NORCROSS, Ga. -- After an unprecedented 15-year success story, Saab's immortal 900 has been retired, paving the way for the arrival of a most significant--and worthy-- successor, the all-new, "mid-size" 1994 Saab 900. Completely redesigned from the headlight wiper/washers back to the rear fog light, the Swedish automaker's most significant new model ever debuts as a five-door hatchback, specified in either 900 S or 900 SE trim levels.
From its unmistakable Saab grille and aerodynamically-efficient design cues, to the trademark hatchback, the new 900 is a logical evolution of the innovative spirit that is synonymous with the name Saab. Trademarks such as abundant cargo-carrying capacity, industry-leading levels of occupant protection and environmental responsibility, an exciting range of high-performance, multi-valve engines--including Saab's first-ever six cylinder, a V6--and dynamic driving precision, are all very much in evidence in the new 900.
The 1994 Saab 900 is the result of a long and intensive development process, and the first "offspring" of Saab Automobile AB's 50/50 joint-venture with General Motors (Europe) AG. Saab's Swedish engineering team invested 2.3 million man-hours in the research and development of the all-new 900, over a period of 3.5 years. This ambitious process was structured around a simultaneous engineering approach where new design elements and sub-systems are engineered side by side. More than 100 prototypes were constructed before the final tooling for the new 900 was engineered.
Throughout the development of the all-new 900, Saab paid careful attention to minimizing the cost of ownership and operating expense. Service requirements have been reduced 20 percent, while the advanced safety and structural improvements inherent in each and every 1994 Saab 900 are expected to reduce insurance premiums.
Look And Feel Are Purely Saab
The Saab pedigree runs deep and true, and is immediately evident in the compound curves of the new 900's windscreen and the slope of the A-pillars. Combined with the roof design, these styling cues produce the unique "peak cap"--or roof crown-- effect that made the original 900 unlike anything else on the road. Add the striking beltline that sweeps gently upward from the front corner of the hood to behind the rear- quarter window, the distinctive bodyside character line, the unmistakable soft front hood design, and the influence of its predecessors is immediately evident.
Compared to the previous 900, new Saab owners will enjoy the benefit of a longer wheelbase (102.4 in. versus 99.1) for improved ride comfort, along with slightly broader width (67.4 in. vs. 66.5 in.) and taller stance (56.5 in. vs. 55.9 in.), which results in noticeably-increased head and legroom. The coefficient of drag is 0.30.
The new 900 is based on a reinforced platform with MacPherson strut front suspension and a semi-rigid, twist-beam rear axle, along with a transverse engine--the first time in the 900 model range. Saab's total return to transverse engine installation ensures superior packaging efficiency for the new 900, which is evident in its roomy interior, and follows the success of the Saab 9000 design approach.
The 900 provides comfortable seating for five adults, and is classified as a "mid- size" car by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), compared to the "compact" rating assigned the previous 900. Fuel economy ranges from 19/25 mpg city/hwy for V6, automatic variants to 20/28 mpg for 4-cylinder, manual 900 models.
Several additional body design details have been optimized for 1994, resulting in better balance, with the lift forces now as much as 45 percent less than those generated by the previous 900. Torsionally, the new 900 is 50 percent stiffer than its predecessor, and consequently offers superior handling characteristics.
A Saab First--Six Cylinder Complements Legendary Engine Line Up
Saab adds a new chapter to its history by premiering its first-ever six cylinder engine option--a V6--with the debut of the 1994 900. The new, powerfully-efficient 2.5- Liter, 24-valve, four-cam engine provides 170 Horsepower and is manufactured to Saab's specifications by General Motors (Europe) AG in Great Britain. The new Saab V6 joins the popular 2.3-Liter, 1 6-valve 150 Hp engine--versions of which also drive the 1994 9000 CS series and the 9000 CDE. Saab's naturally-aspirated 2.3-Liter engine is the largest four-cylinder ever offered in a 900 and features double counter-rotating balance shafts for smooth operation. Both engines are transverse-mounted on hydraulic mounts, an installation concept that offers the best configuration for maximum space utilization, comfort and crash protection. It is also the basic arrangement that Saab subscribed to when it debuted its first production model, the renowned Saab 92, in 1949.
