Swedish car maker Saab’s foray into the executive car market was represented by the Saab 9000. Because the Saab management wanted to create a car that won’t cost too much during production, the company teamed up with other manufacturers, namely Alfa-Romeo, Lancia, and Fiat. The goal was to come up with a vehicle equipped with interchangeable parts from these brands. For the vehicle’s design, Saab collaborated with established car designers Bjorn Envall and Giorgetto Guigiaro. Known for its build quality, reliable performance, and durability, this vehicle was in production from 1984 to 1998.
1984: Saab 9000 CC
Launched in 1984 but introduced in the US in 1986 as a five-door liftback, much of the Saab 9000 CC’s appearance is similar with other Type Four platform vehicles: the Lancia Thema and Fiat Croma. As a matter of fact, Fiat Croma doors can be installed on the 9000, although they feature a lighter construction. The first model was equipped with a 16-valve, inline-four engine and a water-cooled, double overhead camshaft (turbo-charged).
1988: Saab 9000 CD
In 1988, a sedan version was released with the CD on its nameplate. For this version, the front-end was restyled. The grille’s and headlamps’ edges were smoothed out. The front sloped outwards, which was in contrast to its predecessor’s more upright front end. The end result was a more aerodynamic front end. But just like its earlier version, the CD model was also built with seats that feature designs based on a Jim Henson sketch “Pigs in Space” from The Muppet Show. A limited edition—CD Griffin—was launched in 1991. This lux version features a unique eucalyptus green paint, rear window blinds, a walnut trim, and a separate AC system for the rear seats.
1991: Saab 9000 CS
The Saab 9000 CS is a restyled liftback model that was introduced in 1991. This version features a lower front fascia, a new grille and headlights, and a modified rear end. A high-performance CSE edition was also released. Both CS and CSE versions were equipped with a 2.3 L, inline-four engine.
1993: CS Aero/SPG
In 1993, the CS Aero/SPG model was introduced. Hailed as the fastest and strongest Saab vehicle ever manufactured, it was equipped with a 2.3 L turbo engine. This was supported by 16-inch Super Aero wheels and a modified ride height for better handling.
To commemorate Saab’s 50th anniversary, the Anniversary model was released. Engine options were either a 2.3 FPT or an LPT engine. Its Aero-style body kit was complemented with eight-spoke alloys, making this version one of the most uniquely designed Saabs. The plush interior consisted of asteering wheel with wood inserts, standard leather seats, and backrests with an embossed Saab aeroplane logo, a nod to the brand’s aviation branch.
Although production ended in 1998, the Saab 9000 continues to attract buyers, especially among second-hand consumers. Its highly durable construction and performance reliability make the Saab 9000 one of the best cars produced by the company.