Archive for March, 1997

PERFORMANCE AND VALUE DRIVE 1997 SAAB NEW MODEL LINE

Posted on 09. Mar, 1997 by .

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PERFORMANCE AND VALUE DRIVE 1997 SAAB NEW MODEL LINE

Continuous Improvement is Hallmark of Saab Success

NORCROSS, Ga. — Since the first Saab automobile was unveiled 50 years ago by the Swedish Aircraft Company, specific design
parameters were established and adhered to for each and every Saab car through the decades. These parameters specified that a
Saab must be both aerodynamic and light-weight for efficiency. To optimize foul-weather driveability and maximize interior room,
Saabs should utilize front-wheel drive. The Saab should be safe, not only in terms of surviving accidents, but in avoiding them as well.
Finally, the Saab should be a timeless car, one that doesn’t simply follow conventional automotive fads and fashions, but one that sets
its own high standards for utility, performance and innovation.

These requirements, originally outlined in 1947, are as applicable to the 1997 Saab 900 and 9000 lines as they were to the first Saab
92. Each year since the prototype 001 was unveiled, Saab cars have evolved and improved, including the latest new Saabs for 1997.
Performance is the driving force behind each model in the 1997 line-up, with larger brake discs and calipers for the 900 and a
number of other refinements to enhance appearance and passenger comfort.

The color palette for the 1997 Saab 900 and 9000 adds new special-process Mica metallic paints: rich Midnight Blue and vibrant
Cayenne Red. These optional paint finishes offer a high metallic flake content that diffuses reflected light, producing an unusually deep
color and lustrous shine. The 1997 Saab 900 Convertible will be available in two limited-edition colors: Mica-metallic Amethyst
Violet and Monte Carlo Yellow, a vivid color popularized on a first-generation Saab 900 Convertible special edition (these cars were
affectionately dubbed “bumble bees” by enthusiastic owners). All models also sport new badging below the rear right taillights
identifying the powerplant type and size.

1997 Saab 900 Offers Larger Brakes. Sporty New Wheel Designs

Three distinct body styles, two trim levels and three engine choices comprise the popular Saab 900 model line. Each model –
five-door, Coupe or Convertible — delivers sporty styling, strong performance and a long list of standard equipment for high value.
The Saab 900 line receives new, more powerful brakes with larger brake discs and calipers for enhanced brake feel and shorter
stopping distances. Larger brake disc diameters allow the brake pads to be positioned further away from the disc center for more
braking torque. In addition, the useful life of the brake pads is extended by about 15 percent, thanks to a new friction material and
larger contact area. The brake system continues to include a four- channel ABS system with Electronic Brake force Distribution
(EBD), which precisely controls the braking pressure between front and rear wheels, regardless of the car’s load.

The larger brake hardware necessitated new wheels for all 900 models. The 900 S sports an attractive new three-spoke alloy wheel
with exposed lug nuts and Saab “Griffin” center emblem. The 900 SE models are equipped with the sporty “Viking Aero” light-alloy
wheel, with a revised, more aggressive appearance.

In the cabin of the 1997 Saab 900, a revised manual transmission gear shift mechanism improves shifter feel. Front seats have been
slightly elongated and reshaped to provide a more supportive and comfortable seating position. Deeper side bolstering provides more
lateral support. Flexible storage pockets are now provided at the forward edge of both front seats for added convenience.
A new luxury velour seat upholstery, with an elegant quilted, coarse-weave pattern, graces the interior of the well-equipped 900 S
models. The high-value 900 S models are powered by Saab’s dual-earn 150-hp 2.3L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine,
available with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.

Saab’s best seller is the roomy 900 five-door, a sports sedan that combines the driving excitement of Saab’s potent 2.0L 185-hp
turbo engine, 2.5L V6 or dual-earn 2.3L naturally aspirated four-cylinder with the practicality and convenience of four doors and a
cargo- consuming hatchback. By folding the rear seats, the Saab 900 five-door or Coupe can handle an impressive 49.8 cubic feet of
cargo. However, as in every Saab, utility and high performance are not mutually exclusive. The 2.0L Turbo engine benefits from a
collective group of technological features known as Saab Ecopower: intercooled turbocharger, four valves per cylinder and
award-winning Trionic engine management. Saab’s advanced Ecopower engines are engineered for environmental responsibility, but
still deliver dynamic performance that will put a smile on any driving enthusiast’s face.

