CAR Magazine hot hatch poll in print

In order to tie off the grand result that was an international effort to see the Saab 99 Turbo recognised for the innovator that it was, here’s the print version of the CAR Magazine Hot Hatch poll results.
Well done, everyone. Please click to enlarge. It’s worth it not just for the poll, but also the listing of hot hatches over the years. If you’re into this class of car, as I am, then it’s an interesting list to read.
My thanks to John at Elkparts for scanning it and sending it through.
Note – the bars on this graph aren’t to scale. The Lancia and Saab bars would bell and truly off the page if they were.
And the list of hot hatches through the years. I’d love to get a chance to add some of these to my garage.

CAR review the Saab 9-3x

The first paragraph of this Saab 9-3x review from CAR Magazine says it all, really.

Road testing any Saab in the current anvil-off-a-cliff company climate feels uncomfortably akin to reviewing a restaurant which has just served up perfectly roasted slices of the last remaining dodo. And road testing the new 9-3X is all the more frustrating for the fact that it should have been with us a good decade ago.

A well executed car that’s being served up too late by a chef who’s possibly just killed off his stock in trade. Or so it would seem if you were a pessimist and figured Saab were dead. I choose to believe.
So what we’ve got then, is a well executed car that’ll be released later this year.
A few of CAR’s thoughts:

Thoroughbred, or nag, then?
First impressions would favour the former. With only two prototypes at its disposal, Saab forbade so much as one inch of real world driving in favour of a test track snow-ploughed onto the surface of a frozen lake. Though this makes it impossible to report on quite how well the car would tackle Basildon at 9.30 on a Friday night, slithering about on frozen water for a day does admirably demonstrate the 9-3’s wholesale transformation from cow on ice to something more akin to husky; the XWD system shunting power to and fro with admirable alacrity and the LSD adding perceptible levels of extra traction and stability astern…..
….This is definitely one of the better cars we might never get to drive.

It’s a worthwhile read, if only for the first page’s long look at exactly why we’re getting the Saab 9-3x so late.
They exaggerate a bit claiming it’s 10 years ago that Saab could have done this. More like 5-7 years, really, but after the Hot Hatch Poll it’s just nice to see the guys at CAR still writing about Saabs.

CAR Magazine respond on the hot hatch poll

Last month we had an ongoing interest in a poll being conducted at CAR Magazine’s website.
The topic up for public voting was What is the hottest hot hatch of all time? and the Saab 99 Turbo was listed by CAR Magazine as one of the candidates. Naturally, this piqued the interest of we Saab enthusiasts.
When we joined the poll, the 99T had a mere 26 votes. By the end of the poll, with a number of Saab forums joining the effort, the 99T finished a clear 2nd with 5,800 votes, around a thousand votes behind the Lancia Delta Intergrale.
As the poll drew to a close, I wrote an open letter to the editors of CAR Magazine imploring them to consider the 99T on its merits. It’s not a traditional hot hatch as they’ve come to be know, but it was a hatch and it definitely was hot for it’s time.
SU regular, 99GL, has just opened his recently acquired new edition of CAR Magazine and they have a comment about the poll on page 81:

We asked you via our website to tell us which was the greatest hot hatch of all time and 25,524 of you did just that. And if you frequented Saab forum [sic] you also told your wives, brothers and neighbours to tell us too, you cheating swines – so the 99 Turbo nearly walked away with the top honours. A great car, but not that great.
Fortunately justice prevailed and the Lancia Delta Integrale pipped it at the post with 28% of the votes… “

Cheating swine, eh?!
Incorrect reference to the website, eh?!
If you CAR people exit your building one dark rainy night and see a set of old 1970s Saab headlamps bearing down upon you, I think you can be faily confident it’s not a pizza delivery.
Well done everyone who participated.

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