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Saab for 1998: Summary


NORCROSS, Ga. - In a Saab, safety and performance are engineered hand-in- hand to provide an exceptional driving experience. Many of the same superior handling, braking and acceleration characteristics that give Saab cars an extra measure of safety on the road also contribute to a high level of pure driving pleasure. For 1998, Saab introduces a 900 S Turbo Coupe, a limited production of the 9000 CSE and offers numerous vehicle enhancements in safety, comfort and appearance.

In everyday driving, it's usually the performance attributes that make Saab drivers so enthusiastic about their brand. Whether it's Saab's aggressive road-holding, the exhilarating acceleration of a turbocharged 900 or 9000, or perhaps the open-top indulgence of the sleek 900 Convertible, each and every Saab satisfies a driver's desire for motoring fun - with the underlying security of Saab's many active and passive safety systems.

For 1998, Saab brings the turbocharged performance of its 185-hp 2.0L Turbo four-cylinder to the Saab 900 S Coupe, along with a special low price. The limited production Saab 900 S Turbo Coupe commemorates the 20th anniversary of turbocharging in a production Saab: the 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. In the same vein as that original pioneer, the 1998 Saab 900 S Turbo Coupe offers a sporty three-door profile, hatchback utility and the turbocharger's extra power and low-end torque on demand.

Enhancements Further Improve Saab Safety

Safety in Saab cars is continually under development, and all safety work is based on the Saab Real-Life Safety concept - the cars must be as safe as possible in real-life situations, instead of only in specific crash tests. Saab is constantly researching and reviewing safety systems, seeking ways to improve occupant safety even more. All variants of the 1998 Saab 900, including the 900 Convertible, receive strengthened side-impact protection that already will conform to future European side- impact requirements. The steel reinforcing beams in the doors have been strengthened and repositioned to make them better able to absorb impact forces and distribute energy to the safety cage surrounding the interior. Additional impact absorbing material has been added between the outer and inner steel panels of the door, as well as between the doors' structure and the interior door trim. B-pillar reinforcements increase the rigidity of the center roof pillar, further strengthening the Saab's safety cage.

The powerful Saab 900 four-wheel disc brakes, which were increased in size for the 1997 model year, now incorporate the latest generation of ABS electronic control unit by Bosch. New brakes pads provide a clearly audible warning when the pads are reaching the limits of their useful life. All Saabs feature a full complement of active and passive safety equipment, including daytime running lights, dual air bags, three-point safety belts with front pretensioners, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes and safety cage construction with front and rear crumple zones.

For 1998, all Saab 900 models - five-door, Coupe and Convertible - receive new front and rear bumper treatment, featuring a body colored fascia with black trim. The clutch system is now hydraulically actuated for smoother shifting and improved ease of operation. A four-spoke steering wheel provides better feel and easier horn control than the previous three-spoke design.

In addition to the 2.0L Turbo engine standard on the 900 S Coupe and all 900 SE models, a 2.3L dual-cam naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine powers the 900 S five-door and Convertible. Both engines are available with a five-speed manual transmission or optional automatic transmission.

A new, more environmentally friendly paint shop at Saab Automobile is now operational. All metallic paint finishes for 1998 Saab are now water-based, which significantly reduces emissions of volatile organic compounds, compared with solvent- based paints. Several new Mica-metallic paints grace the Saab 900 color palette for 1998, including elegant Green Silver, sporty Cosmic Blue, rich Copper Bronze and Golden Sand, a light metallic gold. For 1998, all Mica metallic paint finishes are available at no additional charge to Saab buyers. In addition, eye-catching Monte Carlo Yellow continues to be available exclusively for the Saab 900 Convertible.

Limited Production Saab 9000 CSE

Saab's venerable "Large Car," the Saab 9000, enters its final year of production with one model: the 9000 CSE. Featuring a full complement of luxury and convenience equipment - including leather upholstery, a power glass sunroof, automatic climate control and polished California burl walnut - the 9000 CSE is available with a five- speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Only about 1,300 of the special Saab 9000 CSE will be imported to the United States for 1998, until it is replaced in the spring of 1998 by the new luxury sport sedan, the 1999 Saab 9-5.

Many of the distinctive five-door Saab 9000 CSEs will be equipped with Saab's powerhouse 225-hp 2.3L Turbo engine and five-speed manual transmission, the first time this powertrain has been available in the CSE. The engine's aggressive torque curve peaks with 252 ft.-lbs. at a low 1,800 rpm, delivering acceleration and top-end performance with unmatched gusto. The 9000 CSE with a four-speed automatic transmission receives a 200-hp version of the same Turbo engine.

Newly styled 16-inch "Super Aero" light-alloy wheels, featuring three spokes and sporty exposed lug nuts, are standard equipment for the 1998 Saab 9000 CSE. Tires are 205/55ZR-16 high performance Michelin Pilot radials.

Saab owners appreciate comfort and elegance, but they also demand everyday utility in a vehicle. The five-door Saab 9000 line meets a variety of practical requirements with its hatchback design and enormous carrying capacity. Its trunk holds 23.5 cubic feet of luggage, easily more generous than most other cars in its class. When an owner needs to haul even larger loads, the Saab 9000's rear seat folds down to expand the cargo capacity to 56.4 cubic feet, rivaling many sport utility vehicles for useful space.

All 1998 Saabs are also backed by Saab's no-deductible, bumper-to-bumper four-year/50,000-mile warranty, including 24-hour roadside assistance. A six-year perforation warranty with no mileage limit is also included. Saab's first scheduled maintenance at 5,000 miles is performed free of charge.

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