raised another notch by Saab. The 9-3 Viggen's engine is 12% more efficient at producing horsepower per liter of engine displacement than the new 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera. More importantly, the Viggen is a full 44% more efficient at producing Ib.-ft. of torque per liter of engine displacement.
As with the Viggen jet fighter, the new 9-3 Viggen Coupe has the structural technology to support and enable its performance capabilities. To harness the Viggen's power and direct it properly, a new sports suspension comprised of springs, dampers, anti-roll bars and steering rack mounts has been developed. Transferring the Viggen's power to the pavement are 17"x7.5" light alloy wheels with P215/45R17" low profile Z-speed rated high performance tires.
In developing the Viggen jet fighter, one of its key attributes had to be the ability to land and stop in short distances to make use of Sweden's highway bases if necessary. Stopping ability was equally critical to the development of the 9-3 Viggen. Front ventilated rotors are over three-quarters of an inch larger in diameter and new, larger front calipers with larger pads are employed to haul down the Viggen from any speed. All four rotors have machined grooves for better cooling to ensure repeated fade-free stops in demanding driving conditions.
With the higher performance capabilities of the 9-3 Viggen Coupe, aerodynamics plays a crucial role as well. Aggressive exterior styling enhancements exclusive to the Viggen reduce aerodynamic drag by 8% (to a 0.31 coefficient of drag), and reduce lift forces over the rear wheels by 60% for superb road holding and high speed stability. Keeping the owner of a Saab 9-3 Viggen well informed and in complete control are new sports seats which provide greater lateral support and driver comfort.
The Saab 9-3 Viggen was developed jointly by Saab Automobile AB's Special Vehicles Operations team and the Oxfordshire, England-based TWR Group. The TWR Group is owned by Tom Walkinshaw, whose extensive racing background has evolved the company into one of Europe's foremost design and engineering houses, specializing in high-performance tuning. The 9-3 Viggen Coupe's body will continue to be manufactured at Saab's factory in Trollhattan, Sweden, then shipped in a climate controlled, sealed container to Uusikaupunki, Finland for painting and final assembly at the Valmet Automotive plant. Only a limited number of 2,500 Saab Viggen models will be produced annually for worldwide enjoyment.
The Saab 9-3 Viggen Coupe goes on sale in very limited numbers at selected U.S. dealers in May 1999. Model year 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen Convertible and 5-door versions arrive in showrooms during the fall of 1999.