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4 Wheel Drive Madness


A list of some spectacular 4x4s and some not so spectacular. | 4x4 History


Per Eklund took fourth place in Easter Sunday's `Queenstown Race to the Sky' hillclimb - south island, New Zealand. His car is the four wheel drive Saab special, as used in the European Rallycross Championship.
The hillclimb is 15km long with 137 corners rising from 500m to 1700m in the Waiorau Mountain Range in the Cardrona Valley near Lake Wanaka.
Eklund's time was 9 minutes 5 seconds. The Saab has 600hp but Ekland said "Maybe we needed another 100 or 150 horsepower."


A special four wheel drive Saab 9-3 Viggen with a 515kW (700hp) 800Nm turbo charged 2-litre engine, six speed gearbox, and four wheel drive.

This special is for European Rallycross champion, Per Eklund, to use in the 2000 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. It is said to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in under 2.5 seconds. The climb starts at an altitude of 2865m (9,402 feet) and over a distance 20km (12.42 miles) and through 156 corners climbs to 4300m (14,110 feet). In 1994 Rod Millen set an outright record of 10:04.06 in a Toyota Celica turbo 4wd.

2000: Per Eklund earned his money, setting a Pikes Peak Open class record of 11 minutes 21.58 seconds for the climb. Only Larry Ragland's GMC Envoy was faster (11:17.66) in the High Tech Truck and SUV class. Rod Millen, who holds the outright record (10:04.06), blew a turbo on his unlimited-class Toyota Tacoma and failed to finish.

There are rumours that this happy news for Saab is an indication of four wheel drive Saab road cars to come, courtesy of General Motors investment.