Left-field NG900 stuff

When I posted the poll results for the GM900/NG900 decider, John posted a tongue-in-cheek comment about Saab fans preferring the ‘Next Generation’ moniker because they’re all Trekkies.

Here’s an excerpt from a piece that appeared in Nines magazine back in 1996, written by Ron F. It seems times haven’t changed too much. People were debating new Saab developments back then just as we seem to do now.

The full text appears here.

….there is an interesting parallel that I see among SAAB 900 owners and Star Trek fans-the debate between the original or “classic” (never say old) and “the next generation.”

…..Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in 1987 aboard the brand-new Enterprise (NCC-1701D) with a new cast and crew, “continuing the voyages” the “classic” crew started. Star Trek fans everywhere had an opinion on the show-and comparisons to the “classic” series were inevitable.

Which show was better? Which Enterprise was better? Who’s the better captain, Kirk or Picard? Spock vs. Data? Crusher vs. McCoy? Comparisons ad infinitum.

“The Next Generation” would carve out its own identity and style (and surpass the original series in episodes produced), and eventually “win over” even die hard “classic” Star Trek fans in the latter years of the series with well written, tightly-woven (yet politically correct) stories, superb acting and dazzling special effects. Soon comparisons between the shows became superfluous. Both shows were products of their time, with their own strengths and weaknesses…..

…..Owners of the “classic” 900 seem to have definite opinions as to which car is the best. The “classic” 900-with its then “weird,” unconventional shape and quirky ergonomics-has a hard-core, loyal following equaling or maybe even rivaling that of Star Trek fans! As the last car to be solely developed by SAAB (sans GM) it is the quintessential SAAB to own for diehards. Having driven my parents ’82 900 Turbo for several years while in high school and college, I understand the devotion. I share it.

The 9000? Not purebred. A new 900? By GM? Heresy, you say. Won’t really be a SAAB.

Much to the delight of some and to the dismay of others, the “next generation” 900 debuted in the US in 1994 to (finally) replace the seemingly timeless, ageless 900. Its modern, aero-hatchback design pays homage to the “classic” 900. The floor-mounted (well, console mounted) ignition, high seating position and the gun slit view from the driver’s seat were also carried over from the “classic” 900 and preserved in the “next gen” 900.

Even the heart and soul of the “classic” 900-the 2.0l 4cyl engine in 185hp turbo form-was transplanted into the “next gen” 900 for good measure. But which 900 is better?

Well, my first new SAAB-a ’94 900SE Turbo-in my opinion, is a SAAB regardless of GMs influence. It both preserves and upholds the 900 tradition in almost every way.

For the record, I prefer The Next Generation.

And I’m already on record at this website for labelling GM as The Borg.

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4 Comments

  1. Let me notice, that the classic/OG 900 engine was not “transplanted”.
    The performance datas of the NG900 engine maybe similar, but the “hardver” itself is very differnet (the OG has a transversely mounted engine – initially a joint development of Saab and the british Triumph – and NG900 has longitudinally mounted engine with another cylinder head and timing chain and balance shafts, etc.).

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