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  1. #1
    Frank Wulfers
    Netherlander Wulf's Avatar
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    Saab 900 Aero and SPG

    I received a request from a magazine for press pictures for the Saab 900 SPG. To be honest, my knowledge of the 900 is pretty limited. I know there was a 900 Aero and SPG. What are the difference between these two? What made the SPG and Aero so special? Does anyone have any hi-res images that are not already in our Saab 900 - Gallery?

    I looked though our Media gallery and found the 1990 SPG of the Heritage Collection:



    I also found this image which i believe is an Aero:



    Is this an Aero or SPG as well?


  2. #2
    New Member dmgb5's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '89 c900 T16
    There were actually three market specific models that were the equivalent of the same car...the SPG (N.America), T16S (UK), and the Aero (EU, Australia, etc). They were all FPTs (APC, intercooler) and 3dr hatches. They came equipped with a 5 speed manual gearbox, the Saab road handling kit (lowering springs), Saab tuning kit (uprated APC), and Aero body kit (tupperware) all standard. Three spoke alloy wheels and leather interior may have also been part of the package they all shared in common(?). What made them desirable was the that they came equipped from the factory with the sporty and aesthetic accessories Saab sold for the c900's...they were the sports trim level for the c900 and produced in limited quantity.

    Why the three different names for the same car? Everyones favourite...GM owned the name rights to "Aero" in N. American and the UK. So while the rest of the world got the Aero...in the UK it became the Turbo S or T16S and in N.America the Special Performance Group or SPG.

    So what made the SPG special for its market beyond has been mention? They where produced in limited numbers between '85-'91... approximately 7,xxx total during their run. They also only came in a few specific colours adding to the mystique...'85 black, '86-'89 black and dark grey, '90 black and red, '91 black, red, and green. Beside the sporty/aesthetic features the SPG came fully loaded with leather interior, AC, cruise control, heated seats, etc. I'm sure I have missed or forgotten something so someone else can fill in some of the blanks...
    Wulf likes this.

  3. #3
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '86 c900 S N/A 110hp, '98 9000CSE 270hp
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    Nah, you did pretty well, dmgb5! I think some of the U.S. models came with better audio equipment and extra gauges, but that was by no means standard--just more common. The Aero cars in some countries had their body kits painted the same color as the car, just like the Airflow kit, another, sorta-higher trim line for the high performance SAAB 900s.

    The first SPG/Aero prototypes were produced in 1984, painted pearlescent white. I think there were about six of them ever built. They made 175hp, and their body kits were painted the same color as the car. Beautiful things, also had red leather interiors, they're sought-after by collectors today. When the real SPG/Aero came out in 1985, it only made 160hp, and the body kit was painted charcoal gray.

    Some year-to-year changes:
    1987: Harder springs
    1988: Water-cooled turbo
    1990: Power increased from 160 to 175hp
    1991: They introduced a convertible Aero to some markets, not including the USA.
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  4. #4
    New Member dmgb5's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '89 c900 T16
    Quote Originally Posted by euromobile900 View Post
    ... and the body kit was painted charcoal gray.
    Anthracite grey was the colour.
    Quote Originally Posted by euromobile900 View Post
    Some year-to-year changes:
    1987: Harder springs
    1988: Water-cooled turbo
    1990: Power increased from 160 to 175hp
    1991: They introduced a convertible Aero to some markets, not including the USA.
    US T16's were actually 160 and SPGs were 165 until '90 when they were bumped up to 175. Also the standard US T16 and SPG had lower BHP ratings than many of the counterparts from other markets because all US/Canadian(?) c900's were equipped with a cat converter.

  5. #5
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    '86 c900 S N/A 110hp, '98 9000CSE 270hp
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    Ooookay!
    Clearly I should stick to offering technical help and writing tutorials, rather than dabbling in SAAB history!
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  6. #6
    Regular Member Tweek's Turbos's Avatar
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    2007 9-5 Combi, 1999 Viggen, 1985 SPG
    Project Garage Rot. The 1985 SPG | Facebook


    I have a few factory shots and such on my fb page. I probably have the hi res ones on my home comp.







    And the heritage 85.

  7. #7
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    What did the SPG have that upped the HP? Just different engine tuning?
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  8. #8
    Paul A
    Regular Member peva's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    T16 '93 Ruby - T16 '94 Vert Ruby
    Quote Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
    What did the SPG have that upped the HP? Just different engine tuning?
    The APC control box was tweaked to give about an extra 15 bhp. You can identify this by the red box ECU instead of the black/grey. There's plenty of info on this if you wish to do it yourself.

  9. #9
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    I just have to get one first...
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    "Sometimes it is better to travel than it is to arrive." - Robert Pirsig

  10. #10
    Hear my Saab a comin' nuclear944's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    Past: 1989 SPG & 1989 900 N/A Sedan
    SPG's did not come with a red APC standard.
    Also, the performance gains standard on a SPG can be achieved and bettered on any c900 turbo by modifying the APC.

    By tweaking the APC and fuel pressure regulator, I managed to get my SPG to max out in 5th on demand and lose traction in 3rd at times.

    Really, the improvements on SPG's were very mild, but still somewhat noteworthy. I believe the most important extras were the stiffer lowering springs; my SPG tended to have much more front end grip than a sti I once drove.

 

 
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