The original Black Turbo

Saab’s new Turbo-X is being released in a limited edition in 2008 and will be shown at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. This will mark 30 years since the first Saab Turbo was shown at Frankfurt.

Whilst that initial show car was a pearlescent white, the Saab 99 Turbo is most sought after in darker colors: either Black or Cardinal Red.

Black Saab 99 Turbo Red Saab 99 Turbo

These original Saab Turbos are much sought after. They pioneered the technology and were an absolute revelation back in their time. In the last few days, the Saab 99 Turbo was named by Automobile magazine as one of their Top 100 cars of all time for the technological leap that the model represented.

What’s more, the Saab 99 Turbo was only produced for a few years before being replaced by the 900 Turbo in 1979. Production continued for the European market along side the 900, but in limited numbers. So the population of the original 99 Turbo is limited to start with, and that’s before you count the number that have since gone to Valhalla.


Saab 99 Turbo Specifications:

Body: Four seater two door coupe or three door hatch. Limited number of 5-door hatches also made.

Engine: In-line four cylinder. 1985cc, 8 valve, Garrett turbo, Bosch fuel injection, OHC and valve structure, aluminium alloy cylinder head, cast iron block, 5-bearing crank shaft.

Output: 145bhp at 5,000 rpm and 233Nm torque at 3,000rpm.

Transmission: 4 speed manual gearbox, front wheel drive.

Chassis: Unitary steel, wishbone front suspension, tubular dead axle, twin longitudinal arms and Panhard rod, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, disc brakes with twin braking circuits.

Performance: Top speed 123mph, 0-60mph in 9.1 secs, consumption at 24 mpg.


Many of you will have seen this video from Saabhistory, but it’s still the best one there is when it comes showing how good the original Black Turbo was in it’s day. This is the heritage that Saab are trying to emulate with the Turbo-X in 2008.

Big Boots to fill.

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  1. way too cool video!

    gm’s primary goal, when it bought saab, should have been to recapture that well-deserved “swagger” from the 99-turbo days. the aero-x, without a freaky price, could have done it. but since that’s not to be, i hope the next-generation models can do it. that would be exciting.

  2. I found it interesting that the video narrator is describing the effect of the turbo boost as a supercharger – maybe that was because turbocharging was new at the time?

  3. Well, don’t turbochargers and superchargers do the same thing, only turbochargers run off of exhaust pressure and superchargers run off the drive belt?

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