The turbocharged Ecopower engine is available in all three 900 SE body styles, along with a lowered sport suspension and 16-inch
Z-rated radial tires mounted on newly styled “Viking Aero” wheels. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while an
electronically controlled four-speed automatic is optional. The refined 170-hp 24-valve V6 engine, with automatic gearbox and
electronic Traction Control (TCS), is optional on the five-door and convertible 900 SE models as well.

Luxurious Saab 9000 Defines Versatility
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.

Three distinctive five-door models — the 9000 CS, 9000 CSE and the performance powerhouse 9000 Aero — each with unique
powertrains, comprise Saab’s line of “Large Cars.” All feature Saab’s full complement of active and passive safety equipment,
including daytime running lights, dual air bags, three-point safety belts with front pretensioners, anti-lock brakes and safety cage
construction with front and rear crumple zones.

The popular 9000 CS is the value leader in the 9000 line, powered by a 170-hp, 2.3L four-cylinder with Saab’s innovative Light
Pressure Turbo (LPT) technology. Introduced by Saab for the 1995 model year, the LPT powerplant was named one of Ward’s
Auto World’s Top Ten Engines for two consecutive years.

Featuring a longer list of luxury features, the Saab 9000 CSE is offered with a choice of powerplants: the full-boost turbo
performance of the standard 200-hp 2.3L Turbo engine or the refined smoothness of a 3.0L four-cam V6. The 9000 CSE Turbo,
matched with either a five- speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, features sporty three-spoke light alloy wheels. The
optional 210-hp V6 features a Saab-designed three-stage variable intake manifold (VIM), electronic traction control (TCS) and
automatic transmission. The V6 version of the 9000 CSE features a stylish new 15-inch eight-spoke light-alloy wheel, finished in a
highly polished light silver.

Saab’s ultimate performance sedan, the 9000 Aero, quickens the pulse of driving enthusiasts with its awesome 225-hp 2.3L Turbo
engine, sport suspension and aerodynamic ground effects. The 1997 Aero’s aggressive torque curve peaks with 252 ft.-lbs. at a low
1,800 rpm, delivering acceleration and top-end performance with unmatched gusto. While excelling as a sports car, the Aero also
offers unparalleled roominess, comfort and versatility. The cabin is trimmed in polished California burl walnut and sumptuous leather.
Distinctive body- contoured sports seats further highlight the Aero’s performance potential.

All 1997 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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SAAB IS CRUISING THE FAST LANE OF THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY

Posted on 01. Mar, 1997 by .

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SAAB IS CRUISING THE FAST LANE OF THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY

Netsurfers find wealth of Saab information at http:llwww.saabusa.corn

NORCROSS, Ga. — Saab enthusiasts expect nothing less from Saab than an Internet website that is innovative and fun. Like a Saab automobile, Saab’s homepage, “The Side Road” at http://www.saabusa.corn, is several steps beyond the expected. A typical automotive website gives a car shopper specifications of a particular model, photographs and a few paragraphs of information about the car. All too often, it’s like browsing a sales brochure. But, as any Saab enthusiast will confirm, Saab is anything but typical. With colorful, eye-catching artwork, a host of special features and even the Saab owners’ magazine online, “The Side Road” is both informative and entertaining.

Saab joined the cyberspace community on Dec. 4, 1995 with its visually appealing homepage. Thousands of visitors browse through the site each month, checking out Saab’s model lineup, up-to-the-minute news, pricing and available national lease program details. Of course, vehicle specifications and standard equipment lists are preser t, but browsers can take a detour to actually customize their own Saab 900 or 9000 on screen, choosing the model, wheels and exterior color. In total, 218 variations can be created. For a look at the seats, upholstery and dashboard, the site gives a 360-degree view around the cabin. Car shoppers can check the price and let the site calculate monthly payments. And, it takes only a few keystrokes to find the nearest Saab dealers, many with their own Saab websites.

