Saab 99 Turbo on video

UPDATE: I’ve moved this back to the top as it’s so good. Don’t want anyone to miss it by not scrolling down. New entries below.


This is a great video report on the Saab 99 Turbo from Google Video.

The turbo revolution began here. What a car. I’m wishing I still had mine.


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  1. Several comments;

    1) The Blues Brothers drove a Dodge Monaco so it wins.

    2) This vid almost brought a tear to my eye. Excellent.

    3) Funny to hear the talk about the “power for the future” when even now many still are skeptical of a turbo engine. Just today I drove a co worker home only to have him stunned that my old Saab was that solid of a machine.

    4) WTF was a Dodge Monaco, a V8 powered, 20 foot long (6.096m) American land yacht doing in this Euro comparison? I imagine a posh Kensington accent announcing, “Tonight on BBC One we look to find which animal is best at tracking prey, and the ground we sill be studying includes the Grey Wolf, Jaguar, Siberian Tiger, African Lion, Cheetah, Hyena, Tasmanian Tiger, Kodiak Bear and Bill Kowinski, the fattest man in the world.”

  2. Great film clip Swade! It graphically illustrates how advanced the Saab 99 turbo was for its time. Cross that Porsche 924 off your wishlist!

  3. It is sensational, isn’t it? Geez I’d like to have one of these in the garage again.

    TB, it’s more the 944 that I’m keen on. There’s actually a 924 for sale in Howrah at the moment. The guy selling it used to have a very nice 99 EMS as well. He’s an older guy, buying and then selling ‘toy’ cars after he’s had his fun. Exactly what I’d like to do in 5-10 years.

    Make my 99T a black one…

  4. great vid SW, thanks. Makes me wish that I could have driven one of these as a new car back in 1978. Must have been a blast. But then, I was still in school!

    At 27 years old, my 99 Turbo is still great fun though as well as being a piece of history.

    Good luck finding a black 99T!

  5. My favourite is the rolling start. Absolutly awesome.

    It annoys me that he says superchager so much, but I spose it was early days.

    I’ll sell my Black 99 Turbo, you just got to offer me the right price 😛

  6. That video shows one of the reasons I still own my 99 turbo.It remains an awesome car till this day,and is an automotive icon.

  7. But Turbos are superchargers that supercharge the engine. What we call Turbo for short is correctly called a “turbine driven supercharger” to differentiate it from the older belt/chain driven superchargers.

  8. Sorry Dinger, but a turbo charger is not a supercharger, even if you want to head it as “turbine driven”.

    A supercharger takes inertial energy off the engine through a heavy and energy-using device ( a shaft) to force feed the act of induction.

    Superchargers are large, heavy, yet work across the rev range in proportion to engine/shaft speed.

    Superchargers can also be geared with clutches to engage when needed- especially in an aircraft engine as altitude increases and performacne falls off.

    A turbo charger is light, uses “free” energy- and thus does not sap energy to create energy. The downside is that the effect on induction is proportional to exhaust gasses pressure -hence the “lag” phenomena.

    Turbo chargers are not linear in their energy delivery and can be streamed off – hence the saab dump valve bleed off or wastegate – you can’t do that with a supercharger at high revs as it carries on screaming- hence the reliability issues.

    Supercharger are not turbo chargers in strict engineering terms folks, even if the desired effect is similar.

    Try reading the “turbo years” chapter in my Saab book…

    Lecture over…

  9. “Lecture over…”
    Not quite. While everything you say is correct, the Merriam webster dictionary includes turbocharger within the scope of the definition for supercharger. It’s just a specific type of supercharger. The term supercharger is broader in scope.

    I respect your knowledge and book, but Merriam Webster is a more definitive source.

  10. News from the German market: Saab’s sales up again!

    The whole market rose by 8.7% (as compared to May 2005) or 15.9% (to April 2006) or 2.9% (Jan-May 2005 to Jan-May 2006).

    Saab: Sales in May 2006: 580 (May 2006) and 2,232 (Jan-May 2006) units, +14.9% (as compared to May 2005) or +15.2% (Jan-May 2005 to Jan-May 2006)

    Audi: 25,229 and 107,032 units, which means +5.4% or +4.7%
    BMW (including a well-selling Mini): 29,960 and 126,623 units, +3.6% or –1.8%
    Mercedes: 32,563 and 136,260 units, +16,4% (face-lifted E-class introduced (?)) or –1,5%
    Volvo: 3,329 and 15271 units, +32.3% (???) or –9.5%

    Info from:, go to “Aktuelles”, then “Aus der Statistik” if interested.

  11. Lance,

    Thanks for the lecture on the differences between positive displacement superchargers and gas-turbine driven superchargers. Unfortunately you are in error to claim that the name supercharger doesn’t apply to what is commonly referred to as the “turbocharger”.

    The term supercharger refers to any pump that feeds compressed air into an engine and does not have any correlation to the method by which the compressor is driven, or the design of the compressor be it Roots type, centrifugal, etc. Any encyclopedia that covers the topic will give a full explanation if this.

  12. I once met Raymond Baxter, the presenter, at a local SAAB dealership here in England many years ago now. Waiting to pick up his new car. So obviously he must of been taken by the car and bought one himself. Great video shows just how the Turbo performance put the so called competition in the shade, especially the mid range acceleration.

  13. Thanks Dinger,

    I agree that the generic effect and overall context are similar, maybe definitions changed since I trained years ago!

    The old lot were most insistent about the mechanisms and their differences.

    We will have to amicably disagree on the issue I suppose. I blame my old fashioned training!

    Anyway, the best thing is that Saab made forced induction palatable and its odd that Mitsubushi- who followed Saab and turbocharged everything- and pioneered ceramic bladed turbine wheels, seem to have made less of it.

    I better stop before Swade tells me to put a sock in it!

    Best wishes.

  14. Dinger – humour ?

    All turbochargers are superchargers, but not all superchargers are turbochargers!

    Either way, they might blow your block!

    Thats it Swade -honest!

  15. No apologies needed. I’m happy for you all to nut this issue out in a civil manner and thereby make Trollhattan Saab the site to go to for the definition of supercharging and tubocharging.

    Carry on.

  16. Lance,

    My dream graphic t-shirt has a image of a turbo and underneath says, “If it doesn’t blow, it sucks.” If I ever get some made I’ll set one aside for you.

  17. That’s cool Dinger.

    Presumably only to be worn by drivers with a ‘Roots” supercharger – Australians may get this subtle Pommy humour one day…

    On an ego trip, I checked out the New Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Automobile – revised and edited by some bloke called Lance Cole – total fool – never once debates the supercharger – turbo charger debate. As we know encyclopedia’s are apparently definitive sources………

    All I know is that the 99Turbo with an aftermarket fettling by Abbot, or Viking Saab would blow everyone away.

    Swade, didn’t Alan Jones the Aussie FI ace drive a 900T in the 1980s?

    Raymond Baxter flew a supercharged Merlin engined Spitfire in WWII and drive Saabs for years- he lives near Saab Uk HQ I think.

    Anyway, “turbo or not to turbo?” said Saabspeare.

  18. …. and dictionaries are even more definitive sources of information. to quote the Oxford – “turbocharger
    • noun a supercharger driven by a turbine powered by the engine’s exhaust gases.”

    But who cares when giving the old 99T a bit of right foot on a twisty road?

  19. Sorry slammed, but it looks like whoever loaded it onto Google in the first place has now removed it.

    A pity, as it was an excellent video. If I see it around again I’ll make sure I grab a copy for my own archives.

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