Future Classic Feature – 1999 Saab 9-3 VIGGEN Is Thunderbolt Legend – And This One Is For Sale!



viggen gif

The SAAB 9-3 Viggen is a legend of a car.

Named after the Thunderbolt fighter jet, the Viggen celebrated all that made the Saab 9-3 the firm's most-successful model throughout the marque's storied history.

Front-drive, mad power and turbo antics were all paramount with the Viggen -- but in typical Saab fashion, this was not a badge and stickers job. The upgrades list over the standard 9-3 Aero is absolutely huge -- with what amounts to an all-new, direct-injected engine just the start of the custom elements in the Viggen.

 

EXHAUST NOTE VIDEO

INTRO

The 225-horsepower and 258-pound-feet of torque are not headline grabbers today, but were a landmark achievement at the time. In 1999, this was the fastest car Saab and Sweden had ever made -- with a top speed comfortably hitting 161-mph across Germany's autobahns.This bested even Volvo's 850R production cars - and was not beaten until the Koenigsegg's arrival in 2002.

The autobahn and high-speed pace were Viggen highlights - this with max boost hitting 20-PSI in gears three to five and delivering soaring pace that no Saab shape had ever seen before. For comparison, the Subaru WRX STi's turbocharger is generally limited to about 17-PSI of boost, with the regular WRX hitting only 12-PSI. So the Viggen is clearly very special in the forced-air department.

Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 6 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 15 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 14 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 13 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 12 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 11 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 10 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 9 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 8 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 7

EXTERIOR

The classic wrap-around windshield keeps visibility outstanding at big speeds, but the shape overall needed dramatic changes to live with such huge speed potential. An enclosed front bumper reduced drag and cut lift, while the rear spoiler is said to have added more than 50-percent more downforce.

This model features the optional sports exhaust and makes a funky bellow unlike any other four-cylinder out there. There is a muted growl at idle, much like a five-cylinder, but what is a soft grumble at high revs and full throttle.

Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 16 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 28 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 27 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 26 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 25 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 24 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 23 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 22 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 21 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 20 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 19 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 18 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 17 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 32 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 29 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 31 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 30

INTERIOR

The Viggen overall makes far more torque than its chassis was designed to handle, so extra bracing and new suspension geometry plants the car in corners -- even on big boost and with the wheel cranked at all angles. Handling is refreshingly analog, with the steering-wheel and close windshield making the Viggen driver's intimately involved in hard driving. No synthetic feelings here!

Inside, the Viggen wears new seats with huge bolstering and blue inserts along with the thunderbolt logo. Extra badging and special trims appear on the wheel, dash and center console -- along with custom kick plates in the sills.Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 33 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 50 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 49 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 48 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 47 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 46 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 45 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 44 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 43 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 42 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 41 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 40 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 39 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 38 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 37 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 36 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 35 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 34 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 53 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 68 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 67

TECH SPECS

 (Canadian Market Specs*) US Pricing and MPG were lower.

1999 Saab Viggen Coupe

Base price

$49,900

Freight

$895

Type

2-door, 4-passenger hatchback/coupe

Layout

transverse front engine/front-wheel-drive

Engine

2.3 litre 4 cylinder, turbocharged, DOHC, 16 valves

Horsepower

230 @ 5500 rpm

Torque

258 ft-lbs @ 2500 rpm

Transmission

5-speed manual

Tires

P215/45ZR17 Dunlop SP Sport 2000

Curb weight

1355 kg (2990 lb.)

Wheelbase

2605 mm (102.6 in.)

Length

4629 mm (182.2 in.)

Width

1711 mm ( 67.4 in.)

Height

1428 mm ( 56.2 in.)

Trunk volumes

614 litres (21.7 cu. ft.) (rear seat up)

 

1410 litres (49.8 cu. ft.)(rear seat down)

Fuel consumption

City: 11.6 l/100 km (24 mpg)

 

Hwy: 7.4 l/100 km (38 mpg)

Warranty

4 yrs/80,000 kms

Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 60 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 66 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 65 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 64 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 63 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 62 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 61 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 1 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 2 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 3 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 4 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 5 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 54 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 55 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 56 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 57 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 58 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 59 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 51 Len 1999 SAAB 9-3 Viggen 52SUMMARY

This 1999 model-year Viggen is one of 426 produced in total, and owned by a former Saab dealership executive -- a man who has eight other Saabs in his fleet. In absolutely pristine condition, this Viggen shows just over 90,000 miles from new and has Saab BBS alloys and all available options - including factory CD audio upgrade and factory moonroof, as well as the specially-branded sport exhaust. Most significantly, this Viggen is completely original and has not been modified whatsoever, in favor of simple maintenance and always-garaged care.

viggen gif

HOW TO BUY

This Viggen is about to go on sale -- but readers can email tom@car-revs-daily.com to be connected directly with its owner, Len Schrader.

 

About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.