1997 Saab 900 SE Turbo - Top Speed?
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Thread: 1997 Saab 900 SE Turbo - Top Speed?

  1. #1
    Greetings,

    If all goes well (believe me, I know that the best laid plans of mice and squirrels must surely go awry - just ask my exterminator ()), I will within 13 hours be the proud owner of a 1997 Saab 900 SE Turbo 5-Door Black-On-Tan, with only 160,000 miles.

    I have been researching diligently for days to no avail to discover the top recorded speed for a stock 900 Turbo from either 1996 or 1997.

    The highest recorded speed (for a 1996 900 Turbo) I found on the internet was in a "trollhattansaab" article entitled "Talladega III" (dated December 8, 2005) in which the author quotes a journalist from "The Car Connection" who participated in the Saab 900 at Talladega:

    "In short, one of my early morning stints with the 900 turbo on the fastest racetrack in the world proved to be real quick. On the still damp oval I broke the one-hour speed record with an average of 229.212 kn/h (or 142.426 mph), the fastest hour of my life - almost."

    Is a paltry 142 miles per hour the highest speed a 1996 or 1997 Saab 900 Turbo can attain? I doubt that.

    Can anyone here provide me with a solid answer before I achieve flight without wings?

    In other words, at what speed should I let off the gas?

    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter

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  3. #2
    Are you talking about the 900 2.0T, 2.3T or 2.5 V6?

    The 9-3 Viggen I believe tops out at around 250kph, or around 156mph, and 143mph from the 2.0T T5 full pressure turbo in the 9-3 is the published top speed. It's probably optimistic without a couple of minor mods now as I expect some horses have left the engine over the last 160,000 miles.

    I've never top end tested our Saab, but it's got the low pressure Turbo. I'd imagine it'd be good for the same speed on a flat surface, but whether it'd get there before I lose my license I don't know.
    Just remember, what it's displaying isn't necessarily what it's doing.

  4. #3
    Full throttle mark e's Avatar
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    Are you talking about the 900 2.0T, 2.3T or 2.5 V6?[/b]
    QUOTE(glitchiegoomie)
    a 1997 Saab 900 SE Turbo[/b]


    Before attempting that speed on a 13 year old car I'd want to know that the shocks, tyres, bushes etc. were all in top condition as they cna have a major effect on stability. In particular you'd need to check the tyre speed rating.

  5. #4
    Sorry Mark, thought an SE could be a 2.0 or 2.3 T.

  6. #5
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    "I've never top end tested our Saab, but it's got the low pressure Turbo. I'd imagine it'd be good for the same speed on a flat surface, but whether it'd get there before I lose my license I don't know.
    Just remember, what it's displaying isn't necessarily what it's doing."


    If you drive fast enough they'll never catch you.

    Any speed record I attempt would have to be done on a real track. The roads around here are terrible - potholes, frost heaves, cracks, debris. I don't feel safe driving above 110 miles per hour on the Pennsylvania highways regardless of the vehicle I am in.


    Mark E,

    "Before attempting that speed on a 13 year old car I'd want to know that the shocks, tyres, bushes etc. were all in top condition as they cna have a major effect on stability. In particular you'd need to check the tyre speed rating."

    I will definitely be checking everything you mentioned, and then some. Safety first.

    My biggest non-safety concern is the sunroof. I know that will produce much drag, thus reducing top speed.

    Any suggestions on minimizing that effect, short of replacing the roof panel?


    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter



  7. #6
    Are you seriously thinking of racing this thing?

  8. #7
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    Of course I am.

    And I just brought my baby home.

    I have officially dubbed her "The Black Arrow".

    My smile is from ear to ear.

    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter

  9. #8
    In that case Glitchiegoomie, you have some reading to do
    www.abbotracing.com

    These guys are probably THE best all-round Saab tuning company. They can really help you get the most out of your car. If you're planning Quarter mile drags or stuff like that, you won't need to worry about top speed so much so can concentrate on other stuff.

    Certainly, if you're handy with metal fabrication, you can create front and rear braces, and a stronger rear anti-roll bar for not much money and see big gains in handling. bushes and shocks (as mark says) should be checked (bushes probably renewed with poly bushes)
    For power gains, look to fit an air induction kit along with a decent exhaust system and a remap. I'm in the process of customising a pipercross viper for my 9-3 - point is all enclosed Ram-air systems are better with speed increases than a standard cone filter.

    What sort of racing are you planning for the black arrow?

  10. #9
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    When a perfect storm is brewing, it is difficult to tell exactly what it will do, or how long it will last. I have several venues where I can test The Black Arrow. That will be some time in the future, though. The vehicle needs to be properly calibrated and the Pennsylvania snows must melt before I will even consider exceeding 110 miles per hour in it.

    In regards to the alterations you suggested, I refuse to modify the original design of the vehicle. Any repairs or enhancements will be with genuine (and hopefully vintage) Saab parts.

    I am very fortunate to have a highly skilled Saab mechanic less than one mile away and many motor-headed friends. I myself know enough about automotive mechanics to be dangerous. The previous combined with the helpful cooperation of the good members at Saabscene will provide me with all the parts, tools, information, ideas and inspiration I need to break 150 miles per hour in The Black Arrow.

    What is the fastest speed you achieved in your Saab? Please specify the year, model and mileage.

    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter

  11. #10
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    What is the fastest speed you achieved in your Saab? Please specify the year, model and mileage.

