Saab 900 T8 Special 1989

Since the 900i was stolen I was forced to buy a new car.

(The 900i was later found in pretty good condition though… So I now have the 900i and this Turbo as well).

This is what I found:

Saab 900 T8 Special 1989
Saab 900 T8 Special 1989

It’s a 1989 Saab 900 T8 Special. Or as it is sometimes called “a poor man’s Aero”.

It has all the same extras (such as Airflow body kit and Aero rims) as Aero, expcept that it has no cruise control and the engine is not T16, it’s T8. The reason for the T8 engine is simple; When T16 became availlable Saab noticed that the T8’s in stock became impossible to sell. They got the idea to bundle the T8’s with a bunch of accessories for better marketability and thus the T8 Special was born.

The Saab 900 T8 Special was sold only in Sweden, only in 1989, only in Odoardo Grey paint and only with Ox Blood red leather interior. The model also had Airflow kit, Aero rims, electric roof hatch, electric mirrors, electric windows and a little rear wing.

Someone told me that only 300 T8 Specials were made, but I have not been able to verify this. But, I also read on a Swedish forum that 1989 was the final year for the T8 so all T8 Turbos made in 1989 were like this. In that case something like 1000 units would be closer. But, as I said, I really have no real info on this.  (Update: The President of the Saab Club of Finland also said there was about 300 Specials made of the total of around 1000 1989 T8s. So the 300 should be the correct figure.)

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The oldschool T8. It’s not sissy like the low boost “S” turbo but nor is it civilized like the T16. T8 has a hefty amount of turbo lag and it doesn’t really boost under 3000 rpm – but when it finally gets into gear… Oh boy.

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Leather steering wheel and Ox blood red leather seats. Even the dash is red!

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I just bought the car yesterday but I absolutely love it already!

…Almost forgot – this one has car alarm and immobilizer.

8 thoughts on “Saab 900 T8 Special 1989”

  1. I am thinking of buying a 1995 saab 900 6 cyl. automatic. Anything you can say about this year and model?

    Thank You!
    Julie

  2. I have a question:
    “300 Specials made of the total of around 1000 1989 T8s”
    Did SAAB gave it extra name like ‘Aniversary’?

    It seems like I have the ability to have 900turbo with T8 1989, with Ox Blood interior and guy who is selling told me that it is ‘aniversary version’. Can you comment it somehow?

    Could it be one of those 300’s ?

    Ave900!

    1. Hi,

      it’s possible that it is a T8 Special.

      I’m not sure if the Special is official name or not – but at least
      these 300 cars were always refered to and sold as Saab 900 T8 Special.
      There were no marketing brochures for it though, it was only offered
      on the lists. They were only sold in Sweden. I think some people call
      them also Anniversary but not in Scandinavia and it was not official
      name.

      Some were marked as Saab 900 Aero Special in the original Swedish
      registration.

      If it’s a real T8 Special it should have following accessories:
      Aero rims, Airflow body kit, small rear wing (no whale tail),
      “Oxblood” red leather interior, also red dashbord, electric windows,
      electric roof hatch. Color is SAAB 204B Odoardo grey. T8 engine with
      Cat. Suspension setup is the same as in aero with front and rear roll
      bars (great to drive). The car’s had no Cruise Control (where as in
      Aero it was pretty much standard). Badges were same as in normal Turbo
      model (no Aero markings).

      Despite it being a turbo it’s somewhat low tune in original form, only
      145 Hp because of the Lambda+Cat which made it a Low Emission car here
      in Finland/Sweden. Easy to tune to about 175 Hp with APC mod but
      that’s about the limit because the K-jetronic fuel delivery doesn’t
      keep up with the demand after that.

      The K-jet + Lambda combo isn’t very popular because it can be hard to
      adjust correctly and it has a tendency to “drift” out of adjustment.
      So it may need regular checkup. Figuring out what is wrong can be more
      difficult than in T16 engine or regular T8 (without lambda+cat). Many
      have swapped the engine for a T16 which is better in many respect but
      ofcourse not original or ripped out the Lambda+cat where it’s allowed.

      But if it runs good it’s a great drive (and it really looks stunning
      also – propably the best looking “Aero” style model to me). Be sure to
      test full throttle acceleration and especially light throttle steady
      pace as the engine may run very unevenly if it’s not in good
      condition. The mechanicals are usually solid, it’s the K-jet and
      lambda that cause most problems. Typical fault is cold start which can
      be problematic (so if you take it on test drive check that the engine
      is cold – if not the seller propably knows it doesn’t start good when
      cold). Also test starting when warm. The Lambda causes it to usually
      have uneven idling, so it’s more a normal feature than a fault.

      Hope this helps,

      Tommi

  3. Hej,
    I have last veek bout me a Saab 900 T8 Special, here in sweden it calls T8 Special, i think if you look in chassienumber it will say “sp” in the end of the chassienumber. Or is it just in my registration papers?
    I look forward to start restoring my Saab.

    //Ralf.

  4. Hello,
    i was wrong, it wasn,t chassienumber, it was modelnumber,
    my Saab has, “Saab 900 T8 AD35S-SP”.
    //Ralf.

  5. Hoi!
    My father bought himself a 900T8Special, the modelnumber ends with SP 🙂 Only 300 were build and do you know how many are stil alive?
    It only has 140 HP but can you remove the lambda and cat so it will has minimum 155HP? How can you get more power from this engine?

    1. Despite it being a turbo it’s somewhat low tune in original form, only 145 Hp because of the Lambda+Cat which made it a Low Emission car here in Finland/Sweden.

      Easy to tune to about 175 Hp with APC mod but that’s about the limit because the K-jetronic fuel delivery doesn’t keep up with the demand after that.

      Mine worked pretty well. It had APC mod and the Lambda & Cat were still functioning. The K-jet + Lambda combo isn’t very popular because it can be hard to adjust correctly and it has a tendency to “drift” out of adjustment.

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