We have seen the pictures of the Saab V8 engine but there never has been much information available about how this engine came to be. And more important, why it never made it to a production car.
Tommi Järvinen in Finland published an article on his website Tommi’s Saab Site with detailed information of the history, design and construction of this engineering curiosity. He interviewed chief engineer Mauno Ylivakeri who was the V8 project supervisor at the Valmet Linnavuori engine plant.
SAAB V8 Engine – The Complete Story
Just before Christmas in 1987 presented Juhani Linnoinen, Director of the SAAB-Valmet Uusikaupunki car factory, a special request to Valmet Linnavuori engine plant (today Agco Sisu Power). “Could you make a V8 engine for a SAAB?” Linnoinen asked. “Well of course – this is an engine factory after all”, replied chief engineer Mauno Ylivakeri from Linnavuori without hesitation. Thus began a top-secret engine development project, which wasn’t made public until 10 years after the project was finished.
Linnoinen had the idea for a SAAB V8 on one of his trips to United States. People loved the SAAB 900 Cabriolet in the U.S., but thought that two-litre inline fours were better suited to lawn mowers – even if they had a Turbo. Linnoinen’s vision was to design and build V8 SAAB for the American market in Finland.
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