Archive for '1940-1949'

The Saab Project Designs by Model

Posted on 28. Jun, 2008 by .



As a follow-up to the previous writeup on the past and present Saab designers and their achievements, it was necessary to include a chronological up-to-date listing of Saab projects both production and concepts.

This listing includes each Saab project, year introduced along with each designer and/or engineer that contributed to the given project.

This list is a work-in-progress, so any additions and/or modifications that you see necessary below, please add your comments to ensure correctness and accuracy.

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Design Contributions by Model

SAAB Scandia 90 (1946-1958)


Bror Bjurströmer

SAAB 91 (1947-1966)


A.J. Andersson

SAAB 92001 (Prototype) (1946/1947)


Sixten Sason

Gunnar Ljungström


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The Ursaab Emblem

Posted on 09. Aug, 2007 by .


ursaab_logo_small_300.jpgThe Ursaab Prototype, the fist SAAB automobile, was designed in 1946 before SAAB Automobile became officially incorporated in 1947 as an automobile manufacturer.

There has been a lot of mystique about the emblem that has prompted questions to be asked concerning what the symbolism of what the logo meant and why exactly it looks the way it does. With the e-mails that I have received lately since the recent introduction of the Saab official pin collection available at Elkparts., I realized that it made sense to bring this topic to light.

According to the book “Saab The First 40 Years“, published in 1987, it indicates that the origins of the emblem of the Ursaab 92001 prototype are from the Auto Union, but that is where the trail ends.

I would like to ask the question to the collective Saab Community if you have been priveledged with the information as to what influenced the design of the Ursaab Prototype emblem to make it look like it does and what Auto Union they are specifically speaking of and if this same Auto Union exists today, presumably in Sweden?

If you could provide your responses in the comments below, I would greatly appreciate as would the many folks who have sent me e-mails ascertaining information pertaining to the makeup of the 92001 URSAAB emblem design.

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Saab 60th Anniversary : Carlsson’s Choice for Hall of Fame

Posted on 01. Jun, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile



Saab 60th Anniversary

Carlsson’s Choice: Erik Selects Six Favorites from Saab’s Hall of Fame

The career of Eric (Mr Saab) Carlsson, international rallying’s first superstar, spans six decades. It has taken him from test driving in Trollhättan, to the top of the podium in Monte Carlo and on to a globe-trotting role as Saab’s international ambassador. Here Erik chooses his six favorite Saabs, one from each decade. His recollections, and the cars themselves, tell the story of how the automotive aspirations of an aircraft manufacturer took wing.

As a young boy, Erik Carlsson used to stand on the perimeter of his local airfield in Trollhättan and admire the aerobatics of Saab aircraft flying overhead. Little did he know that Saab would one day start making cars and that he would play a key role in its growth as an auto maker.

Erik’s legendary exploits at wheel of the ‘little red cars from Sweden’ include two back-to-back victories in the Monte Carlo Rally and a hat-trick of wins in the British RAC Rally. His success in the early Sixties launched Saab as a global car brand and today, at 78 years young, Erik still plays an active part in Saab activities.

Preparing to lead the celebrations for Saab’s 60th Anniversary next week, he is happy to take up the theme by identifying his six favorite Saab cars, one from each decade.


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

“I think we all have a special place in our heart for our first car, “ he says. “In my case it was a Saab 92, in green like they all were then, which I bought second-hand from a farmer in Trollhättan. It was 1952, I was 23 and I had started a job at a local garage.

“Saab was the big local company and they had just started making cars. It was an exciting time and the 92 really was something different from other cars, with its streamlined shape and aircraft engineering. Most cars then had a separate body and chassis bolted together, but the 92 had one single body structure, as most cars do these days. It was light but extremely strong, as I found in my rallying.

“It also handled really well with the front wheel drive. It had a small engine but I could go quicker than larger cars that had quite a bit more power.”


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

Erik’s success in local rallying events at the wheel of his 92 quickly led to full-time employment with Saab as a test and development and works rally driver. His ‘Saab of the 60s’ is the famous Saab 96 that brought international rally success for him and for the company. More than 500,000 examples were to be sold in a production run spanning almost 20 years.

