Future Classic: 1999-2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen

Specified the company’s now-defunct position, you could argue that all Saabs are long run classics. Even the final round of autos from the period of Normal Motors possession deserve their location in background. Critically, how hot was the last 9-5?

Handsome style and quirky functions ended up hallmarks of the Saab manufacturer, and its cars and trucks felt each individual little bit as premium as its principal European rivals. But even though other luxurious carmakers place great hard work into whole lineups of effectiveness cars and trucks, Sweden only made the odd sporty Saab each once in a though. A single of our favorites was the 9-3 Viggen from the change of the century, and it’s a vehicle that nonetheless would make us swoon nowadays.

Why is the Saab 9-3 Viggen a foreseeable future classic?

Saab’s full “born from jets” tagline by no means seriously built substantially feeling, but at minimum the 9-3 Viggen’s title was a nod to the firm’s aerospace roots. The Swedish phrase “Viggen” translates to “thunderbolt” in English, and this identify was made use of on the Saab 37 Viggen plane that entered support in the early 1970s.

The 9-3 Viggen used a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-4 motor, most notably remembered for its eyebrow-elevating 20 psi of boost stress. Rated at 225 horsepower – which was afterwards bumped up to 230 hp – and 252 pound-toes of torque, this engine was paired completely with a 5-speed handbook transmission and front-wheel drive. Stiffer suspension parts, firmer dampers, more robust driveshafts, a hefty-duty clutch and a revised exhaust have been also part of the package.

The Viggen was reasonably quick, with Saab quoting a -to-60-mph time of around 6.5 seconds. On the other hand, the 9-3 Viggen is mainly remembered for points like its absurd turbo lag and torque steer – features that variety of manufactured this vehicle hilarious to travel, even if they took absent from all round sharpness and composure.

What is the best case in point of the Saab 9-3 Viggen?

Saab available the 9-3 Viggen as a a few-doorway hatchback, five-doorway hatchback and two-door convertible. And even though this vehicle is most generally remembered in its launch shade, Lightning Blue, Saab supplied the Viggen in black, grey, purple, silver and yellow. You could even spec the inside with blue, orange or tan leather accents.

Arguably the most iconic 9-3 Viggen spec is a Lightning Blue 3-door hatch, but the other colours are considerably a lot more uncommon. We have received a main tender location for a Monte Carlo Yellow five-door, but truly, you can not go completely wrong. Probably avoid the Viggen convertible, nevertheless, unless of course you like the idea of cowl-shaking yourself to death.

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Are there any very good solutions to the Saab 9-3 Viggen?

Oh goodness, indeed. One particular of the Viggen’s largest issues is that it performed in the very same room as some very well-set up effectiveness autos – things like the Audi S4, BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG – all of which were being objectively much better to generate.

But no a person waxes nostalgic over a Saab since of its crisp on-street manners. As a substitute, we remember things like the centre console-mounted ignition, the odd flip-out cup holders, the upright dashboard and, of study course, Evening Panel. For these reasons and additional, the 9-3 Viggen will often be a extremely sought-soon after Saab.

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