The Saab Accessories Catalog online features a selection of Saab apparel and accessories, video clips feature stunt driving by the Saab Performance Team, and a special European Delivery section gives all the details picking up a new Saab in Europe. Feature articles in Saab Soundings Online include stories on Saab’s PRO Rally team, New Driver Car Control Clinic, the Saab Car Museum and Saab’s heritage of crash testing.

A wealth of other information is available as well, such as details on performance, safety, Saab owners conventions, history and the Saab Specialist Program for test drives from home or office. A full-time electronic communication specialist, Walter Rich, is part of Saab’s Corporate Communications team to ensure the website is up to date and ever-improving. “It’s important that we keep our site innovative and dynamic,” Rich emphasized. “We’re competing for attention in a fast-moving medium. Our challenge is to present information in a way that’s fun, interesting and stimulating, while conveying Saab’s unique brand character.”

The income and lifestyle demographics of current and prospective Saab customers fit the Internet household profile very closely. In fact, J.D. Power’s latest APEAL study pointed out that Saab owners were the most prolific users of the Internet of any automobile owner group.

According to an online usage survey by Nielsen, on average, Internet users are upscale, professional and educated. Fifty percent of Internet users consider themselves to be in professional or managerial occupations. Sixty-four percent have at least college degrees. Saab customer demographics show 86 percent have a college degree, 64 percent are professional/managerial, and their average income is at least $100,000.

Many Saab dealerships are taking advantage of the Internet to “web-vertise” and communicate with current and potential customers. B&B Saab, located near California’s Silicon Valley, has an extremely active dealership homepage and has made several sales directly through the web. “There will always be a need to touch, smell and feel the product, but one of the largest parts of the Saab prospect’s path to a purchase is information gathering,” said Dietmar Burkhardt, Jr., sales manager for B&B Saab. “As the Internet attracts more and more consumers every day, I’m sure that it will provide an even more important means of communication with our prospects, and will bring them closer to the purchase of a Saab.”

Saab Cars USA, Inc. envisions strong synergies with Saab dealerships using the web. All dealers are listed in the dealer locator database, and those with their own Internet websites have the opportunity to deliver detailed dealer specified information about themselves. Saab Cars USA also links consumers, through its dealer locator, to dealer-generated homepages.

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SAAB MOST IMPROVED IN J.D. POWER CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Posted on 01. Mar, 1997 by .

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SAAB MOST IMPROVED IN J.D. POWER CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

NORCROSS, Ga. – Saab has recorded the largest gain among all automakers in the J.D. Power and Associates 1997 Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study. Ranked above industry average, Saab jumped 27 points to 141-outpacing any other make by more than 2 to 1 compared to last year. The J.D. Power measures customer satisfaction of 1996-model vehicles during the first year of ownership.

In the Customer Handling category, Saab was numerically ranked 9th, tied with Saturn and only 14 points behind the leader, Lexus. Saab’s score of 160 is an
impressive 15 points above the industry average of 143.

“This is a great achievement that shows initiatives that Saab and the Saab dealer organization are putting into place are beginning to pay off and move our brand in the right direction,” commented Abe Buchbinder, director, parts & service at Saab Cars USA, Inc. “With our ongoing quality improvements, new training and standards, we’re aiming to ensure that every Saab customer has an enthusiastic owner experience,” Buchbinder emphasized.

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A TIMELINE OF SAAB HERITAGE

Posted on 01. Mar, 1997 by .

