The 900 Carlsson.... What a dream car!!!

Production was for the UK only, from late 1990 (September?), until early 1992, spanning registrations on G, H & J. 195 were made, the body panels being fitted at the dealers. Colours were Black (sexy), Talladega Red (nearly sexy) and white (well, you can't win them all). Most were black.

(brag mode on)

If an American SPG is equivalent to our Turbo 16 S (175 Bhp @ 5700, 190 ft lb @ 3000, max boost 0.75 bar), then a Carly is the next bit up.

(brag mode off).{please correct me if I'm wrong}

Standard 900 Carlsson was 185 Bhp @ 5500, 201 ft lb @ 2800, Max boost 0.85 bar. Mine standard dyno tested at 184 bhp @ 5200, 226 ft lb @ 3000 and 1.15 bar boost (ouch, pressure switches are set at 1.20, that cutting it fine). There was a high performance option that I have never seen that supposably gave 204 Bhp. 0 - 62 time was quoted by SAAB as 8.0 s, but was tested by two car magazines @ 6.5 s. Engine management was by Lucas CU14 (instead of Bosch LH), on a standard 16V 1985 CC engine. Top speed listed as 130 MPH, but they have nearly all been know to run out of speedo before running out of speed.

Suspension / Tyres.

Standard was 5.5 * 15 three spoke Aero's, (and in 1992 assemetric Aero's) with 195 / 60 * 15 Michelin MXV's (later MXV2's). Optional was 6.5 * 16 cross spokes (like mine had) with 195 / 50 * 16 Pirelli P700's, and bigger bump stops for the rear. The suspension was beefed up, bigger roll bars front and rear, different spings and settings, tolerances were much finer eg. not x + or - 0.5, but x + 0 - 0.25. It was reported in one magazine that E'otr'C set the suspension to English lanes himself.

Diversion time---

I'm 13 stone (182 lb), and when I bounced on the front suspension, it didn't move, and the front wheels only have 2 inches of travel. Country lane journeys were somewhat bumpy. Front tyres of the P700 variety would last up to 10,000 miles, but were only average in the wet, they were also impossible to get in this Country, so I moved up to 205 / 50 * 16 Goodyear Eagle NCT's these wore slighty more (8,500 miles), but were better in the wet when new. Unfortunatly they would NOT fit the rear arches without rubbing over bumps. I then managed to source a pair of 195 P700's from Germany, and were placed on the rear, where they stayed for life. Next on the front were a pair of 205 / 50 * 16 Pirelli P-Zero's. These I fell in love with, they only last 6,000 miles, but my local police force removes them from their new traffic cars and fits uniroyals. I then bought them off them for 30 each (UK sterling). I'm sure they're vulcanised to the tarmac, even in the wet!! Three pairs I had.

---End Diversion.


Standard, but with Standard ABS, (the first British 900 to have ABS as standard?). Sparco do a nice racing pad (that also fits BMW 3 series and Merc 190's), at half Dealer original Equipments price, lasts well, and works when cold (unlike Mintex 171 or 1144).

Interior options.

Standard leather Gear lever knob, Gaiter, and smaller three spoke monogrammed steering wheel. Air con wasn't a standard option (I've only ever seen 6 or 7 'classic' 900's with aircon) but a dealer fitment. Leather seats was an option in 90 (mine had), (standard deletable in 91 and 92 with suede inserts) 91 and 92 had optional electric front seats. Walnut dash wasn't available. leccy windows, mirrors, roof standard (steel only) No Auto box available, 5 speed only.


Full Airflow kit, deep front spoiler with undertray and integral Hella lights (like later CD's had), Turbo 16 S side panels, rear spoiler with twin stainless ended exhaust pipes cut in, 2 inch extended wheel arches, and a whale tail boot spoiler. All colour coded to the car. (panels are bolted through the bodywork, so permanent removal involves filler). Red Carlsson stripe down the sides (just below tinted windows). No Turbo badge on rear, Just

'SAAB-------------logo-------------Carlsson' (small signature, unreadable above 10 ft)

My Carly was often refered to as 'The Beast' it was/is mean (the new owner adores it, which probably means I will not be able to buy it back when I've paid for the Aero).

Performance car had a long term test one (in white), and said 'it's as pretty as Mike Tyson in drag'.


Andrew provided a few more pictures of his Carly. Click Here for an index.
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Text by and Special Thanks to Andrew Wright for the scanned photos and much valuable information about the Saab Specials in the UK.

Page layout & editing by Larry West

Created October 30, 1996
Last Update October 30, 1996

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