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About SaabAs recent Saab advertising campaigns have emphasized, the Swedish automaker's roots are in aviation. The company, Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, was formed in the 1930s at the urging of the Swedish government, who needed military aircraft to ensure the country's neutrality during the war. Only a short time later, the plane builder would begin planning its first automobile, prompted by the impending need for cars and the war-ravaged infrastructure of neighboring states.
Saab built 25 sedans in 1949 and was exporting cars to the U.S. by about 1957. These earliest cars featured Saab's distinctive fastback profile and 2-stroke engines, requiring owners to add oil to their gas tanks until about 1968. Beginning with the 92, the series would evolve through the 93, 935, 95, 96, and 95M. 1969 saw the release of the all-new 99, which would serve as the styling basis for the 900 and the 9000, which would take Saab nearly to the... View more next millennium.
One other historic Saab of note: the Sonett. Produced from 1967 to 1974, the first version of the sports car was indeed 2-stroke equipped at first, but was updated to a traditional 4-cycle the next year. The body was fiberglass and boldly styled, featuring a dramatic kamm-tail rear end.
In 1997, the 9000 was replaced with the 9-5, to be joined by the entry-level 9-3 by 1998. In the early 2000s, styling was slightly revamped, downplaying the signature Saab hatchback form in favor of more conventional sedan, convertible, and wagon bodystyles. The four-wheel drive crossover version is called the 9-3X. A brand new 9-5 was released in 2010.
"Aero" is Saab's top-of-the-line trim level. The sports-oriented package offers different interior and body trim, fog lights, dual exhaust, and improved handling thanks to a sport-tuned chassis, 17-inch wheels, and all-season tires.
Released in 2011, the 9-4X is Saab's largest model. The mid-sized crossover SUV is equipped with four-wheel drive. All Saabs in the current lineup feature "Night Panel". This unique feature aids night-time driving by dimming all dashboard lights except the speedometer, allowing the driver's eyes to more fully dilate for better vision and reduced eye strain. When an instrument panel functions requires the driver's attention, it lights up immediately.
Saab's PhoeniX concept car, shown to press in 2011, is a sporty hybrid with design features referencing nearly every car from the Saab timeline. The eXWD configuration Drivers can select between an "Eco" driving mode for optimal fuel efficiency, "Sport" mode for high-performance cornering and "maximum torque vectoring", or "Traction" mode for accelerating from a standing stop. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine produces 200 hp and is capable for 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds.
Saab was owned by General Motors from 1990 to 2010, when they were purchased by the Dutch carmaker Spyker, known for their bespoke supercar creations. View less
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