As a standard sedan, the 99 was rather dull and uninviting, but with the clever addition of a turbo, Saab created a cult car. Looking typically heavy (which it was) and clumsy in design, the 99 turbo was surprisingly good to drive with a great ride quality and even inspiring handling. The engine was from, of all places, the Triumph Dolomite range, and for turbocharging Saab simply dropped the compression ratio, fitted a Garrett T3 turbo, and added electronic fuel injection. A five main bearing crank kept it reliable while the driven went through a tough three-row Triplex chain. Suspension comprised a wishbone front end and beam rear located with the aid of a Panhard rod. The set-up was good enough in uprated form for Stig Blomquist to take the Swedish Rally in 1979, in the first turbocharged car to do so. The 99 was later replaced by the even more successful 900 Turbo.
Saab 99 Turbo Specifications
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