The Saab 90 is a compact executive car from Saab made from September 1984 to 1987. It was manufactured at a facility in Uusikaupunki (Nystad), Finland, at that time owned by Saab and Valmet. The 90 was a continuation of the Saab 99 and it was basically a Saab 99 from the B-pillar forward with the rear of a Saab 900 sedan. The 90, while easier to build than the 99, was still considerably more labour-intensive than the more modern 900.
|Assembly||Finland: Uusikaupunki (Valmet)|
|Designer||Björn Envall|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact executive car (D-segment)|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Layout||Longitudinal front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Engine||2.0 L H I4|
When the production of the Saab 96 was completed in 1980, the head of Saab's passenger car division, Sten Wennlo, was under intense pressure to create a new base model for the European market. Also at people at Saab-Valmet in Nystad were concerned about the fate of the Saab 99, in which the production during the 1980s took place entirely at. Saab-Valmet's first solution from 1983 was to weld the front end of a Saab 900 together with the rear end of a 99. When the product was shown to Wennlo, he stated that the principle was good, but the car became too much like the 900.
Wennlo thought that the car should be done the other way around, and in March 1984 he asked Rony Lutz, who worked as an illustrator at Saab, to cut together two press images on the front of a Saab 99 and the rear of a Saab 900 sedan.
The sheet metal workers at Saab-Valmet in Nystad thus welded together two bodies in the same way and only then was the car shown to Björn Envall, who was then design manager at Saab.
That the name was changed from 99 to 90 was because the name would harmonize better with the Saab 900 and the then new Saab 9000.
In 1985, the Saab 90 was only available with two-door sedan and came with the 2.0L Saab H engine, giving 100 hp (74 kW).
It was available with both four and a five-speed manual transmissions, with the five-speed receiving closer gearing, front and rear spoilers, and lower profile tires. They also changed the transmission and with the new rear end, the volume of the fuel tank increased and the luggage compartment volume increased from 320 to 377 liters. The car got a modern rear wheel suspension which was also cheaper to manufacture.
In 1987 the Zenith carburettor was altered to make it easier to start in cold weather.
Saab 90 LumikkoEdit
A limited edition Saab 90 Lumikko[a] was made for the Finnish market. It was made by Finnish Scan-Auto in 1985 and only 10 were made. Lumikko had Saab's Airflow kit, spoiler, rims from Saab 900 aero, sunroof, center console with extra gauges, leather steering wheel and Saab's speakers. These model were all white, including: airflow kit, rims, bumpers, grille, side mirrors, spoiler and door handles. No modifications were made under the hood.
The ten 90 Lumikkos took part at Scan-Auto's 20th anniversary celebration at Tampere in November 1985 and were part of the parade through the city.
There are currently only three 90 Lumikkos in working order. All of them are owned by the Finnish Saab club.
Sales, reception and legacyEdit
In total, only 25,378 Saab 90s were made. It was sold in a limited number of European countries only. The production took place by Valmet Automotive in Nystad, Finland.
About 10,000 copies were sold in Sweden. A total of 1,154 Saab 90s were delivered and sold in the Netherlands, of which 446 in 1985, 451 in 1986 and 257 in 1987. About 600 vehicles were delivered to Germany.
Falling sales meant that it was not worth the investment to catalyze the engine and 1987 was the final year for the model, with the last car built on 1 July (and was immediately dispatched to Saab's museum).
- Renaux, Jean-Jacques (1984-07-05). "Saab 9000, de achtergronden" [Saab 9000, the background]. De AutoGids (in Dutch). Brussels, Belgium: Uitgeverij Auto-Magazine. 5 (125): 24.
- Carlquist, Calle (1987-08-05). "Farväl till en bredaxlad svensk" [Farewell to a Broad-Shouldered Swede]. Teknikens Värld (in Swedish). Stockholm, Sweden: Specialtidningsförlaget AB. 39 (17): 43.
- Petri Tyrkkö (April 2006). Made in Finland, Made in Uusikaupunki. Saabisti.
- Svenska Saabklubben (Swedish Saab Club) (2019-06-17). "Skillnader - Saab 99 jämförelser".
- Tommi's Saab Site, SAAB 90 LUMIKKO - photos
Media related to Saab 90 at Wikimedia Commons