Ever since the Top Gear story on Saab, I’ve had a steady flow of web searchers landing here looking for information on the Saab 99Turbo Extra button (the 99Turbo part of the story starts at that link).
So, what was the Saab 99Turbo Extra button for?
In simplest terms, it’s a dummy switch. It was there for use with a number of possible accessories, such as foglamps, etc.
But don’t just take my word for it. Just to make sure you’ve got an authoritative answer on this, I wrote to Peter Backstrom at the Saab Museum in Trollhattan. His response:
…..regarding the Extra button in the 99 (and also other Saabs) It was a button located in the panel [to be used] if the owner of the car wanted to add some electrical equipment to the car, like foglights etc. In Swedish we call [it] Extraljus. So we can say that it is a bit of Swinglish in our cars.
The button was also available off the shelf at our dealers if people wanted to have more in their Saab. We probably sold MANY of them in the good old times when the staus of the cars was connected to how many switches you had on the dashboard…..
So now you know.
The Extra button is exactly what it says it is: An extra button.