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A TIMELINE OF SAAB HERITAGE

Saab Automotive Pedigree Traces Back 100 Years

1891 The Vabis company is established.
Swedish manufacturer of railroad cars is based in Sodertalje.
1897 First Swedish automobile is built.
Gustaf Erikson of the Vabis company builds the first Swedish car, an experimental 9-hp, kerosene-powered model.
1900 Scania incorporates to build motor vehicles.
New company, Scania, forms in Malmo, Sweden, and constructs two experimental passenger cars and a truck.
1902 Swedish truck production begins.
Both Vabis and Scania introduce competing versions of motorized trucks. Scania begins a passenger car program in
1911 Scania and Vabis merge.
Scania-Vabis manufactures engines, delivery trucks, buses and passenger cars. Car production ends in 1925 until the
company merges with Saab in 1969; Scania truck and bus production continues today.
1937 The SAAB company is established.
SAAB is an acronym for the Swedish words Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company). Product:
“Anti-war” planes assembled in Trollhattan.
1938-45 Saab diversifies.
Saab’s advanced military aircraft successfully help to maintain Sweden’s neutrality. As World War II nears its end,
Saab management investigates the development of new products. Saab decides to draw upon its abilities in the field of
precision design to build automobiles. When it comes to choosing names, Saab assigns the first available non-military
project number: 92. Numbers up to 89 had already been assigned to military projects; 90 and 91 were dedicated to
Saab’s first commercial and private aircrafts.
1947 First Saab prototype automobile is displayed.
Saab aircraft engineer Gunnar Ljungstrom, designer Sixten Sason and staff of 15 craftsmen hand-build prototype
92.001, a sleekly aerodynamic car that reflects its aircraft lineage. Three additional fully operational versions, with
various refinements, are also built and unveiled to rave reviews in 1947. Decades before the technology would come
into vogue, Saab’s first automotive entry features front-wheel drive and a transverse mounted engine.
1950 Saab 92 goes into production.
Powered by a two-cylinder, two-stroke engine with output of 25 hp, 1,246
front-wheel-drive Saab 92s are built in 1950, all of them green in color.
Saab wins Swedish National Trophy Rally.
In a remarkable victory for a brand-new marque, a Saab 92 driven by Rolf Mellde (Saab’s
development manager) takes first place in important 500-mile cross-country Swedish rally in
November. Greta Molander wins the women’s class, also in a Saab 92. Subsequent rally triumphs over the next
several decades firmly establish Saab as a contender on the international rally circuit.
1953 Saab 92B is first major refinement.
New model has larger rear window, an external rear trunk lid and is available in colors other than green.
1956 Saab 93 debuts.
Improvements include a 33-hp three-cylinder, two-stroke engine, new suspension and new front end design. The new
Saab makes its U.S. debut at the New York Auto Show.
Saab Sonett Super Sport prototypes built.
Six prototypes of two-seater, open-top roadster are built as possible rally competitors. Program is canceled when rally rules unexpectedly change. Car is a big hit at auto shows,
however.
Saab Motors, Inc. founded in U.S.
Saab import company in United States founded by Ralph Millet in New York City.
Saab 93 wins Great American Mountain Rally.
Great interest in the new Swedish import is generated when three Saabs finish 1,500-mile Great American Mountain Rally over snow-covered roads in northeastern U.S. One Saab is the overall winner.
1957 1,410 Saabs are sold in first full year of U.S. sales.
1959 Saab 95 station wagon debuts.
Based on the Saab 93, the new wagon body style also features a new four-speed transmission. Early ads depict the 95 as a car that doubles as a bed!
1960 Saab 96 debuts in Stockholm.
New model features stronger three-cylinder engine, replaced by new four-cycle 65-hp V4 engine in 1967. Saab 96s are driven to numerous rally victories by Erik “On-the-Roof” Carlsson, including two consecutive victories in the Monte Carlo Rally in ’62 and ’63.
