Viggen Flight Academy


All 9-3 Viggen models come standard with a powerful range of performance, safety, comfort and convenience features. Another standard item is the Viggen Flight Academy - a two-day intensive driver training class where Saab-savvy racing professionals teach 9-3 Viggen owners about getting the most out of their performance car in everyday driving situations.

NORCROSS, Ga. - Saab cars are valued for their long list of standard equipment, and the limited edition Saab 9-3 Viggen is no exception. Every 9-3 Viggen buyer receives, at no charge, a certificate for the Viggen Flight Academy. This two-day intensive driver training session is held at the world-class Road Atlanta complex, located near Saab Cars USA's headquarters in Norcross, Georgia. Designed just for 9-3 Viggen owners, the program is taught by a team of racing professionals.

"The new 9-3 Viggen is the Saab for enthusiasts who crave performance," says Saab Cars USA's Director of Product Planning, Sean McNamara. "We wanted to reward these customers with a standard feature that maximizes the 9-3 Viggen experience - a hands-on driving school."

Over 300 Viggen owners have completed the course since the car's launch in 1999. One owner, Doug Barrett from Portland, Oregon found the Flight Academy "enlightening ... It takes a lot of skill to handle this amount of horsepower. My only regret was that the course did not last longer."

The Viggen Flight Academy features 80 percent active driving instruction and 20 percent classroom sessions. "Owners get to put the training cars through a number of 'in-flight' exercises, ranging from performance braking, shifting and slalom maneuvers to safe, evasive techniques," says McNamara. "They get a chance to push the vehicle to its legal limits, and learn how to control skids with proper steering, throttle and brake responses."

Additional exercises show owners how to handle vehicle weight transfer during emergency lane changes and other useful defensive driving techniques. Drivers equipped with these skills are more adept at avoiding accidents. Studies show that the majority of automobile accidents are attributable to driver mistakes. The Viggen Flight Academy teaches drivers how to be more alert of the situation around them, and provides them with the tools they need to react quickly. The event concludes with a friendly autocross competition and dinner with Saab Cars USA management.

The Saab 9-3 Viggen - which takes its name from Saab's JA37 Viggen jet aircraft - is a limited-production high-performance model developed jointly by Saab Automobile AB's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). It features a long list of standard performance-oriented equipment, including an enhanced high-output turbo engine, sports-tuned chassis, larger brakes, 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels, sport seats and aggressive aerodynamics for a base price of $38,095.

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