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Car reviews - Saab - 9-3 - Viggen 3-dr hatch

The Car

21 Jun 2001

The Viggen's aerodynamic aids were developed using a full-scale wind tunnel

Aerodynamic body kit has lowered the Cd figure 8 per cent compared to regular 9-3 models

Aerodynamic lift has been decreased 50 per cent for improved stability at speed

The 2.3-litre, turbocharged engine is developed from the new generation low friction powerplant used in the Saab 9-5

Viggen is the first 9-3 model to use drive-by-wire throttle control

Engine management system reduces torque to 250Nm in first gear and 330Nm in second gear to assist driver control

The iron-block engine uses an alloy cylinder head with twin camshafts and four valves per cylinder

Each cylinder has its own separate ignition coil for improved performance and reliability

Outright power output is increased through the use of a larger turbocharger than used in regular Saab 9-5 2.3-litre engines

Engine develops 165kW at 5500rpm with torque output controlled at 342Nm between 2500 and 4000rpm

Viggen uses a modified five-speed manual transmission from the bigger 9-5 model

Springs are 10mm shorter and re-rated for tighter handling

Softer front anti-roll bar is used to assist traction when exiting corners

Dunlop SP Sport tyres were specially developed for the Viggen

The 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels are exclusive to Viggen

Heavily sculpted front seats provide improved support

Carbon fibre inserts are used on the instrument panel and glovebox lid

Viggen offers a choice of four different exterior colours - Lightning Blue, Monte Carlo Yellow, Black or Silver Metallic.

Interior trim colour can be ordered in Deep Blue, Flame Ochre or Charcoal

Viggen is fitted with twin front airbags, as well as side airbags

Saab's "Active" head restraint system is standard on front seats

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Did you know?

The Viggen is built at the Valmet Automotive plant in Finland, also the home of Porsche Boxster and Saab convertible

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