Everybody loves the BMW 2002. What's even better than a BMW 2002? A BMW 2002 Touring. Problem is they were never imported to the US, so they're hard to find and generally expensive. What's even better than a BMW 2002 Touring? A BMW 2002 Turbo. Problem with the 2002 Turbo is that only 1,672 were made, and in addition to being super rare they're also super expensive.
So what's a poor car enthusiast to do? Can't find a Touring, can't afford a Turbo, well what if you could get the best of both (turbo power, touring body style) in the same car for an affordable price? Enter the Saab 99 Turbo.
Only made for one model year in 1978, the bulk of the production (4,233 out of a total of 6,376 made) was shipped to the US. OK, so they're not actually terribly common, but the 99 Turbo is still easier to find and cheaper than 2002 Touring or Turbo. Cheap ones can be found for under $5K, and well sorted examples can be found in the $10K-12K range.
The 99 was introduced in 1968, and was the first Saab to feature a 4-stroke engine. Originally using a modified Triumph Slant-4 engine, in 1972 Saab began producing their engines domestically (which they now called the B-engine) due to reliability issues with the Triumph sourced engines.
Stig Blomqvist's rally spec 99 turbo at the 1980 Hunsrück-Rallye
The 99 Turbo featured the 2.0L version of the Saab B-engine and a Garret turbocharger, combining to put out 145hp from the factory. It's a little known fact that the 99 Turbo was named after Keith Turbo, the inventor of turbocharging. (Only one of these sentences is true).
At this point some of you might be thinking, but it's FWD! The BMW 2002 represents all that is right and holy in the automotive world by being RWD, how can you compare the two? Can we just move past this RWD hang up and admit that FWD cars can be cool and fun to drive as well? The Saab 99 Turbo gives you classic looks, loads of character, and a great driving experience, what's not to love?
Car ADD is the inability to focus on any one car at a time. Symptoms include: looking at a craigslist ad for a totally impractical car that you can't really afford and thinking to yourself, yeah, I can make this work.