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Trionic is an engine management system developed by Saab Automobile. It consists of an engine control unit (ECU) that controls 3 engine aspects:

  1. Ignition timing
  2. Fuel injection
  3. Acts as a boost controller.

The numerical prefix 'tri-' (Tri being three) in Trionic. 'Ion' comes from the fact that it uses ion current, measured by the spark plugs between combustion events which acts as a sensor for knock, misfire and synchronization detection. The ion current stream which was developed within the ion sensing system due to combustion can be deduced by monitoring the secondary current of the ignition coil. Using the value and wave shape of the current, after the actual spark event, the quality of the actual combustion process is determined, thus allowing the engine control unit to optimize the timing of the spark for the best engine performance while keeping emissions low on a much wider range of rpms.

Since Trionic 7, the throttle and thereby the air charge has also been electronically controlled, but the name "Trionic" was not changed accordingly as it was determined that the name had value.


The SAAB Trionic engine management system was developed for the 9000 and 'New Generation' 900 turbocharged engines. The engine management system was first utilized on the Saab B204 and B234 "H" engines to monitor and control the fuel injection system and turbocharging pressure control.

The Trionic 5.2 and 5.5 systems utilized the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor and the intake air charge temperature sensor to calculate the fuel injection curves, while the Trionic 7 and 8 systems are mass air flow type. Both systems have substantial differences that prevent utilization of components between the two. Generally speaking, engine tuners prefer the easier to work with Trionic 5 systems over the Trionic 7 and 8 which are more restrictive in what can be manipulated within the software.

The intellectual rights to the Trionic 5 and 7 systems were sold in 2009 to BAIC, along with the Saab H Engine that it was designed for, as part of Saab's restructuring and transfer of ownership of General Motors to Spyker.

Models and ECU information[edit]

Trionic T5.2 Trionic T5.5 Trionic 7 Trionic 8
Released 1993 1994 1998 2003
Processor MC 68332 MC 68332 MC YQQCU MC 68377
User ROM 128 kB 256 kB 512 kB 2048 kB
Features TCS/ETC Optional TCS/ETC Optional /intake heatplate Optional 98-99 Does not use TCS on four cylinder models,

optional on 00-02 four cylinder models


Trionic systems are shortened to indicate their version; for e.g. T5, T7, T8, etc. The engines with T5 had red direct ignition modules which differentiated them visually from the T7 models which had a black ignition module. The ignition module on both T5 and T7 are an integral ignition coil and electronics that plug directly onto the spark plugs without the use of spark plug wires that were typically used in most engines at the time.

SAAB Models Utilizing Trionic Engine Management System:

  • 2nd Generation 900 ("NG900") 1994-1998 – T5
  • 9000 1994-1998 – T5
  • 1st Generation 9-3 1998-2000 – T5 (Except Viggen, which is T7)
  • 1st Generation 9-3 2000 to 2002 – T7
  • 1st Generation 9-5 1998-2010 4Cyl – T7
  • 2nd Generation 9-3 2003 to 2011 4cyl – T8


Sources include: Engine management system SAAB Trionic T5.5[1]


External links[edit]

  • at the Wayback Machine (archived 25 February 2019), formerly a Community dedicated to giving Trionic power to the people! This site is no longer online. Founded by Andrew J. Weaver and Steven A. Hayes and supported by the global SAAB community.
  •, community-driven exploration and development of new Trionic features, supported by the global SAAB community.