Greater Transmission Choices
Saab has developed a new, fully-synchronized five-speed manual gearbox, specifically for the all-new 900. This compact transmission, which is also specified in the Saab 9000, has a new synchro system, now including reverse gear, and ensures smoother, effortless shifting in all five forward gears. A new four-speed automatic transmission is available as an option, and features three distinct electronically-controlled shift modes for sporty, normal or winter driving.
Saab's spacious, ergonomically-efficient interiors have always been one of the 900's best-loved features, and the new 900 continues and builds on this tradition. From the unique, center console-mounted ignition to an aircraft-inspired instrument panel, front seat heaters and a broad range of other attributes that define the Saab brand character, the 1994 Saab 900's interior combines the best of Saab heritage with a full lineup of new innovations. Spacious cargo-carrying capacity is guaranteed by the 40/100 split rear seat, which can be folded in its entirety, or on just one side. A hidden pass-through opening behind the center armrest accommodates long objects, such as skis. All Saab 900s also benefit from a telescoping steering wheel.
One of the 900's many new features is a unique night-driving safety innovation, also adapted from Saab's aircraft heritage. A standard feature on all 1994 900s, the Saab "Black Panel" allows operators to switch off all illuminated instruments except the speedometer with the touch of a button. An electronic monitoring system ensures that appropriate displays are automatically switched on as needed.
Safety Innovations Make Long List Of New Features Even Longer
Throughout the development of the new 900, Saab has given both active and passive safety top priority. Standard features, on the cutting edge of safety technology, abound. Every 1994 Saab 900 benefits from dual air bags, three-point inertia-reel lap- and-shoulder belts in all five seating positions. A fifth head restraint for the rear center position, is optional. Also included are anti-lock brakes (ABS), and an optimized safety cage construction based on Saab's long history of real-world accident research. V6- equipped Saab 900s are equipped with standard Traction Control.
Subjected to a multitude of crash tests by Saab safety engineers, and built to exceed federally-legislated safety standards whenever possible, the new Saab 900 offers one of the highest occupant protection levels in the industry. Every 1994 Saab fully complies with 1997 U.S. side impact standards, and features a roof structure that can withstand three times the vehicle weight. Self-restoring 5 mph bumpers, and unique low- speed crash absorption beams behind the front bumper that eliminate body panel damage under speeds of 10 mph, mean lower damage repair costs in minor collisions.
The innovative rear Saab "Safeseat" adds an unprecedented level of rear passenger protection. Based on the philosophy that all members of a family should be protected equally, regardless of where they are seated in the car, Saab now integrates its renowned seat belt system in all three rear seating positions. Rear seat passengers, in addition to being protected by the strong safety cage structure, also benefit from extra anti-submarining support inside the seat cushion, specially configured door trim padding and a patented crossbeam behind the rear seat back that does double duty by preventing trunk load shifting in the event of a collision. Optional, fold-down child booster seats, child-proof rear door locks and window locks, add to the Saab "Safeseat's" family value.
Care And Concern For Every Aspect Of Driver Comfort Enjoyment
The new 900 enjoys the benefit of Saab's two-decade-long role as a manufacturing leader, committed to global environmental well-being. Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free air conditioning and manufacturing processes, asbestos-free brake pads and clutch linings, and marked plastic parts for ease of recycling all contribute to the 900's environmentally-conscious status.
Another new Saab 900 and 9000 feature, heat-absorbent glass, decreases the time necessary to cool the interior by 35 percent, and allows only ten percent of solar heat to penetrate. This translates into greater driving comfort and less load on the standard air conditioning system.
Every Saab 900 also includes an integrated theft-alarm with a new Dead-Lock security system, central locking, "child-proof" door locks, cruise control, lighted vanity mirrors, heated exterior power mirrors, all-window demisting rear washer/wiper, Saab trip computer, dual front and single rear fog lights, and an AM/FM stereo with cassette player as well as CD player compatibility. Telephone and daytime running light pre-wiring is also included.
