Ten years after the successful “Long Run” with a trio of 9000 Turbos, Saab went for an encore at the famous NASCAR Talladega Motor Speedway in Alabama. Doubling the effort with a fleet of six cars, this time around, the Saab of choice was the “New Generation” 900 in a three-door configuration.
When the checkered flag fell on Oct. 24, 1996, a silver Saab 900 SE 2.0 Turbo had covered more than 25,000 miles (40,000 km) at an average speed of more than 140 mph (226.45 km/h), including time spent fueling and servicing the car.
In setting these international records, the Saab 900 had to beat the previous world record that was set with the 9000 Turbo at Talladega in 1986.
Saab’s innovative, water-cooled Garrett turbochargers and Trionic engine management system helped these engines and components endure strains that engineers never imagined. Exhaust temperatures of more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and turbocharger’s turbines spinning at almost 200,000 rpm for hours on end proved the durability and reliability of these powerful engines.
After completing a distance equivalent to more than one lap around the earth at full throttle, the Saab 900 Turbo and its V-6, along with its non-turbo brethren, set 40 international speed records.
Following the tradition established a decade earlier with the “Long Run” 9000 Turbo, a record-setting Saab 900 SE from the 1996 Talladega Challenge was retained for the Saab Heritage Collection in the United States.
Press release 2007
More cars from the Heritage Collection: http://saabworld.org/tag/heritage-collection/