Year of SAAB 99
SAAB 99 photos, specs - Car Pictures & Images
For the defence and aerospace company, see Saab.
Saab Automobile AB, better known as Saab, is a Swedish car manufacturer and currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors. It is the exclusive automobile royal warrant holder as appointed by H.M., the King of Sweden. Since its inception, Saab has become known for turbocharging, “quirkiness”, safety and green technology.
Saab was originally created as a division of the Swedish Aeroplane Company (Svensk Aeroplan Aktiebolag in Swedish). The company had been established in 1937 for the express purpose of building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force. With World War II nearing its end, the company began looking for new markets in which to expand. In 1944, Project 92 began, with the goal of creating the first Saab passenger car. Five years later, the Saab 92 began production. The design highlighted the company’s roots in aviation. Notably, the car’s drag coefficient of 0.30 was the lowest of any production car at the time.
In 1955 the 92 was reworked and became the 93. The engine was upgraded from two to three cylinders but unusually remained a two stroke. The car received a facelift, including the first Saab with the brand’s trademark trapezoidal grille. A wagon variant, the 95, was added in 1959 and would remain in production for the next twenty years. The decade also saw Saab's first foray into true performance cars with the Saab 94, the first of four Saab Sonetts.
The need for a larger model saw the birth of the Saab 99 in 1967. The 99 was the final Saab designed by Sixten Sason, who had designed all their earlier models. Its design, a clean break from all earlier Saabs, would mark the brand's styling for the next twenty years. The 99 was also important in that it marked Saab's first turbocharged model.
In 1970, the 500,000th Saab was built. Six years later the 1,000,000th would follow.
Saab signed an agreement with Fiat in 1978 to sell a rebadged Lancia Delta as the Saab 600 and jointly develop a new car platform. The agreement yielded the Alfa Romeo 164, Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and Saab 9000, all riding atop the Type Four chassis.
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