The 1972-1974 Saab Sonett capitalized on the acclaim the previous years' models had finally earned. From just 303 of the first Saab Sonett IIIs produced, model-year output reached 2,000 in 1972, when the cars were virtually unchanged.
The 1973 Sonett was treated to new safety bumpers like those found on other Saabs: large energy-absorbing units sheathed in a black covering. Inside were large plastic honeycombs that could absorb a decent hit without deflecting into the bodywork. Doors were also given added strength this year, interior trim was upgraded, and an attractive new instrument panel with all controls lighted also arrived. Alloy wheels now had blacked-out sections like the EMS.
The end of an era: the 1974 Saab Sonett
There were few alterations to the final Sonetts for 1974. Lower-bodyside stripes, previously optional, became standard equipment. Headlights gained wipers with washers. Still, a series-record 2,500 were manufactured.
The end came when it did because Saab management realized that a redesign necessary to meet future emissions and safety standards in its prime market was altogether too costly in view of the car's limited sales potential. Nonetheless, there were plans being bandied about for future Saab sports cars, including a 2.0-liter Sonett IV. From beginning to end, a total of 10,236 Sonett II and Sonett III models were produced.
1974 Saab Sonett engine
Although the early Sonetts never quite captured the public imagination, the Sonett III did fulfill its role as a showroom draw, and its presence in the Saab lineup served to greatly elevate the manufacturer in the eyes of the public. It also found long-lived favor with a number of amateur sports car racers. That it was a pretty car in addition to being a pretty good one was just icing on the cake.
Review the stats of this short-lived beauty's production by model year on the next page.
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