NORCROSS, Ga. - The Saab 9-3's fun-to-drive character is highly attributable to its powertrain line-up. All 9-3 models are powered exclusively by enhanced turbocharged engines which strike a precise balance between high performance, good fuel efficiency and low emission levels. The updated Ecopower 2.0L engine is the latest offering in a long line of dynamic Saab turbocharged cars. Saab presented its first turbo car in 1976 and has been optimizing turbocharging technologies ever since.
Enhanced horsepower and torque ranges
The 2000 Saab 9-3 models are available with two enhanced 2.0-liter Saab Ecopower turbocharged engines - a 205 horsepower high-output turbo engine in the Saab 9-3 SE 5-door and SE Convertible variants and a 185 horsepower engine for all other Saab 9-3 Coupe, 5-door and Convertible models.
Saab's updated 205 horsepower 2.0L high-output turbo four-cylinder engine delivers its maximum horsepower at 5,500 rpm (5,750 rpm with automatic transmission) and strong low-end torque of 209 lb.-ft. at just 2,200 rpm. Because the amount of torque available in the rev range dictates the driveability and acceleration capabilities of a vehicle, this Saab engine, with a manual transmission, maintains its maximum torque all the way up to 4,800 rpm. With an automatic transmission, the maximum torque of 184 lb.-ft. is maintained from 1,900 rpm all the way to 5,700 rpm. With either variant, this broad, flat plateau of maximum torque provides usable power on demand for overtaking, avoiding potential hazards or sheer driving enjoyment.
Saab doesn't restrict the fun-to-drive attributes of a broad torque range just to 9-3 SE owners. Its entry level 9-3 models offer a 185 horsepower 2.0-liter engine that, with a manual transmission, provides 194 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,100 rpm to 4,200 rpm. When mated to an automatic, the engine offers 184 lb.-ft. from 1,900 all the way to 5,000 rpm.
Trionic 7 Engine Management System
Both of the 9-3's 2.0L engines feature enhancements for 2000. For starters, they are now managed by Saab's Trionic 7 (T7) engine management system - which was first introduced on the 9-5 Sedan. T7 is controlled by a 32-bit microprocessor that is capable of performing two million calculations per second. It monitors and controls the direct ignition, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure and throttle setting to enhance performance. Since T7 provides electronic throttle control, it overcomes the lag often present in a turbocharged engine by manipulating the throttle position. T7 opens the throttle further than the driver has requested, making more engine torque available as soon as it's needed. It's an electronic slight of hand, but immediately accomplishes the driver's request for more power.
Other engine enhancements to the 9-3 model line include stronger pistons, new gudgeon pins and sturdier crankshafts for enhanced durability. Like the 9-3 Viggen and 9-5 Aero, the exhaust valves in the 9-3 engine are made of Nimonic alloy, a nickel alloy with excellent heat resistant properties that is often used in jet engine components.
Transmissions contribute to fun-to-drive attitude
The Saab 9-3 features a standard five-speed manual transmission that includes a hydraulically operated clutch to ease driving and provide smooth gear shifts. For excellent low-end performance, and to make the car easy to drive in city traffic, Saab's manual transmission offers driver-friendly gear ratios and a final drive ratio of 4.05:1. These gear and final drive ratios provide quick off-the-line response while maintaining good highway cruising fuel efficiency. An electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with three driver-selectable shift modes Ð sport, normal and winter Ð is optional.
Saab Engines Offer Efficiency and Power in Same Package
Saab turbo engines are labeled Ecopower and offer a unique combination of high performance, low emissions (all 2000 Saab 9-3 engines are LEV compliant) and good fuel economy. With its 9-3 SE turbo engine, Saab now provides over 100 horsepower per liter of engine displacement - an efficiency virtually unmatched in a family car, and traditionally only found in ultra high performance sports cars.