The History Of SAAB 9000 CS

The 9000, an executive car made by Saab, was released in 1985. It was replaced by the Saab 9-5 in the fall of 1998 (for the 1999 model year).

The Type Four chassis, upon which the 9000 was based, was shared with the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and the Alfa Romeo 164. The Fiat and Lancia looked much like the Saab, but the Alfa Romeo only shared the chassis. Because they were very similar, many parts can be exchanged between the four cars regardless of brand. For example, the doors from the Fiat Croma fit directly on the 9000, but are lighter, due to less side impact protection. The windshield from the Croma can also be used on the 9000. This type of windshield gives a safe driver visibility.

The design was by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Later year models actually achieved better fuel economy at higher speeds than lower ones due to the combined effects of the front airdam and rear spoiler. This was especially true of the hatchback CSE model vehicles.

The original 9000 was a 5-door hatchback. A 4-door sedan version was later added (the 1988 CD) and, in 1992, the hatchback appearance was modified and modernized, in the CS version.

Because its platform was shared closely with three other cars, the Saab 9000's ignition key was situated on the steering column (like the Saab 95/ 96/ 97), instead of the Saab 99/ 900 location, between the front seats. The later 9-5 returned the ignition back between the front seats.

For the first year, the only engine available was a watercooled DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with a turbocharger, at 1985 cc, giving 175hp (129kW). It was equipped with a computer display (the EDU, electronic display unit) showing actual and approximate fuel consumption, distance to an empty fuel tank, alternator output voltage, lowest battery voltage during engine start and the outside temperature. If the outside temperature fell to a range of 26℉ (−3.3℃) to 38℉ (3.3℃), the temp display is automatically selected to warn of possible 'black ice' road conditions. Later models added more trip computer functions to a separate display combined with the clock, including setting trip distances, arrival times, average speed, and excess speed alarms. A separate pictogram monitored oil pressure, showed open doors/ hatch, and all exterior light bulbs in case of failures.

Additional unusual features included backup lamps incorporated into the front turn signal lamps (USA models only). Aero models had rare side and shoulder bolstered seats. Window controls were placed between the seats, like in the Saab 900.

The wheelbase is 2.67 m (105 inches) on all models. Total length is 4.66 m (183 inches) on the original 9000. The 9000 CD's total length is 4.79 m (189 inches). The 9000 CS' total length 4.76 m (187 inches).

  • 1984: 9000 prototype was shown in Europe
  • 1985: 9000 started production and sale in Europe
  • 1986: Introduction of a 2.0L engine with 130hp (96kW). First year sold in North America. The only engine combination sold in North America as a 1986 model year was the 2L turbo/ cat with the 5-speed gearbox. 165hp (123kW), 192lb·ft (260N·m) torque. Motor Trend tested the 1986 9000 Turbo and achieved a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds, making the 9000 one of the fastest sedans ever tested at the time. Commencement of production in Uusikaupunki, Finland.
  • 1987: Watercooling added to the turbo.
  • 1988: Introduction of the CD model (four-door sedan/ saloon) and the Talladega version (in recognition of the 1986 Long Run (see below). The 9000 CD was available only with a turbo engine equipped with a new and fully computerised electronic ignition system called Saab DI.
  • 1989: Direct Ignition - an electronic ignition system was fitted to all turbo-charged engines
  • 1990: Introduction of a 200hp (147kW) 2.3L turbo engine. Production in Uusikaupunki, Finland discontinued.
  • 1992: Introduction of the CS model (lowered headlights, redesigned hatch, etc). UK got the 9000 CS Carlsson, a limited edition of 129 vehicles available as a 2.3L turbo which produced 200hp (150kW) with Automatic Transmission or 220hp (160kW) when mated to the 5-speed Manual Gearbox.
  • 1993: Introduction of the CS Aero/ SPG, at the time, the most powerful and fastest Saab ever made (beaten in 1999 by the Saab 9-3 Viggen, then 2000 9-5 Aero, and the 2006 Saab 9-3 Aero and 9-5 Aero). The engine (B234R) was a tuned 2.3L turbo with 225hp (165kW) boosted by a Mitsubishi TD04 turbocharger. The automatic transmission version had the same software as the manual Aero, but boosted by the same Garrett Systems T25 turbo as the 2.3FPT producing only 200hp (147kW), 323 Nm torque. It was felt that the automatic box would not stand the huge torque (252 ft·lbf/ 342 Nm) that the B234R Aero engine produced. The Aero also had special 16-inch (410mm) 'Super Aero' wheels and a lower ride height to improve handling. Special Aero figure hugging sculptured sports, leather seats. Both front seats were heated and had electric adjustment, in addition the driver's seat electronic memory's to save up to three driving positions. The Aero body-kit was fitted as standard to all Aero models. Reverse/ backup lights were contained in the front turn indicator lights.
  • 1995: Introduction of the first V6 engine, a 3.0L 54° non-turbo with 210hp (154kW). The engine (designation B308) was a GM V6 also used in the Vauxhall/ Opel Omega (GM designation L81).
  • 1996: Introduction of the Ecopower engine, a 2.0L turbo engine giving 150hp (110kW). The Ecopower was an electric preheating of the catalytic converter, giving lower emissions when starting the engine.
  • 1997: Introduction of the Anniversary model (also known as Jubileum in Sweden), a special celebration model to honour Saab's 50th anniversary. The Anniversary came with special 8 spoke wheels, the body kit from the Aero and leather seats with the old Saab airplane logo on the back of the seat.
  • 1998: After the Aero model was discontinued in 1997, all manual transmission-equipped 2.3L Full Pressure Turbo models received the Aero's 225hp (168kW) engine. Only 1400 Saab 9000CSE model autos were produced in the spring of this model year, with only 400 being exported to the USA. The 1998 model also received various reviews noting that the vehicle ironically achieved the highest US safety rating for a passenger auto in its class, while also being the fastest general production-line sedan sold in its class.

In total, 503,087 Saab 9000s were manufactured.

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