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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You wont see this match up very often but I own a sum-what heavily modded 1996 Saab 900 SE turbo and got a chance to match up with a STI today. It was a great setup for a friendly race. Got on the highway behind him and as he merge over he started to speed up I got behind him by three car lengths and matched his speed of 50mph. He realized I wanted a go at his STI, and probably thought the Saab would be easy prey, so he hit the gas. I down shifted to third and stayed right with him, actually gaining slowly closing to two and a half car lengths. He smoothly changed lanes to get around a car and I followed. Maintaining a safe distance from him and the other cars I dropped back to a 3 car length from the STI. The straightaway we were on was coming to an end and a long curve was coming up.

At this point I hit the rev-limit in 3rd at 7000 rpm and shifted into fourth. I knew that the rev-limit at 3rd meant I was going 115 mph and the curve ahead, which I have taken before, would not let me go more than 125 mph. I again gained on the STI and closed to the gap to 2.5 car lengths by the beginning of the curve.

The STI fell victim to the same lateral g-forces as me in the curve and was forced to maintained a steady speed of 127-130 mph. I held the curve as best I could but my old suspension and winter tires would not allow me the same steady speed as the STI. With a few mph difference the STI was able to widen the gap to 3.5 car lengths by the end of the turn. But once I was on the straight I floored it again and was able to cut the gap down to 3 car lengths.

At this time he tapped his brake lights realizing that our speeds were getting dangerous. I looked down at my speedometer, 138 mph was fast enough for me and I slowed it down, race over. He pulled over to his exit ramp and I came up next to him. He was in his late 20’s to early 30’s and gave a friendly and rather surprised wave. I smiled back and gave him the thumbs up and we went our separate ways.

My ski rack didn’t help my aerodynamics and if the road was completely straight I would have been able to pull along side him by the end. I was actually surprised my Saab was faster than the STI at speed, especially since I was using my low boost setting of 20 psi. But I do know that an STI will absolutely kill me off the line and post 1/4 times a least a second faster than me.

It was fun. Now I just have to wait for the Saab 9-2 STI to come out.

For info on my Saab's mods check out my website.
My Saab Site
 

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Cool car and site you've got there! I really like Saabs... How expensive are the aftermarket/Viggen parts, in general?

By the way, great shot of "The Beast" in the hatch. :cool:
 

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Nice car, quite the sleeper with the power that the dyno shows. You would certainly take me by surprise!

I do admit to being a little surprised that you gained on an STi, though...
 

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Being from Sweden I have a great affection for Saab. I wish they would get away from fwd. How is your torque steer with that power?
 

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Noticed on yer dyno plots that the retuned runs you lost significant amounts of torque. The second graph is waaay smoother and prolly a lot easier to drive, but 30 ft/lbs of torque is nothing to sneeze at.

...oh thats a great lookin and performing Saab. Always have liked the shape and designs that Saab rolls out. Bit on the oddball side of things, but ya can't fault Saab for functionality.
 

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I know a guy with an old 900 w/2.0 turbo that wants to run me. It should be interesting. He owns a rally car building shop, so im sorta concerned, but ill go for it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Re: Saab 900 SE vs STI

Thanks for responses, I was a little worried I’d catch some flak for my post. I think that my raised rev limit and gearing helped me a lot. 3rd gear takes me to 115, 4th to 140 and 5th to 185. That’s calculated, my Saab will not do more than ~155 mph. I’ve been paying more attention to the WRX since I heard of the Saab 9-2. Not sure if I’m a fan of such a blatant rebadging but it should be a nice car.

Integra96 – Viggen parts are very expensive, except for the Viggen intercooler. Aftermarket in general is pricey because of the low demand for Saab performance parts, but there’s some good stuff out there.

MrSwede – Torque steer is terrible. The Saab 900 SE suspension is not designed well. There are a few band-aid parts to fix it but it is definitely the week point of the car. I’ve just gotten used to wrestling with the steering wheel every time I punch it.

sarcasmo said:
Low boost setting of 20PSI:eek:
I thought you guys would get a kick out of my boost. It’s all relative and my high boost setting is 25 psi, so I call 20 psi low. Of course I can’t hold that to redline. It drops to 15 psi by 6000 rpm and 10 psi at 7000. The engine internals are stock and have on occasion spike to 30 psi when my boost controller becomes unhooked. EGT’s after the turbo often reach 1500 F but that is still within the safety limits of the engine. I was hoping that the Saab 9-2 would have the Saab engine because I know it so well. But it looks like I will be asking you guys for tips when I get my Saabaru.
 

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I'm pretty surprised you pulled on an STi with only 220 at the wheels. But again, the STi is only putting about 250. Anyway, that's one hell of a sleeper you've got there. I sure wouldn't want to line up against you.
 

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Well, he's running a few more psi than during the dyno run correct? Also, I think the Saab is well under 3000 pounds to boot...

-B
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
aheineken said:
I'm pretty surprised you pulled on an STi with only 220 at the wheels.
My most recent dyno showed 230-234 hp to the wheels. But I was running really rich with my crushed FPR. I've since changed it back to stock so I it likely that I am putting down a few more hp. My Saab weights around 3200 lbs without me in it. I think that one of the reasons I was able to pull on the STI was because it was brand new. When I was behind him I could see that the lower suspension was very clean and shinny, it hadn’t been taken through any muddy puddles. So it is likely that it wasn't broken in yet and the driver wasn't completely settled in and used into his new ride. I would like to thank him for a nice race though.
 
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