Saab's Long Run Endurance Demonstrates 9000 Reliability Durability

ORANGE, Conn. -- What can you say about a high-performance sedan that ran at an average 132 mph, 20 days and nights, for 100,000 kilometers straight?

How about this for an answer: A LOTI

And that's exactly what Saab intended to say when a factory team packed their tools, coveralls and helmets and set out with three production line Saab 9000 Turbos for the Alabama International Speedway at Talladega in October 1986 to set 21 international and two world records for speed and distance.

After lapping the triple-banked Talladega track 23,500 times, the three Saab 9000 Turbos were flagged to a stop, and along with the records that had fallen to them, the cars also set some other statistical benchmarks, including mileage that would have taken the average driver more than five years to compile, or 2.5 trips around the world for each car.

Not for nothing was this remarkable test, dubbed "The Long Run undertaken, and not so much for the sake of some record setting either.

One of the most important features of the Saab ABS systemjSinclair notes, "is that it is fully integrated into the 9000's brake system. It's not an add-on."

The system has two independent electronic control units doubling its dependability, and it has three hydraulic brake circuits.

"Integrated into the 9000's well-balanced chassis, Saab's ABS provides unparalleled braking and excellent directional stability under the most severe conditions.

Our own tests have demonstrated that the stopping distance with the new ABS, on dry pavement, with cold brakes, and the car moving at 62 mph is an average of 139 feet," states Sinclair, offering an example of the system's capabilities.

Other changes for both Saab 9000's include rear side window demisters, operated by a console-mounted switch. The 9000 Turbo's E) II display is now standard in the 9000S, offering more detailed information on fuel economy, fuel consumption, outside temperature other details for 9000S owners.

For 1988, the ever-popular Saab 900 line features four engine configurations including the basic four-cylinder, eight-valve, 110 bhp model in the Saab 900; a naturally-aspirated version of Saab's 16valve, double-overhead camshaft, four-cylinder engine with 125 bhp in the 900S; the turbocharged version of this engine, delivering 160 bhp in the 900 Turbo and 900 Turbo Convertible; and the 165-bhp, premiumfuel version of the Saab 900, the Turbo SPG, or Special Performance Group model.

"Sales for the 900 line continue to be strong,' observes Sinclair, 'since, to many people, the 900 is the 'only' Saab, and as such, loyalty to this car is high.'

Not content to rest upon its laurels, Saab continues to make a good car even better, this year by adopting a version of the 9000's four wheel disc brake system, which includes floating calipers, ventilated front discs, dual-diagonal circuits, and a mechanical parking brake system acting on the rear wheels, rather than front wheels as in previous years.

Exterior and interior color and upholstery pattern changes complete the venue for 1988 Saabs.

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