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Back when Saabs were awesome.

-Fastest in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile
-Highest horsepower and torque while managing 2nd best fuel economy
-The only car on 4 wheel disc brakes + 15" alloy wheels
-Shortest stopping distance and best MPH in the slalom.

 

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Back when Saabs were awesome.

-Fastest in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile
-Highest horsepower and torque while managing 2nd best fuel economy
-The only car on 4 wheel disc brakes + 15" alloy wheels
-Shortest stopping distance and best MPH in the slalom.

I was going to say, the Saab is the clear winner in my books from that group.

Those 99s were gorgeous cars, I saw one the other day and swooned hard.
 

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Remember most of these cars had basically mechanical fuel injection or a carburetor, and only the Volvo had an oxygen sensor. Go unplug your oxygen sensor... in a pre-OBD2 car it'll still run fine, it'll just get 15mpg like these cars.
 

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Reminds me of that other test from the same era that you posted. I believe a Nova LN sedan showed itself very well amongst the Euro competition.

The Saab 99 was a great piece of engineering. I think Saab's engineers realized how broke they were, so they designed a "20 year car." The fundamentally similar 900 was still an impressive performing sport sedan/hatch/coupe into the late 80s/early 90s, by which time it was VERY long in the tooth.
 

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How far we've come. The much maligned base 2.0 Jetta VI would beat all of those cars in all categories, while being quieter, more comfortable, roomier, and more fuel efficient.
And yet probably less exciting.


DAT SAAB. I
 

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another great article, and another win for Saab!

I love E21s also .. funny how only those and the two Swedes have really survived the years
(well, not really many 99s about, but I drive mine daily :p )
also interesting that some of these were considered "sports sedans" , or even sedans (320i, 2-door Saab per picture, though 4 & 5-doors were sold)

still love Alfa sedans though, given the chance I might forsake my Swede in favor of some beautiful Italien nightmares ..
 

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How far we've come. The much maligned base 2.0 Jetta VI would beat all of those cars in all categories, while being quieter, more comfortable, roomier, and more fuel efficient.
Yes and no.

The reason these cars were so slow was almost 100% due to the "new" emissions controls, safety equipment, etc., that the automotive industry was subjected to in the late-70's/early-80's. The increased price of gas also created a market where small, under-powered engines sold much better than the older, larger, more powerful V8's, etc.

If you go back to the 1960's, many cars went 0-60 in under 10 seconds (although under 8 seconds was almost unheard of, save for a Corvette or a muscle car).

I guess my real conclusion here is that nobody should ever complement on the VW 2.0L 8v engine. Ever. For any reason. Other than being cheap, of course . . .
 

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I guess my real conclusion here is that nobody should ever complement on the VW 2.0L 8v engine. Ever. For any reason. Other than being cheap, of course . . .
The great irony in bringing it up, of course, is that the VW 8-valve engine was introduced in this era... only a year or two before this, in fact. So, yes, it would've been a totally competitive compact sedan engine in 1977.
 

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Back when Saabs were awesome.

-Fastest in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile
-Highest horsepower and torque while managing 2nd best fuel economy
-The only car on 4 wheel disc brakes + 15" alloy wheels
-Shortest stopping distance and best MPH in the slalom.

That's what I gathered too.

What the Hell happened?

:p
 

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Remember most of these cars had basically mechanical fuel injection or a carburetor, and only the Volvo had an oxygen sensor. Go unplug your oxygen sensor... in a pre-OBD2 car it'll still run fine, it'll just get 15mpg like these cars.
Also, the gearing on most of these cars is insanely short by modern standards. 3300 rpm at 60 for the BMW, 3575 for the Audi. That puts you up over 4100 rpm at 70 and almost 5000 at 80! Talk about a noisy highway drive. But maybe that's a moot point in the double nickel days.
 
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