1966 Saab Sonett II debuts at Geneva Auto Show.
Saab’s famous two-seater sports car, the Sonett, is initially powered by a 60-hp three-cylinder two-stroke engine, replaced by the four-cycle V4.
1968 Saab 99 debuts in Stockholm.
All-new model is larger than Saab 96, which was produced uritil 1979. The first Saab 99 is powered by an 80-hp 1.7L inline four-cylinder, has power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, safety-cage construction and a floor-mounted ignition switch.
1969 Scania-Vabis and Saab merge to form the Saab-Scania Group.
1970 Sonett III debuts at New York Auto Show.
Most of the 8,351 Sonett Ills are exported to the U.S.
World debut: Headlight washer/wiper system.
Rally-inspired headlight wipers are world’s first. Swedish Automobile Association awards its Gold Medal to Saab for this safety innovation.
1971 World debut: Impact absorbing self-repairing bumpers.
World debut: Electrically heated seats.
1972 World debut: Side-impact door beams.
1974 Saab 99 WagonBack body style introduced.
Called a Combi Coupe in Europe, and a WagonBack in the U.S., the rear tailgate opens up and rear seats fold flat to provide unprecedented utility in a sporty two-door car. A five-door hatchback is introduced in 1976.
1976 World debut: Saab Turbo concept.
Saab is first automaker to integrate a variable-boost turbocharger into a mass- produced family-type car for extra power and low-end torque on demand. 2.0L turbo engine rated at 135 hp in U.S. Prior turbo applications from competitors were limited production high-performance models tuned to boost engine output at high speeds.
1977 Saab 99 Turbo debuts.
50 pre-production test vehicles are provided to Saab employees and journalists in the U.S. in 1977 to enthusiastic reviews. Full turbo production begins in 1978.
World debut: Cabin ventilation air filter on pre-production Saab 900.
Soon copied by other carmakers, Saab produces first cabin air filter.
1979 Saab 900 debuts.
The era of the modern Saab begins with three-door and five-door versions of unique sporty hatchback. Turbo engine is available from the start.
1981 World debut: APC (Automatic Performance Control).
Regardless of fuel octane quality, Saab’s exclusive APC allows the turbo engine to extract the most power without risk of knocking/detonation.
1982 World debut: Asbestos-free brake linings.
1984 Saab produces 100,000th turbocharged car.
Saab becomes world’s largest manufacturer of turbo engines.
1985 World debut: 16-valve Turbo engine.
World debut: Saab Direct Ignition (DI)
1986 Saab 900 Convertible introduced.
First drop-top Saab models are 16-valve Turbos, shipped to U.S., Saab’s most important export market. Finnish-built
Saab Convertible, with power top, attains nearly instant classic status.
Saab 9000 introduced.
With longer wheelbase and wider track, the roomy Saab 9000 is rated a “Large car” by the EPA.
Three Saab 9000s endure “The Long Run” at Talladega Motor Speedway.
21 records are set as three factory-stock 9000s drive non-stop for twenty days at full throttle. Covering a distance of
100,000 km (62,000 miles), the trio of Saabs record average speeds of 132.5 mph.
1990 General Metors, Europe (AG) buys 50% interest in Saab Automobile AB.
1991 World debut: Saab Trionic.
Advanced electronic engine management system for turbo engines, Saab Trionic, uses 32-bit computer to optimize
performance for power, high fuel economy and low emissions.
1992 Saab Cars USA, Inc. moves to Georgia.
The U.S. importer of Saab automobiles relocates from Orange, Conn., to orcross, Ga., just outside of Atlanta.
1994 New Saab 900 introduced; new V6 engine available.
Available initially as a five-door hatchback, the new 900 line is joined by a sporty three-door Turbo coupe and a sleek
Convertible in 1995. An available 170-hp 2.5L V6 is Saab’s first six-cylinder engine.
1995 New engine technology debuts on Saab 9000: LPT and 3.0L V6.
Saab’s innovative Light Pressure Turbo becomes the standard engine on U.S. versions of the Saab 9000 CS, while a
210-hp 3.0L V6 is standard on the 9000 CDE, optional on the 9000 CSE.

