Saab 9000 Model Year Changes
Model Year 1985
The demand for the new Saab 9000, introduced to the motoring press at a conference at Kolmården Game Park on 24 May 1984, was phenomenal and there were long waiting lists by the time the car started rolling off the production line in Autumn 1984 – the 1985 model.
Initially, all 9000s were propelled by a two-litre, 16-valve turbocharged engine with double overhead camshafts.
Model Year 1986
No major revisions were introduced on the second model year of the 9000. Wider high speed 205/55VR15 tyres and new side indicator repeaters were introduced toward the back of the front wings. A more sophisticated driving computer was an optional extra.
The 9000i 16 was introduced during the year with a 130hp 1985cc fuel injected engine. Four valves per cylinder, electronic ignition and a knock sensor.
Model Year 1987
An important innovation for 1987 was the introduction of a watercooled turbo. Water cooling meant increased reliability and longer turbo life. The safety innovation for the year was ABS (Antilock Braking System) which was introduced during the model year production.
A new four-speed auto-box was available and catalytic converters were fitted as standard (Cats were fitted as standard to United States models since 1976) The front seats benefitted from adjustable heating and a special model for the UK, the 9000 SE, was upholstered in leather and walnut.
Model Year 1988
Automatic seatbelt tensioners – another safety innovation from Saab – became standard on all models. The seatbelt tensioner activates in a split second by a small explosive charge.
In theLate Autumn of 1987 Saab unveiled the new 9000 CD – a 9000 with a saloon body. It was premiered in Nice in January 1988. The CD designation was essentially meaningless when it was launched – the CD (from plates on diplomatic cars) meaning to convey a sense of prestige and luxury. Later on the designation was said to stand for “Classic design”.
The 9000 CD was available only with a turbo engine equipped with a new and fully computerised electronic ignition system. Called Saab DI (Direct Ignition) each spark plug had its own coil and gone was the distributor with its moving parts.
In February 1988, at the Stockholm Motorshow, Saab displayed the 9000 Talladega. Intended only for the Swedish market it had lowered and stiffened suspension, a black grille and dark grey leather inside.
Model Year 1989
Engine output increased from 125hp to 130hp and from 160hp to 165hp with the fuel-injection and turbo-charged engines, respectively. It was 175hp on the 9000 Talladega.
Saab DI was now fitted to all tubo-charged engines. From Autumn 1988 the 9000 was fitted with Saab’s climate-adapted exhaust cleaning system with catalytic converter and lambda sensor.
For comfort, electronically adjustable front seats were an option. For safety, a high-level third brakelight was fitted. A 9000 CD fitted with a non-turbo fuel injected turbo was on display at the Birmingham Motorshow of October 1988.
Model Year 1990
A new 2.3 litre (2,290cc) four cylinder engine with double balance shafts was introduced. Power output from the fuel-injected, Saab DI non-turbo engine was 150hp.
The 9000 Talladega now had an 185hp engine, three-spoke 16″ alloys and a new rear spoiler. The Talladega was now sold in the United Kingdom badged as the 9000 Carlsson – named after rally legend Erik Carlsson “p� taket”.
Top of the range was the 9000 CDE with spoke-like alloys, front fog lamps with leather and walnut interior.
Model Year 1991
A turbo was strapped to the 2.3 litre engine to provide a potential 200 horses. This new engine propelled the new 9000 T16S Aero, the replacement for the 9000 Talladega.
Externally, all 1991 models acquired the new inclined front of the 9000 CD. For safety and comfort all 9000s got reinforced side-impact protection and an electrostatic pollen filter to exclude unwanted airborne particles from entering the cabin.
Saab TCS (Traction Control System) and a drivers airbag were available on certain models.
Model Year 1992
The most significant change for 1992 was the introduction of the 9000 CS – a five door with a lower bonnet and four headlamps – separate lamps for full and dipped beam. The new rear section had improved safety reinforcements.
Catalytic converters became standard on all Saabs for all markets provided that fuel grades and local rules allowed them. Saab made another industry first with the introduction of CFC-free air conditioning systems.
ABS (Antilock Braking System) was standard on all models for Sweden, Europe (not UK) and the United States. On sale from the Spring of 1992 was the 9000 Griffin – which came equipped with every available option as standard.
Model Year 1993
Another model year and another major innovation from Saab. A sophisticated new engine management system, named “Trionic”, controlled the ignition, the fuel injection and the turbo-boost pressure. A two-litre light pressure turbo became available on both CS and CD models giving 150hp.
The model range was revised to provide some uniformity tot the model designations on all markets. They became CS/CSE and CD/CDE. At the Paris Salon of October 1992 Saab revealed the fastest Saab to date: the 9000 Aero. 225hp and 240kph was available from the 2.3 turbo.
Model Year 1994
Improvements for 1994 included tinted, heat absorbing glass. Electrically operated mirrors and windows and a driver’s airbag became standard on all models. The Passenger airbag was optional.
A new 2.3 litre light pressure turbo delivered 170hp and was complemented by an improved gearbox.
Model Year 1995
A 210hp three-litre V6, originating from General Motors and also found on the Opel (and Vauxhall) Omega, was introduced.
Cars equipped with drivers airbag gained an adjustable steering wheel. Anti-spin TCS was made standard on the Aero and V6. A new alarm and anti-theft system was now fitted as standard to most models.
Model Year 1996
The name “Ecopower” was now applied to all turbo engines regardless of full or LPT (light pressure turbo) variants. The 2.3 litre injection engine was replaced by a 150hp two-litre LPT. Engines on the Swedish market came equipped with an electric engine heater.
For security a new antitheft system incorporating engine immobiliser becomes standard equipment on certain models.
Model Year 1997
1997 was the 50th anniversary of Saab which was commemorated by a special 9000 with two-tone leather embossed with Saab’s classic aeroplane symbol. Alloy wheels and a special wood-leather steering wheel set this 9000 apart. Known as the Jubileum in Sweden and as the Anniversary in other markets the demand was high.
The 9000 range was powered by 150hp, 170hp or 200hp turbo-charged engines. The turbo-less engine gave 130hp and the V6 engine was dropped from the range for most markets.
Model Year 1998
Saab only the CS version of the Saab 9000 during the last year of this model. Many of the cars made were Anniversary versions.