The color palette for 1994 Saab 900 models includes Cirrus White and Black, as well as an exciting range of metallics, including Citrin Beige, Eucalyptus Green, Scarabe Green, Ruby Red and Aubergine. New for 1994, Aubergine is a rich silver tone with a distinctive purple hue. Interior choices for the 1994 900 include both cloth and leather.
The 1994 Saab 900 debuts in two versions for the U.S. market. A 900 S variant is outfitted with Saab's 2.3-Liter, naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine. The Saab 900 S is one of the most value-driven cars in its competitive segment.
The Saab 900 SE is powered by the new 2.5-Liter V6, and in addition to the lengthy list of standard equipment also features an electric, tilt/slide glass sunroof with sliding shade, premium AM/FM stereo with cassette player, the Saab Car Computer (SCC), Automatic Climate Control tACC), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather seating surfaces, dual 8-way power seats with driver's-side memory, and 6.0 x 15 Turbine-Spoke alloy wheels.
Saab 9000s Roar Into '94
For 1994, the larger 9000 series--including the 225-Hp 9000 Aero, popular 9000 CS hatchback model range and 9000 CDE sedan--continues to benefit from Saab's engineering philosophy of ongoing improvement, a commitment that fueled the creation of the all-new 900. Several distinctive enhancements once again up the ante for the performance, responsibility and pure driving pleasure that Saab 9000 owners have already been sold on for years.
Every 1994 Saab 9000, whether equipped with Saab's 2.3-Liter, naturally-aspirated engine or turbocharged powerplant, now features the award-winning Saab Trionic engine management system as standard equipment. Previously only available on turbocharged models, Trionic not only improves engine performance, but contributes to reduced fuel consumption and exhaust emission levels. The innovative system was selected as a finalist in the automotive category of the 1993 Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation.
Twice in succession named the safest car in its Swedish homeland, the Saab 9000 isn't resting on its well-deserved laurels. For 1994, like the Saab 900, every 9000's already-excellent occupant protection system is further supplemented by a standard passenger-side air bag. All 9000 CS, CSE and 9000 Aero models have also been outfitted with a standard rear fog light, for increased conspicuity. The Saab 9000 complies with 1997 side-impact requirements.
Heat absorbent glass, which eases the thermal load on the 9000's glass surfaces, has also been added as standard equipment for 1994. In addition, Saab's performance powerhouse, the 9000 Aero, receives newly-developed 6.5 x 16-inch "Super Aero" aluminum alloy wheels.
Every 1994 Saab 9000 also receives a standard electric power sunroof, and 9000 CDE sedans are fully specified with the complete range of Saab luxury features, including leather interior appointments and a wood veneer instrument panel. The Saab 9000 series, including the 9000 Aero, can be ordered with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission option. (The 9000 Aero delivers a 200-Hp rating when outfitted with an automatic transmission.)
Color choices for 9000 CS/CSE/CDE models include Black, Cirrus White and metallic Citrin Beige, Ruby Red, Scarabe Green and LeMans Blue. The 9000 Aero is available in Black, Cirrus White and Imola Red, along with metallic Eucalyptus Green and LeMans Blue.
Prices for the "Large-size"-rated Saab 9000 model line begin at $28,725 for the 1994 9000 CS. 1994 9000 CS with turbocharged engine option prices begin at $31,780 and range to $38,690 for the turbocharged Saab 9000 Aero.
Like the all-new Saab 900, every 9000 model is backed by Saab's generous 6 year/80,000-mile Major Systems Warranty, including bumper-to-bumper, no-deductible coverage and Saab Roadside Assistance for 3 years/40,000 miles. Every Saab 9000 also comes standard with Saab's 6-year Perforation Warranty.
The Saab 9000 is a powerful marketing stablemate to the all-new Saab 900, which it complements at Saab's 300 U.S. dealers.