Thunderstruck: 2001 Saab 9-3 Viggen
The Saab 9-3 Viggen (1999-2002) was the last great attempt at refining a recipe built by Saab starting with the 1978 Saab 99 Turbo. This recipe starts with a front wheel drive Saab with long-hood styling, sprinkle in some fighter jet inspiring interior, then add a small turbo that focuses on low end grunt and torque steer. I owned a Saab 99 EMS for a few years, and it was a great little car, but it needed more power…more thrust…more turbocharged 252 ft-lbs of torque. Maybe I need a Viggen. Find this 2001 Saab 9-3 Viggen offered for $9000 in Plymouth, MI via craigslist.
From the seller:
2001 saab 9-3 viggen
cylinders: 4 cylinders
paint color: grey
title status: clean
Rebuilt engine, rebuilt transmission with Quaife LSD differential, new slave cylinder, new clutch and pressure plate, rebuilt turbo, BBS wheels, short shifter, cold air intake, rebuilt radio display, rebuilt hvac display, new water pump, new starter, new alternator, new battery, new DIC unit, new A/C compressor, new fuel pump, new engine and transmission mounts, new front struts and bearings, new calipers, new rotors, new front bumper, all body trim and emblems deleted, very solid car repainted 6 years ago to original color
See a better way to get your Saab itch scratched? firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to try this. The limited slip could help with torque steer, one of the few downsides to this car.
Too stealthy. The Viggen-only Lightning Blue paint really suits these, and the badges are tasteful. Most in the UK have been upgraded with an Abbott Racing stiffener kit for £100 to control the worst of the torque steer. I’ll take a 3-door.
I own both a 1978 99 Turbo and a few Viggens – absolutely love the comparison here! Agree, the aftermarket really helped refine the Viggen in a way the 99 could have benefited from (but sadly the aftermarket wasn’t the same then.) Both cars are delightfully quirky and a blast to drive. Anyone with the opportunity to own either should not hesitate, they are both limited cars and more and more leave the roads each year.
I loved that 99EMS (the Draken) that I owned for a few years, but yeah aftermarket support was a few forums, tin snips, and my bench grinder. I think the Viggen will appreciate in the not-so-distant future and the well preserved examples will be worth big bucks.
-Vince DT E-i-C.
I had a 1976 99EMS in the 80s, silver with the famous orange cloth seats and soccer ball wheels. Loved that car, rust and all. It went up in a cloud of steam on the I-95 in 1986. I always swore I’d get another, or a 900, but it never seemed to happen, although I’ll take credit for talking Vince into his spleen-colored one.
Then, a couple months back, Vince turned the tables and convinced me to get… a Jag XJS, but that fell through when I test drove it and really didn’t fit.
Looking around for alternatives, the time was right for a Saab. Almost went for a Viggen, but spotted a clean pre-Edna 9-5 Aero high output, which turned out to be the last 2003 with a 5-speed in the UK. It’s at Abbott Racing right now getting a once-over. It already had an Abbott remap, plus a bunch of upgrades. I’m super excited. Not sure how or when I’ll be able to get down there for it though.
Anyway, thanks for popping up here and hope to hear a lot more from you. Cheers!
What means “Gretongns”? Apple’s idea of an autocorrect joke. I swear I typed “Greetings”.