Saab had a bit of a reputation for building what you might call “quirky” cars, but look back and by modern standards, they’re not that unusual, what with their turbocharged four-cylinder engines and focus on safety.
But the characteristics that made a Saab different in its day, explains Jason Cammisa in the latest Revelations video, is exactly what makes a car like the electric Tesla Model 3 different today. The 900 Turbo, then, was the Tesla of its day.
We’ll not give the game away here – you can watch the video for the full explanation – but Cammisa makes a convincing argument, and if you weren’t into Saabs before, learning just how well engineered they were might make you a fan by the time you’ve finished.
Why is the 900’s windscreen so curved, for instance? Why is there a subtle concave shape to the tailgate, and why did Saab move the ignition barrel between the seats? And why is the plumbing for the turbocharger so ludicrously convoluted?
Whatever the answers, the Saab 900 foretold the future of transportation for the following decades in much the same way as the Tesla Model 3 points to the next era of motoring.
It makes us wonder how many Model 3 owners have a 900 Turbo tucked up in the garage as a weekend classic…