“The 96 had more power, good suspension, disc brakes and great handling. We didn’t have a roll-over cage, but with the 96 you didn’t need one, as I appreciated a few times. Although I got the nickname ‘Carlsson on the Roof’, I don’t think I rolled all that many times. But I remember one occasion when I rolled over in a ditch and water was coming in. It was like sitting in an aquarium but the roof pillars were extremely strong so we weren’t drowned or hurt much at all.”

The aircraft engineering tradition of combining strength with light weight helped establish the popularity of the Saab 96 and in snowy and icy conditions Erik was able to fully exploit its sure-footed handling. But he also has a soft spot for the sister car of the 96, the Saab 95 wagon.

“Quite a few eyebrows were raised when I did the ’61 Monte Carlo with one. It was unheard of to use a wagon or estate car but the 95 handled and drove every bit as well as the 96. I was fourth that year. We used the wagon, together with its aerofoil on the roof, because it had just come out with a four-speed gearbox, which really helped on the steep alpine passes.”

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

Carlsson’s choice as ‘Saab of the 70s’ is the now iconic, black Saab 99 Turbo. “A lot of people at the time said we wouldn’t get turbocharging to work for passenger cars,” says Erik. “ I would say history has proved them wrong.”

These days, the words ‘turbocharging and Saab’ are as closely associated as ‘peaches and cream’ or ‘bacon and eggs’ , but back in 1977, exactly 30 years ago, when the 99 Turbo was unveiled, Saab surprised the automotive world by declaring that it had succeeded in ‘taming the turbo’ .

“The 99 was a great chassis and with the turbo we had real power to exploit its potential,” says Erik, who remembers secret forest test driving and his first experiences of the explosive performance on full boost. “We had to do a lot of work to control the boost, to stop the engine blowing up and to get the power on the ground. But, of course, we showed it could be done and just about everyone now uses turbocharging.”

The logic behind getting ‘big engine power from a small engine’, or ‘right-sizing’ as Saab calls it, is even more attractive these days, with the need to save weight, reduce bulk and improve fuel consumption. “Our top engineer, Pelle Gillbrand, who led the project, used to put it very simply,” says Erik. “He would explain that all engines have a fuel pump, a water pump and an oil pump – so why not an air pump? That’s all a turbo really is and he thought it was strange that all engines didn’t have one.”

With its wraparound, cockpit-inspired windshield, ‘clampshell’ hood and ‘self-repairing’ bumpers, the bold and distinctive looks of the larger Saab 99 took Saab upmarket, a process continued by its evolution into the ‘classic’ Saab 900, of which more than 900,000 were sold.

“The first production cars in jet black and cardinal red had Inca ally wheels, which were intended to symbolize the turbine of turbo, not a cheese-grater, as some people suggested,” laughs Erik. “It was, and still is, a very distinctive car. We had the ignition key between the seats on the floor and people were always surprised by that. But why not? There were valid reasons for it, to do with ergonomics and good crash impact safety. It’s like the throttle controls of an aircraft, between the seats in the cockpit. We still have it today and that’s another feature where I think we have proved the sceptics wrong!”


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

Carlsson’s choice for the ‘Saab of the 80s’ – the Saab 900 Convertible – surprised the automotive world when it was revealed as a design study at the Frankfurt Show in the autumn of 1983. “I don’t think anyone was expecting Saab to come up with a convertible,“ says Erik. “After all, it is not the kind of car that that a Scandinavian manufacturer was expected to produce, but it turned out to be an outstanding success.”

Back in the 80s, convertibles were not as popular as they are now and Saab was to play a pioneering role in establishing the attraction of an open-top car as a practical, all-year-round means of transport. “We always had a strong soft-top which was fully automatic, quick and easy to use,” says Erik. “That was an essential requirement and we were able show people this was a car that was good to own and drive in winter as well as summer.”

Initially produced for the US market, the first 900 Convertible soon went into production for global sale. “It was a great looking car, roof up or down, and looked like a completely new car, rather than a version of the 900 three-door model,” says Erik. “I still run a Saab Convertible at different times of the year. Even in winter, when it’s cold, you can have the soft-top down with the heater going and still be very comfortable.”

