The Saab H engine is a redesign of the Saab B engine. Despite the name it is not an H engine, but a slanted inline-4. The H engine was introduced in 1981 in the Saab 900 Classic and was also used in the Saab 99 from 1982 onwards and the Saab 90. It continued in use in the 900 NG, 9-3, 9000, and 9-5. The 2003 Epsilon based 9-3 switched to the GM Ecotec, leaving the 9-5 as the sole user of the H engine. The last model year for this family of engines was 2009. The tooling and well as know-how was sold to BAIC.
All versions feature a grey cast iron block and an aluminum head with a single or double overhead chain driven camshafts. SOHC engines use two valves per cylinder and DOHC versions use four valves per cylinder with a pentroof chamber; the valve angle being 22 degrees from vertical. All engines use flat inverted bucket type valve lifters, hydraulic in the case of DOHC engines.
The engines were given numberic designations based on their displacement (in litres) and the "generation" they belong to, for instance B201 is a 2.0 litre engine of the first generation of the H series. Additionally, a letter next to the engine's series number indicated the absence or presence, and amount of turbo boost. "I" denoted non-turbo engines, "E" was the low-pressure turbo version, "L" the mid-range turbo and "R" was the most powerful version of the turbo engine in a given lineup.