NORCROSS, Ga. - Saab Automobile AB announced that it has formalized an engineering and manufacturing agreement to begin production of limited edition, high performance Saab 900 Coupes, Convertibles and five-door models in the fall of 1998. A special group within Saab's technical development center, based at the company's Trollhattan, Sweden headquarters, has teamed up with Oxfordshire, England-based TWR Group to turn the concept Saabs first shown at the 1996 Geneva Auto Show into reality. TWR Group is owned by Tom Walkinshaw, and is one of Europe's foremost design and engineering houses, specializing in high-performance tuning. Production of these special high-performance Saabs will begin next year at Valmet Automotive, Finland, and will be limited to 3,000 cars annually.
The new series of special Saabs will feature top-of-the-line performance characteristics, including styling and aerodynamic exterior refinements, sport-driving influenced interiors, and extensive engine, chassis, wheel and brake performance enhancements. The concept cars, shown first in the United States at the 1996 New York auto show, featured an aggressive color palette, and such enhancements as body-color matched leather interior trim.
For this new series of Saabs, Coupe and five-door car bodies will continue to be manufactured at Saab's factory in Trollhattan, then shipped to Valmet for painting and final assembly. The Convertible variants will continue to be built at the Valmet plant, where the popular Saab 900 Convertible has been produced since the first generation debuted in 1986.
Saab will announce complete vehicle specifications and pricing of its new high-performance series in 1998.