Over the years, Saab has organized keynote events for the Convertible, such as driving in the Land of the Midnight Sun, a 1,500 kilometer excursion through Sweden into the Arctic Circle to North Cape, the ‘roof of Europe’. Another favorite, led by Erik, has been ‘Rally Monte Carlsson’, which follows a route from the Mediterranean beach in Monaco up through the maritime Alps to a ski resort 2,000 meter above sea level. “You can be driving in warm sunshine with the top down and a few hours later be up in the snow and ice. It’s a great demonstration of what the Convertible has to offer,” adds Erik.

Over three generations, Saab has sold more than 250,000 Convertibles. In many European markets it has often featured as the top-selling car in its class.


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

Fixed roof motoring was recommended in 1986 when Erik had led a team of Saab test drivers at the wheel of three 9000 Turbos on the famous ‘Long Run’ at the Talladega Speedway in the United States. Over almost 20 days, stopping only for fuel, tires and routine servicing, they established a series of.speed and distance records for standard production cars. The lead 9000 covered 100,000 km at average speed of 213.299 km.

In recognition of this achievement, a top sports flagship model, the 9000 Talladega was introduced. In the UK this was known as the Carlsson edition, Erik also lending his name to a 900 series version as well. These performance models were later given their ultimate expression in the Saab 9000CS Aero of 1993, Erik’s choice as the ‘Saab of the 90s’. It set a first template for top-of-the-range Aero models that continue at the pinnacle of Saab’s product range today.

“The 9000 was a great car, very roomy and comfortable. It was a large hatchback that offered all the versatility of a wagon,“ says Erik. “With the rear seats down, you could carry a hell of lot and with the seats up it was just like being in a sedan.”

Saab was also introducing its own engine management system, Saab Trionic. With a processing capacity greater than the computers that put men on the moon, Saab Trionic was an ideal platform for the launch of the more powerful Aero. “The new 2.3 turbo engine gave fantastic torque and the Aero model was the quickest car we had ever produced at that time,” says Erik.

“The engine was extremely smooth with its balancer shafts and gave good power from very low revs. It really showed what we could do with turbocharging. You could be in almost any gear, just put your foot down and go. With the 9000 Aero, we asked everyone to ‘talk torque’ when describing what it was like to drive.

“It was a large car, but it handled very well and everyone appreciated how good the seats were. That is something Saabs has always been known for. Even the seats in my first 92 were very comfortable.”

The Saab 9000 five-door hatchback and sedan range took the Saab brand further into the premium car segment, and more than 500,000 were sold before production ceased in 1998..


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

When he’s not at the wheel of a Saab Convertible, Erik usually drives a Saab 9-5 Aero SportCombi, but this is not a contender for his choice of a Saab for the first decade of the new millennium. That honor goes to the Saab Aero X Concept, shown at the Geneva Show last year.
With its aircraft-like canopy and a V6 BioPower turbo engine capable of running on pure bioethanol fuel, offering the prospect of zero fossil CO2 emissions, the Aero X is a concept in tune with the demands of the new century.

“Sweden has a great tradition of concern of the environment,” says Erik “And Saab was first to introduce improvements like asbestos-free brake pads and CFC-free air conditioning systems. This car follows in that tradition, without sacrificing the sort of turbo performance we all enjoy.

“Looking at the Aero X, I see how far our cars have travelled in 60 years,” says Eric, who drove Saab’s first two-seater car, the lightweight Saab Sonett in 1956.

“But I think this is a good time to be looking towards the future, as well as enjoying the cars of the past,” he adds. “The Aero X is a very modern design and it shows that Saab will be making exciting cars in the future. We did not produce a concept car until 1985, now there have been several recently, which shows the Saab spirit is strong.

“That wraparound windscreen gives it a good Saab character. It is, of course, a design concept, but I’m not sure about the opening canopy without any doors, but then my first Saab did not have a boot lid and the doors opened from the front!”

In a more serious vein, Erik agrees that when his career with Saab began, the company’s cars were almost unknown beyond Scandinavia. And he is too modest to point out that his rallying success played a major part in establishing Saab outside its home country. The brand is now a global player, selling premium cars in more than 60 markets around world. Carlsson and Carlsson’s Choice can both take credit for helping to make it happen.

