Saab For 1998
By Carey Russ
Swedish manufacturer Saab makes cars that combine sporty performance, interior spaciousness, and safety. 1998 will be a short production year for Saab, as the 9000 enters it last year of production. It will be replaced by the new 9-5. The smaller 900 has minor trim changes and a new, limited-production commemorative model. The 900 will be revised and renamed 9-3 for 1999.
Saab is one of the world's foremost proponents of turbocharging. It made its reputation back in 1978 with the original Saab 99 Turbo. To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of that car, a limited-edition 900 S Turbo Coupe is being offered this year. It brings 185-horsepower turbo performance at a special low price.
The 1978 Turbo combined turbo performance with midsized hatchback practicality. It was modestly-appointed and priced affordably. Over the years, Saab turbos have moved somewhat upscale in appointments and price, so the '98 Turbo Coupe is a return to the roots. Which is not to say that is spartanly-equipped -- standard equipment includes air conditioning, heated seats, alloy wheels, power windows, a good sound system, and more.
Other Saab 900 models include sedans and convertibles. Power is by a 150-horsepower 2.3-liter naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine or the 2.0-liter, 185-hp turbo four depending on trim level. The V6 engine is no longer available. All 900 models have exterior trim and internal mechanical enhancements for 1998.
The Saab 9000 has been around since 1986, which is a long, long time in the modern automotive world. It has built quite a following for itself, with its unique combination of spaciousness and performance. The 9000 will be replaced by the new 1999 Saab 9-5 in Spring, 1998. A limited number of 1998 9000 CSE models will be available, powered by a 2.3-liter turbo engine. Those with a 5-speed manual transmission will have 225 horsepower; 4-speed automatics get a 200-horsepower variant. All 1998 9000 CSEs will be very luxuriously equipped.