Date: Wed, 08 Nov 2000 03:31:49 GMT
From: "Brian Greene" <Delinquent1nopsamdnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Doubts about the 9-3's "nervousness"


I have to agree with Steve on this issue. The most appealing aspect of a 17" wheel is not comfort, it is not additional weight...it is the fact that the bigger the wheel, the more rubber touches the asphalt. As we all know, the more rubber that makes contact with the asphalt, the better the handling. This is the main reason that Porsches come from the factory with 17" & 18" wheels with low profile tires. Ever seen a Viggen? Saab installs 17" wheels on Viggens for a reason. The more rubber on the asphalt means less torque drive (torque drive definition: speed wobbles when you stomp the gas). Low profile tires are not only utilized because of the rigidity of the sidewall but because there's not a whole lot of room in the Saab wheel well. The 9-3's wheel well was designed to fit a 15" wheel with a standard z rated tire. Brian "Stephen Mannino" <smanninonopsam.com> wrote in message news:GdWN5.118313$ib7.16048632nopsam1.rdc1.nj.home.com... > Excuse me but I can't agree with the comments about low profile tires and 17 > inch wheels being strictly for looks. I've owned both and the handling is > better on the 17s, although the ride is certainly harsher. The reason for > this is that the shorter sidewalls flex less. And yes a 17 inch wheel may > weigh a bit more than a 16 inch, but I'll betcha the higher profile 16 inch > tires more than makes up the difference. > > Steve > > "Goran Begicevic" <goran.begicevicnopsamech.se> wrote in message > news:3A05BC18.DFFCCA73nopsamech.se... > > Try a bit smaller wheels and no so small-profile tyres. Those "two turns > > of tape" tyres are just fashion thing without any real-world > > significance...and they cost more too... > > > > > > > > Andrew Stephenson wrote: > > > > > > Today I handed back a 9-3, borrowed from my local dealer for a > > > 24-hour test. And I really don't know what to make of it. > > > > > > There is so much to like. Design attitude. Care over ergonomics > > > and safety. Performance. Etc. But there were features I could > > > not live with -- and I'd like to know if these are typical of the > > > model, or just easily-fixed aberrations. > > > > > > The specification was almost what I was interested in, relevant > > > parts being: 2001 9-3 Coupe LPT SE. But it had 17" wheels, not > > > the standard 16" size. > > > > > > What ground down my happiness was what I call the "nervousness" > > > of the ride. With SAAB being a mid-to-high performance marque, > > > one must accept the suspension will be lively. It needs to be, > > > for good road-holding. OTOH, each bump came straight through, > > > unmuffled by the seating; the car jittered restlessly; and it > > > occurred to me that any passengers would surely become sea-sick. > > > > > > This BTW was on well maintained but narrow winding rural English > > > roads. I was getting around 38 MP(UK)G, at an average of 35 MPH > > > in the course of one hour on the home stretch. Ie: little wild > > > acceleration, just reasonable progress for the route, allowing > > > for slow tail-backs, some town driving towards the end and that > > > only a fool would exceed 60 on most of _those_ lanes. The car > > > wasn't exactly being thrashed or thrown about. > > > > > > I could probably get used to: > > > * the controls crammed into the gap between the front seats and > > > having to fight my jacket to reach them and the ignition key; > > > * and the struggle to deploy the seat belt (remember, this was a > > > Coupe, on which the wider door's rear edge is extra-far back); > > > * and the teensy storage bins; > > > * and let's not start _another_ thread on cup holders <g>; > > > * and odd stuff like that. > > > > > > But the decidedly un-restful ride would kill the deal. > > > > > > What I need to know is: how right was the salesman, when he said > > > that probably the standard 16" wheels would smooth out the ride? > > > Do they make much of a difference in the car, as specified above, > > > compared with the 17" ones? > > > > > > Thoughts appreciated. Do keep in mind: I wanted to like the car. > > > -- > > > Andrew Stephenson > >

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