The Saab 97, also designated the Saab Sonnett III, was the answer to the outdated look and design of the 1970s Sonett.
Introduced at the New York Motor Show in the Spring of 1970, the Sonett III was a significantly wider vehicle than previous models and weighed only 770 kgs.
Designed by Italian designer Sergio Coggiola and Swedish designer Gunnar A. Sjögren.
Due to many modifications, Coggiola's name didn't appear on the new vehicle, but he is still credited for a vast portion of the design.
Coggiola was known for his design on Saab Sonett III, Fiat Punto Surf, Fiat Brava Sentiero, Pontiac CF 428, Lancia Thema Coupe and many more vehicles.
Using the same Ford V4 engine as before, the Sonett III had the type indicator ‘97' in the chassis number and 1500 cc in 1970 and 1971.
The Saab Sonett III came with pop-up headlights operated by manually operated levers, and in 1973 it received self-repairing bumpers. It also came with a hinged rear window that became the hatch to the rear luggage compartment that improved access. A small, matt-black panel in top of the front section reveals access to the engine compartment.
With an option of installed air conditioning, the Sonett III came with a floor shifter rather than a column shifter found in previous models.
In order to handle US emissions controls the engine was updated to a 1700 cc. With an engine of 65 hp (48 kW), the Sonett III was able to achieve top speed of 165 km/h.
The Sonnett was able to reach 0 to 100 km/h in 13 seconds, and had a drag coefficient of 0.31.
In 1974, unable to handle the more strict automobile emission control in the US, production on the Sonett III ended.
Before production ended, a total of 10, 219 Saab 97 (both II and III Sonetts') were created.By Jessica Donaldson