No, I haven't owned one of these. Yet. But maybe soon.
|The early Swedish-built Saab Sonnet II had a
two-stroke (Ford V-4) engine -- meaning that instead of the modern
four-stroke system of: |
1.) Fuel + Air Intake Stroke
The Sonett I and early II's engine has only two strokes, which effectively combine steps 1 and 2 of a "normal" four-stroke process nearly simultaneously, and then does the same with steps 3 and 4. The result is that you actually get away with a higher red line and more horsepower, since every other stroke is a power stroke. Unfortunately, in a two-stroke engines, you have to mix the oil with the gasoline, which is environmentally disasterous. There aren't many 2-stroke engines left today. I think that some motocycle manufacturers have found a way to make them a little cleaner. Later Sonnett IIs switched over to 4-stroke engines.
|The Saab Sonett III, has a slightly more conventional powerplant -- a V-4, front wheel drive engine -- which is to say, a totally alien engine. There weren't many front wheel drive cars in the early 1970s, and almost no V-4 engines... except on other Saabs. The Sonett III is sharp-looking, especially when the flip-up headlights are down -- it's pointier than a Fiat X 1/9 or a Triumph TR-7. It has a fibreglass body, meaning it doesn't rust. It features a sturdy steel roll-cage that's visible inside the car to protect the occupants. The car may not look or feel safe, but the roll cage is serious business -- the beams are about two inches thick. I've seen video footage of a Sonett III being rolled in a race. The driver just extracted himelf from the car, dusted himself off, and with the help of a few other guys, rolled the car up-right, and drove off.|