Back in 2010 Saab launched the 9-3 Carlsson, a performance model limited to just 96 cars. It was a tribute to Eric Carlsson’s first RAC rally win 50 years earlier in 1960 in a Saab 96, with subsequent wins in 1961 and 1962.
The only colours available were black or white – simple choice.
The car featured the Saab XWD system along with turboX style wheels and boot lip spoiler.
The interior featured premium leather seats, DVD navigation, a Bose sound system, and probably every other option available at the time.
Performance was provided by a 280hp 2.8 V6, with a beautiful soundtrack provided by twin exhaust pipes.
The Carlsson was only available with the 6-speed automatic, but this suits the car well, and still manages the 0-60 sprint in 6.9 seconds powering on to a top speed of 155mph!
The four wheel drive system gives plenty of grip and, along with the lowered and stiffened suspension, I’m sure you would back down before you found the car’s limits in both performance and handling.
I’m not going to talk about MPG or the cost of road fund licence – performance never comes cheap, so in my opinion it’s a small price to pay for such a unique Saab, and in truth there will not even be 96 of these cars still in existence.
The launch price of £26,495 was a lot of money back then, but these days they can be bought for less than half that figure, representing fantastic performance car value along with the exclusivity a limited edition car provides.
The often asked question – will today’s modern cars ever become classics? That’s a hard question to answer, I would say yes, but only certain cars, and the 9-3 Carlsson is sure to be one of them.
So in summary, if you like your Saabs fast and furious and value the legendary name that is Eric Carlsson – catch one while you still can!