Erik will be reunited with his Carlsson’s Choice – and many other favorites – at Saab’s 60th Anniversary Festival in Trollhättan, from 7-10 June, celebrating the unveiling of the first Saab car exactly six decades ago.

In what could be the biggest-ever gathering of Saab fans and enthusiasts, more than 30,000 visitors are expected to come from all over the globe to enjoy a packed program of events. (Visit for all the details)

Carlsson’s Choice:
Saab 92 (1950)
Monocoque construction, 2-door sedan, front-wheel-drive
Two cylinder, 2-stroke, 764 cc. 3-speed gearbox
Max. power: 25 hp @ 3,800 rpm. Max. torque: 59 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
Max speed: 105 kph.

Saab 96 (1960)
Monocoque construction, 2-door sedan, front-wheel-drive
Three cylinder, 2-stroke, 841 cc. 4-speed gearbox
Max power: 38 hp @ 4,250 rpm. Max torque: 80 Nm @ 3,000 rpm
Max speed: 125 kph. 0-100 kph: 25.6 secs

Saab 99 Turbo (1977)
Monocoque construction, 3-door hatchback, front-wheel-drive
Four cylinder, turbocharged, 1985 cc. 4-speed gearbox
Max. power: 145 hp @ 5,000 rpm. Max torque: 235 Nm @ 3,000 rpm
Max speed: 198 kph. 0-100 kph: 8.9 secs

Saab 900 Turbo Convertible (1986)
Two-door convertible, powered soft-top, four-seater, front-wheel-drive
Four cylinder, turbocharged, 1985 cc. 5-speed gearbox
Max power: 175 hp @ 5,300 rpm. Max torque: 273 Nm @ 3,000 rpm
Max speed: 205 kph. 0-100 kph: 8.7 secs

Saab 9000CS Aero (1993)
Monocoque construction, 5-door hatchback, front-wheel-drive
Four cylinder, turbocharged, 2290 cc. 5-speed gearbox
Max power: 225 hp @ 5,500 rpm. Max torque: 350 Nm @ 1,950 rpm
Max speed: 240 kph. 0-100 kph: 6.9 secs

Saab Aero X Concept (2006)
Monocoque construction, 2-seater coupé, canopy opening, all-wheel-drive
V6 BioPower, twin turbochargers, 2792 cc. 7-speed gearbox
Max. power: 400 hp @ 5,000 rpm. Max. torque: 500 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
Max speed: 250 kph (limited). 0-100 kph: 4.9 secs (projected)

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Saab AB 70th Anniversary Speech

Posted on 13. Apr, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: SAAB AB

This just in from a colleague about SAAB ABs 70th Anniversary.

SAAB: Summary of CEO Åke Svensson’s Address To Saab’s Annual General Meeting, April 12, 2007

Saab’s President and CEO, Åke Svensson, Provided a Brief Historical Summary Of Saab’s First 70 Years in His Address to The Annual General Meeting on April 12.


“Saab has developed in close cooperation with the Swedish defence through Sweden’s decision to remain neutral,” he said.

Åke Svensson also mentioned that the defence industry has been decisive to Sweden’s growth and development: “Analyses show that the investments have repaid society by a wide margin. When engineers from Sweden’s most research-intensive company have continued on in their careers, they have shared their expertise and thereby helped to develop other areas of Swedish business. In this way, Saab has served – and still serves – as an incubator and technology generator for Sweden. This is a role we would gladly continue to play.”

He expressed his concern over the fact that fewer young people in Sweden are choosing to study natural sciences and engineering: “Swedish companies have a great need for engineering professionals. Yet we face a future where we risk an acute shortage. Saab has made efforts for years to counteract this, and we feel it is important to continue to do so.”

World-leading technology, the ability to adapt to continuous change and financial strength have distinguished the company through the years, Åke Svensson stated, noting that they are also Saab’s most important success factors in the future.

2006 was a fantastic year for Saab. Sales increased to SEK 21 billion and operating income rose to slightly over SEK 1.7 billion, generating a margin before structural costs of over 10 percent.

