The Saab 97 (Sonett III) began production as a product of a Swedish and italian design collaboration and was unveiled in the spring of 1970 at the New York Motor Show.
The chief designer Sergio Coggiola as well as Gunnar A Sjögren were put to task to create this new version of the Sonett, following the previous model, the Sonett II, still with the designation of Saab 97.
This model range was produced until 1974, again at the former ASJ factory in Arlöv, Sweden. Most of the Sonett III’s were exported to the United States.
The final production model in (Mellow Yellow) is located at the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden.
This model for SAAB came equipped with the following specifications:
Sports Coupe, two doors, two seats, 800.6kg/1,765 lbs.
1970-74 MY Pop-up headlamps,
1971 MY Alloy Wheels
1972 MY Front Grill Redesigned, now matte black with center mounted blue disc with SAAB word mark and airplane logo phased out on all models, new alloy wheels similiar to 1972 99 EMS, but in all silver rather than soccer ball style. Rear decor plate now painted matte black
1973 MY self repairing bumpers that withstand a collision up to 8km/h (5mph), and U.S. safety regulations required that there were also square tubular steel side impact protection beams in doors. The door handle designs as a result changed. Stripes became available as an accessory. A New mauve paint job was unique to the model.
1974 MY The headlamps washer-wiper added, with pop-up lamps still operating in parallel. Enlarged tire size of 165R15 with allows in black and silver (soccerball). The colors for this year consisted of Baja Red, Burnt Orange, Mellow Yellow, True Blue and Emerald Green.
MY1973 Interior changes comprised a new leather gear knob and new controls on the instrument panel.
Semi-monocoque welded steel and fibreglass body, independent unequal length arms, coil springs, rear beam axle, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, Front disc brakes, rear brake drums, twin circuit braking, rack and pinion steering, 60 litre fuel tank, 155SR15 tyres, 4.5″ rim.
V configuration Four-cylinder longitudinally mounted, 90×58.86mm, 1498cc, compr: 9.0:1, 68hp @ 4,700 rpm, 11.7 mkp@ 2,500 rpm, Overhead valves, four cylinder, pushrod, central camshaft, gear camshaft drive, aluminium cylinder head, cast iron block, 3-bearing crankshaft, FoMoCo, water cooled.
1971 MY 1698cc engine, power output remained unchanged at 65hp. Air-conditioning was now an option.
Front-wheel drive, four-speed gearbox, spiral bevel final drive, 4.76:1,gearstick was now floor mounted.
Front Track 123.4cm/48.6″
Rear Track 123.5cm/48.6″
Ground Clearance 15.2cm/6″
Turning Circle 9.39m/30.8′
Performance Max Speed 103 mph/165 kph
18.1 mph/29 kph @ 1,000 rpm
Acceleration 0-60 mph 14.4 secs
Standing Mile 18.2 secs
Average Fuel Consumption 26.4mpg (Brooklands Books)
Model Year – Units
1970 MY – 740
1971 MY – 1,952
1972 MY – 2,080
1973 MY – 1,980
1974 MY – 1,596
8,348 Sonett III’s were produced in total.