Gentlemen, gentlemen, please. Does it really matter, if one version reaches 60 mph, in the blink of an eye faster, than the other, or one goes around hair-pin corners more safely at a slightly slower speed. What are you going to do with all those thousandths of seconds you have saved? All that matters to me is getting from A to B with style, comfort and safety, to arrive hassle free in my 9000 CSE 2.3 turbo, that starts, runs well within itself, and STOPS.
I have a '86 black 900T8v (with S suspension and S bodykit to fit), '90 white 900T16S Conv and a '90 black 9000 Carlsson CD (185 bhp catalyst version - now with no cat).
I can never decide which I like best. I tend towards the Carlsson but still hanker after a black 900 Carlsson.
As for the modern one I do now like the 9-5 Aero and I think the 9-3 Aero has gone back to much more classic Saab lines, neither now make me think GM.
I'll admit that the Aero styling is very "street sleeper". That's part of it's appeal.
Likewise that Carlsson has an "In your face" approach. That also appeals, it just depends which mood I'm in.
OK, so the Carlssons suspension is softer (and also softer than the 900 Carlssons had too), the Steering more wondery, and the turbo kick more pronounced, but thats it's character (it needs to live up to being a rally breed brut.
For interest, the Carlsson will be doing 25,000+ miles a year, the Aero only 8,000.
Th Craly is the working car, the Aero the cruiser.
I've never driven an Aero, but I can definately confirm that my Carlsson (2.3T) does seem wild, and a little skittish on the handling. I've only had the car for 5 days, so I've a hell of a lot to learn. The car is almost certainly fun, which is the main reason for buying the car. I don't want civilised! And that's what I've got - on full acceleration in 2nd gear, the front end feels light, and it feels like your hanging on to the steering wheel for dear life!
I would expect the Aero to deliver the power differently, with a quicker response than the Carlsson which feels quicker once the boost comes in, though would be slower including the lag.
I'm on my 3rd 9000. 1st was a 2.0L Carlsson (197bhp)red, 2nd 2.3L Carlsson (220bhp) red and 3rd a 1997 Aero(225bhp)midnight blue. The 2.3 Carlsson was definately the quickest of all in mid range acceleration. This is due to the same power output as the Aero (after removing the cat.), but having lower gear ratios. It had very fierce acceleration through the gears, and is the only car to date that has frightened me! The Aero has longer legs, and is a true motorway cruiser, and is more refined. I only wish I could have afforded both. I miss the 2.3 Carlsson very much. Value for money, the Carlsson wins hands down.
I have never seen an official 2.3L Carlsson road test, but they claim 6.7 sec. to 60mph for the Aero - Carlsson must be even quicker! Aero probably wins on top speed (149mph). Where can U do that speed these days - track days only?
Was my lovely 9000 2.3 CSE turbo designed for all this hairing about, or relaxed, smooth, laid back driving? If I want to leave all you guys in your Aeros or Carlssons behind at the traffic lights, or along country lanes, or on the motorway, or, come to that, in traffic jams, I'll jump on my Suzuki 1200 Bandit motorbike! (sorry chaps, only switching reality on for you, again)
Had the Carlsson's for approx 3 yrs, and got a bit fed up with the hard ride, especially on bad B-roads - felt every nook and cranny. I know that the Carlsson has better handling for quick cornering, but these days there are cameras everywhere, even in the country. You probably only use it to its full potential 5% of the time wrighar. I'd rather be comfortable for 95% of the time in my Aero JD.
They are both dammed fine motorcars, just depends on what takes your fancy. I think, mechanically a 2.3 Carlsson probably has the edge but I think the Aero looks better inside and out. Horses for courses as they say, and as road cars you'll never be able to measure the difference anyway.
As for the Subaru connection, I did hear of this from discussions with Abbott Racing recently. And don't forget Per Eklund's factory backed Rally Cross and Pikes Peak 9-3 Viggen both have a Prodrive 4wd system.