“This means that we are meeting our long-term profit targets, and our underlying earning capacity is good,” Åke Svensson said. 2006 was also a successful year from an acquisitions standpoint. “We acquired Ericsson Microwave Systems, which I would consider another historical milestone for Saab. The acquisition added 1,200 new colleagues, SEK 2.5 billion in sales and world-leading technological content and offerings in sensors, an excellent complement to our portfolio.”

The acquisition from Ericsson included the remaining 40-percent interest in Saab’s space operations. Two other important structural moves in 2006 were the acquisition of Denmark’s Maersk Data Defence and the establishment of a new aerostructures business in South Africa.

“Taken together, these moves give us a stronger position in our key home markets, the Nordic region and South Africa,” he continued. “2006 was also a fantastic year from the perspective of new orders.”

He noted that an increasingly important aspect of Saab’s business is support solutions, which are conducted in close with our customers’ operations. Saab remains in place in Afghanistan, for example, to support Sweden’s peacekeeping forces.

“This is no one-time occurrence. Saab is prepared to support and stand alongside the Swedish defence in its international missions in the future.”

2006 was also a good year for Saab’s best-known product, the Gripen fighter. Perhaps the biggest event regarding Gripen was the Swedish Air Force’s participation in Red Flag, an international exercise in Alaska.

“Competitors and observers were deeply impressed by Gripen’s performance. Our opinion – that Gripen is world’s most modern fighter in operational service – was reaffirmed,” Åke Svensson said.

He devoted a portion of his address to the bribery accusations against Saab and the ongoing investigation of the lease of Gripen aircraft to the Czech Republic: “It is our firm conviction that our business uses only legal methods. Bribes have never been allowed at Saab. We are fully cooperating with the public prosecutor and providing all the information needed in the investigation. This makes it unsuitable for us to further comment before the prosecutor’s work is done.”

Defence orders are complicated, and Ã…ke Svensson explained in detail what is required, for example, to seal a deal involving Gripen and why advisers are essential to such orders:

“The first piece of the puzzle, and what gets us considered in the first place, is having a product whose price and performance meet the customer’s requirements. “Our second puzzle piece is financing. Saab can offer competitive export credits through the Export Credits Guarantee Board in Sweden, for example, which also helps us to manage various types of business risks. Naturally, this also requires that Saab is a well-managed and trustworthy company.

“In major defence orders, the customer always requires so-called industrial cooperations. This means that we, as the seller, also have to help to create long-term economic growth and development in the buyer’s country. This can be done through the direct participation of the country’s industry in the production and development of the Gripen system, or by having Saab help to establish companies and transfer technology.

“Our fourth puzzle piece is political considerations. An order for fighters, for example, entails so much more. It is also a question of a long-term relationship between nations. Aircraft orders are an international affair based on extensive security and cooperation agreements – and therefore require close cooperation between governments and industry.

“The larger and more complex the systems we sell, the greater the importance of industrial cooperations and politics. The needs and terms set by each buyer-country differ, which is why we, and our competitors, need advisors and representatives to understand the situation at hand and act appropriately.”

Saab’s and BAE Systems’ rules on hiring and paying advisors are crystal clear and are published on Saab’s website.

“We do careful research and obtain references. And we are always spell out our ethical requirements,” Åke Svensson explained. “For me, not only as the president of Saab but also from a personal standpoint, business ethics are a matter of principle. And I know that this opinion is shared by all my colleagues. It is very clear to me that we are, and will remain, a company that does business based on our values and good business ethics.”

In his address, Åke Svensson also described the most important aspects of Saab’s three strategic business segments, noting that the company will be concentrating in 2007 on a number of programs to make it even more efficient. “The aim is naturally to increase profitability, with the goal of leaving us more money to invest in research and development as well as marketing. Only in this way can Saab remain a world leader.”

In conclusion, Åke Svensson offered two concrete examples of how Saab can contribute to a safer society. The breakthrough order to supply Securitas with a security platform for Stockholm’s Arlanda and Bromma airports and deliveries of the Giraffe radar system to France demonstrate two things. “The first is that Saab, with its expertise, can develop new system solutions for civil security, though also that we can utilize our existing products and systems to make society safer against today’s most prevalent threats. The second fact that these examples show is that such deals require world-leading technology, the ability to continuously change, and financial strength,” he said. “Saab has all this and more. We stand strong – and proud – as we look to the future.”