    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter[/b]
    ooo, dangerous...
    erm, fast enough, 2.0L LPT 2000

  12. #11
    Saab Afficionado AL900S's Avatar
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    Hi
    Each to their own I suppose but for me the kick is not the Vmax but the shove in the back upon acceleration...and p*ssing off all those 60k + turbo diesel Range Rover drivers who think they drive a 'sports' car etc

    Al

    9-3 SC 1.8t Vector, metallic black/cream, paddle shift, sports wheel, premium sound, SPA & convenience pack

  13. #12
    Saab Anorak
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    In regards to the alterations you suggested, I refuse to modify the original design of the vehicle. Any repairs or enhancements will be with genuine (and hopefully vintage) Saab parts.
    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter[/b]
    Alterations (add-ons): You will want at the very least the 22mm rear antiroll bar AND the steering rack clamp and brace.
    Vintage = 2ndhand?

    Original sales brochure. Look for specs on page 2.
    http://www.saabcentral.com/features/gm900_...1997/1997_1.php

    Pay Eric's site a visit to see what he has done. I believe he's on the same side of the pond as you are.
    http://www.ericsaabsite.com/

    QUOTE(glitchiegoomie)
    I don't feel safe driving above 110 miles per hour on the Pennsylvania highways regardless of the vehicle I am in.[/b]
    I thought the speed limit in the US of A was 55 mph (about 90kmh)?


  14. #13
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    Come on. Don't be shy. Give me a number.

    Miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (kph), your choice: I don't mind doing a little math - I have plenty of batteries for my TI-89.

    I took The Black Arrow for a spin on the highway the other day. As I was approaching a relatively steep incline that curves about 90 degrees of a circle starboard with an arc length of roughly one half of a mile, I noticed in my rear-view mirror two fellow motorists preparing to pass me in large, American made pick-up trucks. I knew that this was my golden opportunity to gun it. I went from 65 mph (105 kph) to 95 mph (153 kph) in about 3 seconds while turning. The g-force (remember, g-force is actually a measure of acceleration, not force ) plus the centrifugal force (a true force) made me smile. As the roads were still wet (and probably icy) from the last blizzard we had here in Pennsylvania, I slowed down owing to the facts that I am not entirely familiar with the tires on the car and the vehicle is pulling to the right when I brake. I was more than impressed by the acceleration of my 13 year old Saab.

    By the way, how do the good folk of England measure automotive speed - miles or kilometers per hour?


    AL900S,

    Maximum velocity is an attribute I value secondarily to durability in an automobile.

    I intend to put over 1,000,000 miles on The Black Arrow. I am an endurance driver, having traveled to all corners of the United States many, many times, in many, many different vehicles. I am already planning a roadtrip to the Yucatan peninsula this forthcoming autumn.

    As for p**sing off consumers who chose accent over acceleration, I couldn't agree with you more. See my response to Twin_cam_Turbo above to get a glimpse into my worldview.

    My desire to break 150 mph (241 kph) in The Black Arrow is based more upon my need to know the car's limit than to impress girls.

    "Know thyself."*

    * inscribed on the Temple of Apol** at Delphi


    VincentD,

    I thank you for your advice. This is my first Saab, so I am just entering the learning curve. Give me some time and I am sure that I will catch on. I might even impress one of you guys someday.

    In regards to the speed limit in the United States, there is no standard speed limit across the nation. In some parts of some states the maximum speed allowed is still 55 mph (89 kph), Hawaii being one. In others it is 65 mph (105 kph), Pennsylvania being one. The maximum set legal speed that can be achieved in the United States would be so achieved on certain highways in Texas where the current maximum legal speed limit is 80 mph (129 kph). I have personally heard reports that on certain stretches in Montana the Highway Patrols absolutely will not stop a travel(l)er travel(l)ing at any safe speed. This is hearsay, though.

    Unfortunately, we have no Autobahn here in the U.S.

    We do, however, have a plethora of racetracks to fit all shapes and sizes. And I am fortunate in that I know enough people at venues of ample disparity to test The Black Arrow in any capacity I should so desire.


    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter


  15. #14
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    Come on. Don't be shy. Give me a number.

    Miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (kph), your choice: I don't mind doing a little math - I have plenty of batteries for my TI-89.[/b]
    It' not really something I gloat about to be honest (or put down in writing on-line). It's not big and it's not clever on a public road .
    Big speed really isn't practical on our roads - I'm with Al on the acceleration being the key to a big grin. I might be interested to quarter mile test our car when I'm done with it, but it'd be twice only - once before and then following mods. I'd never race a vert around a track.

    I work in Mph - the velocity measurement choice of the most civilised nations

  16. #15
    Twin_cam_Turbo,

    I can definitely appreciate keeping a low profile online. The world wide web forgets nothing!

    "I work in Mph - the velocity measurement choice of the most civilised nations" - Twin_cam_Turbo

    Culture shock is making me laugh, ignorance is making me bow.

    As a formally trained American Structural Engineer, I was led to believe the opposite - that the Metric System is far superior to the English System, and that all good engineers think in terms of the Metric System. A few of my professors occasionally required that work be submitted in both systems.

    I prefer the English System simply because my concepts of space, time and matter/energy are based on it, and as a result using the Metric System requires energy-draining mental conversions, like translating from one language to another. Simply put, I think in terms of the English System.

    I like the Metric System. It really does make more sense to organize in terms of ten, being such that humans have ten fingers.

    When you really think about it, where did the English System of units of twelve derive from?

    Twelve inches in a foot, twelve objects in a dozen, twelve months in a year, 2 sets of twelve hours in a day, 5 sets of twelve minutes in an hour, 5 sets of twelve seconds in a minute, 2 sets of twelve units in a karat of pure gold.

    My best guess is that the English unit system based on sets of twelve derived from any combination of the following sources: the twelve Zodiac signs, the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Olympian gods.

    Beyond that, your guess is as bad as mine.

    glitchiegoomie, Triforce Hunter

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