PA Johansson’s awesome 800hp Saab 9-3

I haven’t written much about performance Saabs lately. I think it’s one of the side effects of having the Viggen laid up and waiting for repair. Tuning a 900 like mine any further than what’s already been done to it would just seem a little irresponsible.
It was a real pleasure, therefore, to receive this link on PA Johansson’s brilliant 800hp Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. I saw this vehicle at the Saab Festival in Sweden last year but unfortunately it wasn’t running at the time.
We’ve seen scattered coverage of this car before, including some video, but this writeup is especially from a modified car enthusiast’s perspective and details the full story behind this incredible vehicle.
Yes, it’s probably quite impractical for day to day use, but there’s something about this sort of thing that gets the heart pumping in a big way…..
Saab 9-3
I’ll let you click through to the story to read it in full. Aussie readers of Street Machine back in the 1990s will find the text style quite familiar 🙂
Just have a look at the modifications done, however, and you’ll realise that building a car like this is one heck of a detailed and expensive proposition.
And yes, those 800 horses are coming from a Saab 2 litre engine.
ENGINE
2.0-litre, four-cylinder 1994 Saab 900 engine, standard head ported by Mike Billet, custom head bolts, 90.8mm bore, 78mm stroke, Trollspeed 34mm inlet valves and 32mm outlet valves, Wargia/Trollspeed adjustable valve timing and adjustable cam tensioners, Piper 298-degree cams with 12.9mm lift, JE pistons, Verdi rods, 9.35:1 compression ratio, oil filter removed, SETRAB oil cooler, Spal fan, 8 x 720cc Siemens injectors, 3.5 bar fuel pressure with TWM fuel pressure regulator, 40-litre ATL fuel cell, custom catch tank with two Bosch 044 fuel pumps, 1.5-litre catch tank with double filters, two high-pressure fuel lines, Wargia custom fuel rail, Henrik (Jesus) custom four-branch manifold with 44.5mm pipes, two Tial 38mm wastegates, two Tial dump valves, Turbonetics/ITS T76 turbocharger, 3″ pressure pipe from intercooler to turbo, 3″ stainless steel exhaust system with 3.5″ downpipe, Racecoolings custom intercooler, Racecoolings radiator, TIBUC and Trollspeed water pump, Pectal T6 ECU TRANSMISSION Tractive five-speed sequential gearbox, AP Racing carbon fibre 200mm triple-plate clutch, Trollspeed lightweight flywheel, Tractive four-wheel drive system, Tractive hydraulic programmable active differentials: Tractive 3.31:1 rear differential with Volvo 850 steel diff housing, Sellholm Tuning 3.31:1 front differential, Svea Bid hybrid Volvo/BMW driveshaft
PERFORMANCE
Max power – 802bhp, max torque – 775Nm at 2.9 bar boost using 105 octane race fuel
SUSPENSION
Forza customised Bilstein coilover setup front and rear, custom made setup by Pelle at Wargia
BRAKES
Front: Tarox twelve-pot calipers with 380mm discs and 2006 Saab 9-5 custom hubs.
Rear: Tarox eight-pot calipers with 360mm discs and 2006 Saab 9-5 custom hubs
WHEELS & TYRES
10x20in BBS RS GT wheels, 255/30/20 Yokohama Advan Sport tyres
EXTERIOR
Saab Diners Club Racing Team carbon fibre front spoiler, carbon fibre front arch panels, carbon fibre rear arches moulded into metal panel (6-7cm wider arches front and rear), carbon fibre extension for rear bumper, Swedish Composite Engineering carbon fibre boot lid and roof, standard Saab Aero side skirts, standard aluminium bonnet with pins, Wargia Engineering rear wing, Porsche Titan grey respray with custom Saab griffin graphics.
WEIGHT
1325kg wet with 56%:44% weight distribution
INTERIOR
Race certified Rally Products multi-point roll-cage, rear seat removed, Sparco Evo VTR bucket seats, Sparco 3 harnesses, Tilton pedal box, Wargia Engineering steering system, Sparco snap-off steering wheel, carbon fibre floor plates, custom centre panel cover to cover mounted-further-back engine, standard Saab dashboard with carbon fibre inserts, VDO gauges, WIKA boost gauge, Aim dash data logger, custom centre panel for automatic fuse switches, red button for fire system, Wilwood rally-spec handbrake. In boot: 40-litre ATL fuel cell, custom catch tank with two Bosch 044 fuel pumps, two separate fuel lines to engine, high pressure Fogmaker water sprinkler system, carbon fibre panels in boot floor and sides

Saab Turbo X: best review yet

Thanks to Jamie W for sending me a link to the best Saab Turbo X review I’ve seen so far.
It’s not the best because it’s a glowing piece full of nothing but praise. Not at all. As a matter of fact they only award it three stars out of five, which isn’t exactly fireworks and marching bands.
It’s the best review I’ve seen because it’s objective and honest, and it doesn’t resort to lazy prose to tell you the story of what is Saab’s most advanced vehicle to date.
The review is from Fifth Gear.

Never mind the looks, though; what really matters is what you can’t see, its four-wheel drive. This is Saab’s first ever four-wheel drive system, but it’s one of the most advanced in the world – as well it needs to be, given that Audi’s famous Quattro system came to market many years ago – and General Motors was so impressed with Saab’s work that the Swedish company will now lead all of GM’s future work in this area…..
….Probably the most important thing is that, yes, the XWD does its job, but you have to really concentrate to spot it in action. That alone is a sure sign that Saab’s engineers have done their job well….
….Away from the track and out on the road, it’s that feeling of safety that is the abiding memory of a drive in the Turbo X. You may not have the kind of sensations that you would in a BMW 3 series, for example, but for crossing country in comfort at a decent lick, this Saab is hard to beat.

That’s a taster for you. There’s three pages of it and anyone considering the Turbo X should read it.
It’s not the best car in the world, but it’s the best 9-3 that’s come so far, and if you’re into Saabs then this is the ducks guts.

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