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Saab Designer Profile – Sixten Sason

Posted on 02. Apr, 2007 by .


sixten_small.jpgSixten Sason, was born in Sweden in 1912. By 1939, a self-taught illustrator notable for being responsible for designs with Hasselblad, Electrolux and Husqvarna from everything from cameras, refridgerators, waffle-irons, power-saws to even an early plan for a bridge across the Öresund to link Sweden to Denmark, now known as the Öresund Bridge completed in 2000, began work with SAAB.

Some of the first work that Sixten Sason was responsible for included the drawing of airplanes and other material during the Second World War while employed at SAAB. When the War was coming to an end, the company began shifting their strategies with the addition of automobile manufacturing. During this time of transition for the company, Sixten Sason was asked to contribute to the “Project 92″, that was introduced in 1947 as the first prototype for SAAB, the automobile manufacturer. This Prototype was known officially as the 92001 and later production model “92″ ,were inspired by the SAAB J21 plane. Sixten Sason contributed to a number of projects over the years including the 93, 94, 95, 96 and finally the 99 in 1967 until he passed away later that year.

The Saab 99 model went onto become a classic which saw the introduction to a number of industry leading technologies and design features including the wrap-around windshield, disc brakes, heated seats, introduction of the turbocharger and the first installment of the hatchback feature.

Sixten Sason is historically referred to as Saab Automobile’s first designer and had a major impact with his career at SAAB by the design elements that he first implemented that have now become key to Saab’s uniqueness in an increasingly complex and fast-paced industry.

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Saab solutions to minimizing lift since 1947

Posted on 01. Apr, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

As a follow-up to the previous posting on Saab’s drag coefficients as early as 1947 with the Saab model 92, I have decided to provide information that covers the approaches that Saab has integrated to also successfully minimize lift.

This list is to provide additional lift-minimizing elements “outside of” the actual body design of the Saab models that I mentioned earlier on aerodynamics and drag coefficients.

If you have any additions, please post your comments to this post along with your e-mail address if you have photographs and any other relevant information.

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Saab 92 (1947-1956) –

Saab 93 (1956-1959) –

Saab 94 (1956 Sonett I) –

Saab 95 (1959-1978)
*Rear Roof spoiler

Saab 96 (1960-1980)
* spoiler added what year and were there variations successful or not?
* Front air dam

Saab 97(SonettII/V4 1966-1969) (SonettIII 1970-1974) –

Saab 99 (1969-1984)
* Rear spoilers for coupe and sedan respectively.


* Front Air Dam

Saab 900
* Rear Rubber Spoiler for Hatch, Sedan & Convertible models respectively.



* Rear Rubber tipped fiberglass Whale-Tail Spoiler for hatch models.


* Air-Flow Kit

* Front lower air dam

Saab 9000CC (1985-1992)
* Full wrap-around rear rubber spoiler 1985 only
* Standard rear-deck rubber spoiler
* Fiberglass Bridge Spoiler
* Front Spoiler
* Air Flow Kit

Saab 9000CD
* Air Flow Kit
* Fiberglass spoiler

Saab 9000CS (1993-1998)
* Fiberglass Standard spoiler
* Fiberglass Bridge spoiler

Saab NG 900 (1994-1998)
* Rear Rubber Spoiler
* Rear Fiberglass spoiler with rubber tip
* Rubber Spoiler (Convertible)
* Front Spoiler

Saab 9-3 (1999-2002)
*Rear Spoiler
* Rear Fiberglass pedestal Spoiler
*Rising Spoiler (Viggen only)

Saab 9-3 Convertible (1999 – 2003, 2004- )
* Rear Spoiler

Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan (2003 –
*Rear Spoiler
*Rear Aero Spoiler

Saab 9-3 SportCombi (2005 –
* Rear Roof Spoiler

Saab 9-5 (1999 –
* Front Lip Spoiler
* Rear Bridge Spoiler
* Rear Pedestal Spoiler

Saab 9-5 SportCombi (2000-
* Rear Roof Spoiler

Saab 9-2x (2005-2006)

Saab 9-7x (2005 –

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The Aerodynamics of the Saab Automobiles

Posted on 01. Apr, 2007 by .



