1 May 1986
The front-wheel drive Saab 9000 was the Swedish company’s first large car.
It was a development of the Type-4 program, a four-way alliance between itself, Fiat (Chroma), Lancia (Thema), and a then-independent Alfa Romeo (164).
Slotted above the popular 900, the 9000 arrived here initially in five-door hatchback-only Turbo 16 guise, powered by a turbocharged 118kW/255Nm 2.0-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder engine offered in a five-speed manual gearbox until July ‘87’s four-speed auto came on stream.
This was joined in early ’87 by a non-turbo 96kW/173Nm 2.0-litre model known as the 9000 GLE hatchback.
A second body style – the 9000 four-door sedan – arrived from mid-’88, and used the 118kW turbo 2.0 motor.
A round of model reshuffling, reengineering and refinements were implemented from May ’90.
A base 9000 16 hatch and 9000 GLE 16 sedan were released, powered by a new 110kW/212Nm 2.3-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder engine in five-speed manual or four-speed auto modes.
At the other end of the range was the 121kW/265Nm 9000 Carlsson Turbo hatch – that was upgraded a year later with a new 147kW/330Nm 2.3-litre turbo.
At the same time this engine also powered the revised 9000 Turbo hatch and 9000 CD 2.3 Turbo sedan.