Model Years 1967 to 1980
(See also 96 1960 to 1966)
The Saab 96 took on a new four-stoke four-cylinder engine in August 1966 for the 1967 model year. Although it did not suceed the two-stroke unit immediately, the V4 was an instant success.
The new power plant had originally been developed for their “Cardinal Project” which had culminated in the Ford Taunus 12M, a 1962 front-wheel drive car.
The Ford 1,498cc V4 engine delivered 65hp aat 4,700rpm and saw 100kph from rest in just 16 seconds. The unit was capable of 155kph although Saab factory technicians recommended a maximum cruising speed of 140kph.
Saab retained the two-stroke engine for a little longer in the belief that real driving enthusiasts and Saab purists would still demand it. During 1967, total car sales in Sweden had fallen by 9.9%, but the popular 96V4 increased it sales by 41.5% on the previous year.