Saab GM900 Model Year Changes
Model Year 1994
Initially only available with five doors, the Saab 900 was available in two specifications: S and SE. Safety was a priority and the new 900 underwent 19 different crash tests. Antilock Brakes, driver airbag, electric windows, central locking and power assisted steering came as standard on all models.
The body, whilst having softer lines, carried styling cues from the classic 900. Saab made great play of its two new innovations. Firstly, the aircraft-inspired “black panel” where only the speedometer remained illuminated. If an event occurred necessitating a warning to the driver then the appropriate instrument or warning would be illuminated. Secondly, the Saab Sensonic automatic clutch. The manual style gearstick remained but there was no clutch pedal – the clutch being controlled by electronics when each gearchange was made.
The Saab 900 became the first Saab to have the engine mounted transversely – the range of engines themselves being new. The line up comprised two litre injection, 2.3 litre injection, two litre turbo and a 2.5 litre V6 from GM. This was the first time a V6 was fitted to a Saab.
Following its absence in the 9000, the key operated ignition switch was returned to the centre console next to the handbrake and between the front seats.
The three-door 900 Coupé and the 900 Convertible were first shown at the Detroit Motorshow of January 1994 and at the Stockholm Motorshow the following month.
Model Year 1995
The Saab 900 now received the same two-litre with double balance shafts that had driven the 9000. The 900 turbo was one of the fewest cars on the Swedish market to satisfy and be awarded Environmental Class 1 – the world’s most stringent environmental standard. The fitting of heat plates in the induction manifolds together with Saab’s Trionic system helped make this possible.
The Saab Sensonic only now became available for delivery as an option on the 900 turbo, alternatively an automatic gearbox was also now available on the turbo.
Model Year 1996
Safety and Security were top of the agenda with more efficient braking, thanks to Saab EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and an anti-theft alarm with integrated electronic engine immobiliser.
For comfort, the driver’s seat now had adjustable lumbar support. Externally, the 1996 900 was distinguishable by it’s new rear decor panel between the tail lamps.
Model Year 1997
Few changes were made for 1997. There was an improved gearshift mechanism for the manual and the option of an automatic gearbox on the V6 engine.
In October 1996 Saab had returned to the Talladega Speedway with six 900s. In just one week the fastest Turbo clocked up an average speed of 226.45 kph over a total distance of 40,000 km.
In Spring 1997, Saab signalled this achievement with a special Talladega edition of coupé, convertible and five-door models each with 16″ seven-spoke alloys, colour-keyed bumpers and wing mirrors and a choice of leather interiors.