Saab MFI13

Model Year 1965

The MFI13 was the creation of Björn Karlström and Björn Andreasson. Karlström was a designer who had many ideas about Swedish cars in the 1950s and he succeeded in getting a manufacturer enthusiastic about one of his ideas: a sports car project based on standard Saab components.

The manufacturer was Malmö Flygindustri (MFI) and project number 13 was chosen since there was no way the number would be used by superstitious airmen!

With the knowledge of Saab work began on the MFI13 in 1964. The body was produced from sheet steel by Heinel’s, a coachbuilder in Malmö, care being taken so that the panels could be used as a mould for the future production of plastic bodies.

An anticipated development grant never materialised so Saab stepped in. It transpired that the MFI13 was a superior car to Sason’s Catherina so it was chosen as the basis of the forthcoming Saab Sonett II. The car was renamed Saab 97 and the car was ready for production within six months.

The Sonett II was not identical to the MFI13 but the basic lines of the prototype have been retained. The MFI13, the only one of its kind, has a three-cylinder two-stroke engine with three carburettors and a (very) loud exhaust note. It has achieved a top speed of 150km/h with 0 to 100km/h taking just 13.7 seconds – a figure that was as good or better than its contemporaries.

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