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Saab Automobile

From Academic Kids

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Saab9-3sportsedan.jpg
Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan

Saab Automobile AB is a Swedish automobile maker, now owned by General Motors. Until 1990 the company was owned by SAAB, an acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget" (Swedish Airplane Company), which also included SAAB Aerospace and truck manufacturer Scania. General Motors bought half of Saab Automobile in 1990, with an option to acquire the entire company within a decade. Before exercising that option GM shared its ownership of Saab Automobile with Investor AB, the main owner of Saab.

Current models are the 9-3 and 9-5, both which are manufactured in Trollhättan, Sweden and the Saab 9-2X, which is manufactured in Japan. The Saab 9-7X SUV is manufactured in the United States. In March 2005, it was announced that GM would move the production of the next-generation Saab 9-3 from Trollhättan to their Opel plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Contents

Competition history

Some of the early cars such as the two-strokers, V4s and Saab 99 were quite successful in rally sport, notably the 96 in the 1960s RAC Rally and Monte Carlo Rally, driven by Erik Carlsson.

  • In 1950 two Saab 92s (chassis numbers 7 and 8) enter the Monte Carlo Rally. The two cars are manned by Rolf Mellde and K G Svedberg in one and Greta Molander and Margaretha von Essen in the second. Greta Molander comes in 55th overall, 5th in her class and 2nd in the Ladies Class. In Rikspokalen in November Rolf Mellde winns and Saab becomes the best marque team with Mellde, Svedberg and Greta Molander, who also wins the Ladies Class.
  • 1952 Greta Molander and Helga Lundberg win the Ladies Cup in the Monte Carlo Rally.
  • 1953 Rolf Mellde wins the Swedish Rally Championship.
  • 1955 he lands on the roof, but still manages to win Rikspokalen in a Saab 92.
  • 1956 Bob Wehman and Louis Braun win the Great American Mountain Rally. Rolf Mellde comes in sixth and another Saab 93 in seventh place.
  • 1959 two Saab 93 are entered in the 24 Hours at Le Mans. The one driven by Sture Nottorp and Gunnar Bengtsson come in 12th overall and second in its class. The same year Erik Carlsson wins the Midnight Sun Rally.
  • 1960 Erik Carlsson wins the RAC Rally and Saab start competing in Formula Junior with the Saab Formula Junior.
  • 1961 Erik Carlsson enters the Monte Carlo Rally in a Saab 95 and finnishes fourth.
  • 1962 Erik Carlsson and Gunnar Häggbom win the Monte Carlo Rally.
  • 1963 Erik Carlsson again wins the Monte Carlo Rally, this time with Gunnar Palm as co-driver. They also finish second in the Spa-Sofia-Liège Marathon de la Route.
  • 1971 Stig Blomqvist wins the Swedish Rally in a Saab V4. Erik Carlsson retires from rallying and become Saab ambassador.
  • 1976 Stig Blomqvist wins the Belgian Boucles de Spa Rally in a Saab 99.
  • 1977 Stig Blomqvist wins the Swedish Rally in a Saab 99 EMS.
  • 1979 Stig Blomqvist wins the Swedish Rally in a Saab 99 Turbo. The first time a turbocharged car wins a World Championship rally.
  • 1980 Saab withdraws from all competition activities because of the high cost and that it is no longer possible to win with standard cars and competition cars have too little in common with production cars to be of value to the development. Some people from the competition department branch out and start Trollspeed aimed at producing competition upgrades for Saabs.
  • 2000 Saab returned to competition by sponsoring Swede Team Motor who compete with a Saab 9-3 Aero SportSedan, a Saab 9-3 Combi Coupe and a 1964 two-stroke Saab 96. The return to competition was to attract students to the auto-mechanic educations. The students get to work on the race cars before, during and after races to expand the students' knowledge and quality awareness.

Other highlights

Saab was one of the first manufacturers to put turbochargers in production cars, after the short-lived 1962 General Motors A-bodies. In 1980, Saab introduced Automatic Performance Control (APC), and in 1983 the 16 valve turbocharged engine. In 1985 SAAB pioneered direct ignition, which eliminates the distributor and spark plug wires.

In 1962 Saab became the first volume maker to offer diagonally split dual brake circuits.

In 1972 Saab introduced the concept of side-impact protection and self-repairing bumpers on the Saab 99. Heated front seats were also introduced that year. Saab also introduced asbestos-free brake pads in 1983.

In order to increase production volume, Saab helped Valmet to start a car factory in Uusikaupunki (Nystad), Finland. Since 2003, Saab no longer manufactures any cars in Finland as the production of the 9-3 Convertible was moved to Graz, Austria.

A common feature of Saab car types is the use of the number 9 in the model numbers. Current models are the 9-3 and 9-5, both which are manufactured in Trollhättan, Sweden. The exception to this rule is the Saab 600, which is a rebadged Lancia Delta.

All modern Saabs (except the 9000 and 9-2X) have the ignition key hole located behind the transmission selector lever - which Saab believes is a safer position in case of an accident. Originally the key was located to the right of the steering wheel, but when SAAB changed from a column shifter to a floor shifter, the ignition key followed along (except in the Sonett III).

In 1986 the Saab Long Run took place. Three standard Saab 9000 Turbos set 2 world records and 21 international records at the Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, USA. 100,000 km were covered with an average speed of 213.299 km/h and 50,000 miles with an average speed of 213.686 km/h.

Ten years later, in 1996, three standard Saab 900 Turbos driven by factory test drivers and two standard naturally aspirated Saab 900s driven by journalists set new world records on the same speedway.

In 1987, Saab created a TV advertisement called "Saab suite" (subtitled Ballet in 3 acts for 8 SAAB 9000 Turbos). In the film, stunt drivers show incredible driving with stock cars, such as one-wheeled burnouts, bumper-to-bumper driving through a slalom, cars slaloming from opposite directions on the same course, two-wheel driving, sliding in full speed, and jumping over passing cars—all on a closed airport runway with classical music playing in the background.

Historical models

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C900conv.jpg
1992 Classic Saab 900 convertible

Current models

Experimental vehicles and prototypes

 (Ursaab)
Enlarge
Saab 92001 (Ursaab)

See also

External links

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