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1997 National Saab Owners’ Convention To Be Held in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire!

Posted on 01. Mar, 1997 by .

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1997 National Saab Owners’ Convention To Be Held in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire!

Dates, Details to Be Announced Soon!

If you missed this year’s annual Saab owner gathering (and over 400 Saab enthusiasts didn’t), you have a little less than one year to ensure that you won’t miss the next one. The August 16-18, 1996 Saab Owners’ Convention in Kirkwood, California–appropriately dubbed Saab Summit for it’s sky-high location in the Sierras–included the unveiling of the 1997 site. The winning location for the 1997 Saab Jubilee Convention, which will celebrate 50 years of Saab history, is beautiful Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

Waterville is a full-service resort located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, about 130 miles northwest of Boston. The resort offers a full line-up of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, golf, fishing, tennis and more. Of special interest to Saab enthusiasts might be that New Hampshire Motor Speedway is also nearby–and Saab plans on making track activities a part of the Jubilee Convention.

Full details on dates, events, activities and special guests will be announced over the coming weeks. Because we’re hoping that this will be the largest gathering of U.S. and Canada Saab owners ever, we intend to get an early start on reservations. Be assured that the focus of the Convention will be you, the Saab owner–whether you’re the vintage type, or prefer newer models. All your favorite events, like tech sessions, seminars, the Concourse, road rally and swap meet will be on the agenda, as well as a host of new features. Stay tuned to this website for the latest scoop on the Jubilee edition of the annual Saab Owners’ Convention! (And if you’d like to put your name on our mailing list for a registration package, just e-mail us your name and address, along with the word “1997 Saab Jubilee Owners’ Convention” in the message body.

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SAAB ECOPOWER: TOMORROW’S ENGINE TECHNOLOGY TODAY

Posted on 01. Mar, 1997 by .

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ecopowerengine SAAB ECOPOWER: TOMORROWS ENGINE TECHNOLOGY TODAY

SAAB ECOPOWER: TOMORROW’S ENGINE TECHNOLOGY TODAY

20 Years After, Saab Remains a Leader in Turbo Technology

NORCROSS, Ga. — Twenty years ago, Saab unveiled a revolutionary application for the rather exotic turbocharger: use it on a small-displacement engine in an everyday family car for extra power and low-end torque on demand. Previously reserved for racecars and high- dollar or limited-production sports cars, turbo technology debuted at Saab in a limited run of 100 1977 Saab 99 Turbos provided to automotive journalists in Europe and the United States. Enthusiastic reviews were followed by the regular production models of the 1978 Saab 99 Turbo and the new Saab 900 Turbo a year later.

Saab’s turbo was unique for featuring an adjustable-boost turbo on a small- displacement four-cylinder engine. Rather than use a turbo for maximum output at high speeds, as was common in other turbocharged cars, the Saab turbo enhanced the engine’s low-speed response for quicker acceleration and improved passing power. Other significant turbocharger benefits are lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emissions compared to naturally aspirated engines with the same power output. While some naturally aspirated engines use elaborate and expensive induction systems that rely on vacuum to suck air into the cylinders, Saab has found that a greater volume of air can be pushed into an engine over a wider rpm range by the relatively simple exhaust-driven turbocharger. The Swedish automaker continues to be a leader in the production of advanced turbo engines, available on both the Saab 900 and 9000 lines.

Turbocharainq Drives 1997 Ecopower Concept
Saab’s 1997 turbo engines and their exclusive technology are collectively known as Ecopower. Not just a catch-phrase for a few engine features, Ecopower is the Saab development concept for current and future Saab engines — a way of thinking in terms of sensible, yet exhilarating performance, environmental responsibility and a high standard of comfort and driveability. The key elements of 1997 Ecopower technology are turbocharging with intercooler, Trionic engine management, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, Direct Ignition {DI), a pre-heated oxygen sensor and catalytic converter positioned close to the engine for quick warm-up.

Ecopower applies to Saab’s full-boost turbos and Light Pressure Turbo (LPT) four- cylinder engines. The four Ecopower engines are the potent 185-hp 2.0L in the Saab 900 line, the award-winning 170-hp 2.3L LPT in the Saab 9000 CS, the 200-hp 2.3L in the Saab 9000 CSE and the impressive 225-hp 2.3L in the Saab 9000 Aero.

The most obvious advantage of a Saab turbocharged engine is increased power. Normally, 30 percent of fuel consumed in an engine goes out in the exhaust as unused energy. A turbo utilizes the exhaust gas energy and returns it into the engine for additional power. For every one horsepower taken from the exhaust by the turbo, four extra horsepower are produced at the engine crankshaft. Compared to a naturally aspirated engine of the same horsepower, a turbo engine is smaller, lighter in weight, uses 12 to 20 percent less fuel, produces more low-end torque and significantly lower exhaust emissions. The natural sound dampening qualities of the turbo itself allow Saab to use the same size muffler as on a non-turbo car, despite the higher power output. Simplicity and cost effectiveness are additional turbo advantages. For a naturally aspirated engine to match an Ecopower engine’s high torque output and low emissions, it would require a combination of these add-on technological features at additional cost: variable intake manifold, tuned exhaust manifold, variable earn phasing, air injection at cold start and EGR (exhaust gas recirculation).

