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9-3 Viggen Flight Academy Clears Owners for Takeoff


Saab's newest model comes standard with exclusive Road Atlanta-based driving experience

Norcross, GA - Saab cars are valued for their long list of standard equipment, and the limited edition Saab 9-3 Viggen is no exception. Saab's newest model not only comes standard with a powerful range of performance, safety, comfort and convenience features, but also delivers a unique value-added program exclusively for owners. Every 9-3 Viggen buyer receives, at no charge, a certificate for the Viggen Flight Academy, a two-day intensive driver training session held at the world-class Road Atlanta complex, located near Saab Cars USA's headquarters in Norcross, Ga. Designed just for 9-3 Viggen owners, the program is taught by a team of racing professionals. These Saab-savvy instructors work with small groups of owners to ensure they get the most out of their front-wheel drive performance car in everyday driving situations. A fleet of 9-3 Viggens will be used exclusively throughout the program.

"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."

The Viggen Flight Academy features 80 percent active driving instruction and 20 percent classroom sessions. "Owners will put training cars through a number of 'in-flight' exercises, ranging from performance braking, shifting and slalom maneuvers to safe, evasive techniques," says McNamara. "They will 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 will show owners how to handle vehicle weight transfer during emergency lane changes and other useful defensive driving techniques. The event concludes with a friendly autocross competition and dinner with Saab Cars USA management. Four Viggen Flight Academy dates have been set for the fall of 1999 and more will be introduced for 2000. Saab enthusiasts can get information on the 9-3 Viggen, as well as the Viggen Flight Academy at Saab Cars USA's web site (

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 $37,750. All 400 1999 9-3 Viggen models are Lightning Blue Coupes. For model year 2000, a total of 1,000 units will be imported into the U.S., including convertible and 5-door models, as well as silver and black exterior color choices.

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