1978 – SAAB 99 Turbo Enters the Rally Scene

Posted on 04. Apr, 2007 by in 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 2000-2009, 99


The 99 Turbo Rally car was first introduced on January 16th, 1978. This vehicle had a horsepower of 240, where the stock factory model was only 145 horsepower.

Although Saab entered the 99 in the rally scene a few years earlier, the turbo charging technology helped Saab’s victory record significantly. Two legendary rally drivers Stig Blomqvist and Per Eklund that had previous experience with the Saab 96 in the rally scene, began enjoying the new experiences that this 99 turbo rally car offered such as the extra boost on demand. In 1978, Per Eklund entered the 99 Turbo in the Lobard RAC Rally with Co-driver Björn Cederberg. 1979, Per also entered the International Swedish Rally with co-driver Hans Sylvan. A notable winning in just one year after the 99 turbo rally car was introduced into the rally scene by SAAB was in 1979 when Stig Blomqvist won the Swedish Rally. This victory marked the first win ever by a turbocharged car in a world rally.

During Saab’s racing and rally competition from the very beginning, there was complete Sport & Rally workshop in Trollhättan, Sweden. This workshop specialized in building, manufacturing and maintaining the competition rally cars. The specialized performance parts and other related equipment that was being manufactured in this workshop that was installed in the rally cars were also available to the public. The public enjoyed a detailed Sport & Rally product catalog where they could order just about everything that the professionals had access to.

The SAAB 99 Turbo Rally car model ran between 1978 and 1980 until SAAB decided to leave the rally scene altogether after nearly 30 years due to increasingly prohibitive costs for the small car company.

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6 Responses to “1978 – SAAB 99 Turbo Enters the Rally Scene”

  1. Kurt Hoffmann

    14. Sep, 2007

    I have a 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. Is it possible to get one of these engines that have the 240 hp? Are any of the rally vehicles still around?

    Reply to this comment
  2. ryanoe9000

    20. Nov, 2007


    I could ask Saab’s Motorsport Manager, Björn Berglöf, in Sweden, if you would like?

    Here is his recent submission to Saab History.


    Let me know.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Kurt Hoffmann

    20. Nov, 2007

    That would be great. Yes, please pass along my request. Also note that I run the Saab 99 Turbo Registry website: http://www.Saab99Turbo.com.

    If he – or anyone else – has info that should be included, i welcome them to contact me through the website.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Julian E. Gude

    27. Nov, 2018

    Thank you, I enjoyed your article. My first car was a Red 1978 sedan (not the Turbo) and it remains one of my all time favorite cars. I had three Saab’s all together. (1978, 1983, and 1985). Cheers!

    Reply to this comment
  5. suba suba

    11. Jun, 2020

    stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

    Reply to this comment


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