Saab Trionic Features Powerful Microprocessor
The award-winning Saab Trionic engine management system used for Saab Ecopower engines was designed and tested by Saab’s own engineers. Saab is one of the few car manufacturers in the world to develop its own electronic engine management system. The brain of Saab Trionic is a 32-bit microprocessor, capable of carrying out two million calculations per second. Programmed with ideal combustion conditions, the microprocessor simultaneously monitors and adjusts the ignition timing, fuel injection rate and boost pressure. Control is adaptive, which means that the system adjusts all calibration points while taking into account variations in engine parameters, such as temperature, load and even engine wear.

Trionic analyzes the combustion process by using the spark plugs to measure ionization in the cylinders. A weak electrical current is applied across the gap of each spark plug after every combustion stroke. The voltage flowing back to the control unit measures the combustion efficiency in each individual cylinder. The system continually adjusts the fuel quantity, the ignition timing or the boost pressure to ensure each cylinder’s fuel-air ratio is as optimal as possible. The result is a reduction in fuel consumption and exhaust
emissions.

Individual ignition timing tailored to each cylinder is possit thanks to Saab’s Direct Ignition (DI) system, featuring one ignition coil per spark plug. Introduced on Saab cars in 1985, DI provides up to 40,000 volts at the moment of ignition. The Trionic systems on full-boost turbo engines have an integrated Automatic Performance Control (APC) function, which helps
regulate turbo boost pressure correctly, regardless of fuel quality or octane. APC allows all of Saab’s Ecopower engines to run on regular unleaded fuel. Premium fuel is recommended only for the Aero’s 225-hp engine.

Light Pressure Turbo Is Intetliaent Alternative

Saab’s latest turbo innovation is the Light Pressure Turbo (LPT), introduced on the 1995 Saab 9000 CS. LPT widens the application of turbocharging by shifting the focus of turbos from pure performance to performance assist. Designed specifically to provide strong low-speed torque and a smooth power application, the LPT engine effectively emulates the driving characteristics of a larger-displacement naturally aspirated engine while maintaining low emissions and high fuel economy. Boost pressure is limited to 0.4 bar rather than the sporty full-boost power of 1.0 bar in other Saab turbo engines. Because the boost pressure is fixed at 0.4 bar, APC is not required to control boost pressure. A boost gauge is also unnecessary,
and no turbo badging is applied to the Saab 9000 CS.

Addressing the “Turbo Myths”
As turbo engines developed over the years, the term “turbo lag” became synonymous with turbocharging. Indeed, early turbo engines required several seconds to build full charge pressure. In contrast, today’s Saab turbos utilize a small, low-mass turbine that spools up almost instantly. Boost pressure builds quickly, providing maximum torque on demand — at engine speeds as low as 1,800 rpm on the 2.3L engine in the Saab 9000 CSE and Aero, and 2,100 rpm on the Saab 900′s 2.0L engine. The LPT engine is even more remarkable in its ability to mask the fact that there is a turbo under the hood. Totally integrated into the engine’s power curve, the LPT reduces any perception of “turbo lag” or “turbo kick” to nil. Instead, the driver simply enjoys strong, predictable power at all speeds.

Reliability issues have also haunted turbochargers, but the advent of electronic boost control and water-cooled center housings in the mid 1980s addressed these concerns nearly a decade ago. Today’s Saab turbo is a fully integrated part of the engine, designed and proven to be maintenance free and dependable for the life of the car. Saab’s own warranty analysis shows that a turbocharger is as reliable as other major engine components for as long as the car is on the road (at least 15 years, in Saab’s case). Twenty years after the start of a new epoch in powerplant design, Saab remains as committed as ever to turbocharging for current and future Ecopower engines.

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Production Concept