Source: Johnson, Cutnell PHYSICS: Fifth Edition Wiley, New York, NY 2001

A colleague recently mentioned that there is a website that showcases the Saab Automobile’s drag coefficients of various Saab models throughout the years including the current 9-3 model.

I have decided to provide this information to you here, properly citing the source but before I do that I should provide some information about the drag coefficient and how it is broken down.

Drag coefficient (Cd) defined:A dimensionless quantity that describes a characteristic amount of aerodynamic drag caused by fluid flow, used in the drag equation

According to the source, a drag coefficient (Cd) equal to 1, is when all fluid is that approaches an object is “brought to rest”. This is why drag coefficients are less than 1 in automobiles today where the fluid (air movement) is spread across the vehicle with very little air “resting” in any one place for a sustained period of time. If there was a force of air movement sustained on all parts of an automobile the coefficient would be equal to 1.

Source: Drag Coefficient

Here are some of the drag coefficients for the Saab Automobiles from source. If someone has additional data for more of Saab’s models that I have not been able to find, it would be interesting to see a complete year over year and model vs. model comparison of drag coefficients.

– Ursaab 92001 (1946-1947)

0.32 – Saab 92, (1949 – 1956)

– Saab 93 (1956 – 1959)

– Saab 94 (1956)

– Saab 95 (1959-1978)

– Saab 96 (1960-1980)

– Saab 97 (Sonett II 1966-1967)

0.320 – Saab 97 (Sonett V4 1968-1969)

0.31 – Saab 97 Sonett III, (1970-1974)

0.37 – Saab 99 (1967-1984)

– Saab 90 (1984-1987)

0.34 – Saab 900 (1979-1993)

0.40 – 0.42 – Saab 900 GLI (1979-1984)

0.340 – Saab 9000CC (1985-1992)

– Saab 9000CD (1988-1993)

– Saab 9000CS (1993-1998)

0.34 – Saab 900 NG (1994-1998)

0.30 – Saab 9-3 (1999-2002)

0.34 – Saab 9-3 Convertible (1999-2002)

0.31 – Saab 9-3 (Viggen) (1999 – 2002)

0.33 – Saab 9-3 (Viggen Convertible) (2000 – 2002)

0.28 – Saab 9-3 SS (2003-
0.33 – Saab 9-3 SC (2005 –
0.34 – Saab 9-3 CVT(2004 –

0.29 – Saab 9-5 (1998 – 2005)
0.31 – Saab 9-5 Wagon/ SportCombi (2000-2005)

0.29 – Saab 9-5 (2006 –
0.31 – Saab 9-5 Wagon/ SportCombi (2006-

0.395 – Saab 9-7x (2005-

.35 – Saab 9-2x Linear (2005-2006)
.34 – Saab 9-2x Aero (2005-2006)

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The Saab Designers (1947 to Present)

Posted on 16. Feb, 2007 by .


Saab Automobile has had a great lineup of capable detail-oriented designers from the very beginning. Had it not been for their creative abilities and substantial influence on design language, Saab Automobile would not be where it is today, setting itself apart from the masses and creating unique, progressive and fun automobiles for people to enjoy.

It is long overdue that we thank these designers for all of the work that has gone into the production vehicles that we have enjoyed for years in addition to all of the conceptual charettes they have done for designs and concepts that did not make production.

I begin with a smorgåsbord below depicting some of the most notable designers from the early years until today. Additionally, I have provided a comprehensive list (work in progress) that should help clarify each and every Designer, along with their contributions to the Saab designs that became a reality, ultimately going into production.

sixten.jpgIn 1939, a self-taught illustrator by the name of Sixten Sason, notable for being responsible for designs with Hasselblad, Electrolux and Husqvarna from everything from cameras, refridgerators, waffle-irons, power-saws to even an early plan for a bridge across the Öresund to link Sweden to Denmark, now known as the Öresund Bridge completed in 2000. He began work with Saab Airplane company (SAAB) later that year to draw planes and other material during the Second World War. When the War was coming to an end, the company began shifting their strategies with the addition of automobile manufacturing. During this time of transition for the company, Sixten Sason was asked to contribute to the “Project 92”, that was introduced in 1947 as the first prototype for SAAB, the automobile manufacturer. This Prototype was known officially as the 92001 and later production model “92” ,were inspired by the SAAB J21 plane.

