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The Saab Monster
was an experimental car made by Saab
Saab Automobile AB, better known as Saab , is a Swedish car manufacturer owned by Dutch automobile manufacturer Swedish Automobile NV, formerly Spyker Cars NV. It is the exclusive automobile Royal Warrant holder as appointed by the King of Sweden...
in 1959. This project was part of Saab's work in motorsport and the need to derive more power from their two-stroke powerplant. It consisted of a 'Toreador Red' Saab 93
The Saab 93, pronounced ninety-three, is an automobile manufactured by Saab. It was announced on August 18, 1955, and was first presented on December 1, 1955. It was styled by Sixten Sason and had a longitudinally-mounted three-cylinder 748 cc Saab two-stroke engine giving 33 hp . The...
with all excess weight removed, including the bonnet, which was replaced by a plastic one. The engineers then installed two
transverse 748 cc two-stroke
A two-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes the process cycle in one revolution of the crankshaft...
, three cylinder engines, in a 'split in-line' configuration, driving the front wheels through a modified clutch
A clutch is a mechanical device which provides for the transmission of power from one component to another...
and gearbox assembly. There were two distributors and an enlarged radiator.
This arrangement gave the car about 138 bhp and a top speed of 196 km/h (121.8 mph) (achieved at Såtenäs airfield). This was a speed record but was not recognised on account of discrepancies in scrutineering and recording. The low weight and the 'drop' or aerofoil shape of the body gave the rear end a tendency to become airborne when approaching the top speed. The amount of torque
Torque, moment or moment of force , is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist....
, coupled with front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive is a form of engine/transmission layout used in motor vehicles, where the engine drives the front wheels only. Most modern front-wheel drive vehicles feature a transverse engine, rather than the conventional longitudinal engine arrangement generally found in rear-wheel drive and...
, also gave rise to severe understeer
Understeer and oversteer are vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car turns by more than the amount commanded by the driver...
. It was the combination of immense power and poor handling that gave rise to the name 'Monster'. The project was terminated because it proved impractical.
The restored Saab Monster is now on display in the Saab museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...
Trollhättan is a city and the seat of Trollhättan Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 44,498 inhabitants in 2005. It is located 75 km north of Sweden's second-largest city, Gothenburg....
In the early 1970s Saab and Sportpromotion built a similar vehicle powered by two V4 engines giving 144 hp. The car was also designed to run backwards.http://www.visit.se/~skoglund/othercar.htm