I was saving this little piece of Saab trivia for a rainy day, but since the V-8 is a hot topic right now, why not?
As I mentioned previously, I’m not sure that Saab should spend time developing a V-8 power plant option, but it wouldn’t be the first time that it came to light.
In 1989, the engineers at Valmet, a long-time Saab manufacturing partner in Uusikaupunki (Nystad), Finland, took it as a personal challenge to develop and fit a V-8 engine into the Saab 9000. Their counterparts at Saab in Trollhattan said that it couldn’t be done. Of course, resourceful folks that they are, they succeeded in their mission to prove the Saab engineers wrong. As we all know, GM bought a controlling stake in Saab the very next year and thus negated any need for a Saab-developed V-8.
This Saab V-8 was, as it appears, two B202 16-valve engines combined to create a right-angle V-8 engine which the good folks in Uusikaupunki managed to fit into a 1989 9000 and drive around terrorizing the local law enforcement community.
This is text directly from Tommi’s page:
The Saab engineers in Sweden had said that making a V8 fit the engine bay of the 9000 was impossible. The people at Uusikaupunki didn’t buy it and in 1988 produced a prototype of a V8 engine by combining two 4 cylinder Saab engines. The 4 litre Valmet TF (Twin Four) V8 engine put out almost 300 horsepower and it was mounted sideways under the bonnet of a Saab 9000. No body modification was necessary, the engine fit right in.
The engineers at the factory said that the V8 9000 was “a hoot to drive”. This is evidently backed up by the several speeding tickets that were gathered during the road tests.
No matter what side of this debate that you are on, would you ever want to stifle creativity like this? I hope not! These “tangents” create new ideas and new technologies. Not all of them are useful, I’ll grant you, but without the failures you cannot have the successes.