bjorn.jpgIn 1969, Björn Envall started with Saab, while working alongside Sixten Sason on his final project, the SAAB 99. Björn Envall’s most notable achievement under his role as chief designer with Saab, was the transition of the classic Saab 900 (1979-1993/94) to the new generation 900, commonly known as the NG900 that was introduced in 1994 until 1998. Björn Envall was responsible for the 99, 90, 900, 9000, EV-1 concept car, and a secret “EV-2” internally released concept vehicle which was to eventually set the stage for his final project, the new generation 900.

einar.jpgNorwegian born, Einar Johan Hareide, began with Saab in 1985 and worked until 1989 before he decided take a job with Mercedes Benz briefly, then returned to Saab in 1991 as a designer until 1994. In 1994, he was appointed design director otherwise known as chief designer until 1999. It is important to note that Hareide worked alongside Björn Envall on the new generation 900 designs (Envall-Hareide era). Einar Hareide was also responsible for the early introduction of the 9-5 until the first modification was made in 2002, the 9-3 which was the successor to the new generation 900, as well as the 9-3 Sport Sedan designs from 2003 until 2006, and exterior design until 2007.

michael_ola.jpgMichael Mauer, a trained industrial designer worked with Mercedes Benz straight out of school for a number of years in his home country of Germany. In 1997 he assumed the role the chief designer of Advanced Design of Mercedes in Japan which is where he met Anthony Lo. In 2000, he was asked by the President of Saab Automobile at that time, Peter Augusston to be chief designer for Saab. When Michael Mauer started, the 9-3 Sport Sedan was completed, however Mauer did contribute to the 9-3 Sport Sedan wheel design as his first responsibility. His first notable accomplishment was the introduction of the 9-X concept car in 2001, followed by the 9-3X concept car in 2002, with the 9-3 Sport Hatch concept in 2003.

anthony_alex.jpg Anthony Lo, a former colleague of Michael Mauer at Mercedes, joined Saab Automobile in October of 2000. Lo worked with Mauer Saab Automobile directly from 2000 until 2004, when Mauer took an opportunity with Porsche and Lo was named director of advanced design for General Motors Europe in August of 2004. Anthony Lo’s achievements included the 9-X, 9-2X, 9-3X, 9-3 Sport Hatch as well as his most recent design, the Aero-X with Alex Daniel, first shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2006.

I conclude this writeup with a comprehensive list (work in progress) of all the designers that have been responsible carefully and intelligently integrating and developing Saab’s design language into each and every Saab model from past, present and the future.

Additions, modifications are appreciated.

Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

Design Contributions by Designer

Sixten Sason 1912–1967
SAAB DESIGNS 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 99 (1939-1967)

Gunnar Ljungström

Rolf Melde
SAAB DESIGN 94, 95, 96
Björn Envall 1942-
SAAB-SCANIA DESIGNS 99, 90, 900, 9000, EV-1, NG900 (1969-1992)

Björn Karlström
SAAB-SCANIA DESIGNS MFI-13, 97 II/V4 (1966-1969)

Sergio Coggiola

Gunnar A. Sjögren

Giorgetto Giugiaro1938-
SAAB-SCANIA 9000 (1978-1981)

flagno.gifEinar Hareide
SAAB-SCANIA NG900, 9-5, 9-3, 9-3 SS (1985 – 1989) + (1991-1999)

Tony Catignani
Saab Automobile 9-5 (1993- )

Michael Mauer
Saab Automobile 9-X, 9-2X, 9-3X, 9-3 SportHatch (3.21.2000-2004)

flagchina.gifAnthony Lo 1964-
Saab Automobile 9-X, 9-2X, 9-3X, 9-3, SportHatch, Aero-X (10.2000-PRESENT)

question.jpgAlex Daniel
Saab Automobile Aero-X

Erik Rokke
Saab Automobile Aero-X

Ola Granlund
Saab Automobile, 9-X, 9-2X

Simon Padian
Saab Automobile 9-X, 9-3X, 9-3 SportHatch, Aero-X

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