PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS LEAD FALL CHANGES FOR 1999 SAAB 9-5 MODEL LINE
NORCROSS, Ga. - The new Saab 9-5 combines the best elements of Saab heritage with advanced automotive and aviation-inspired technology to provide highly responsive performance with a strong emphasis on advanced road dynamics and superior man-machine interaction. The distinctive exterior styling gives the Saab 9-5 a powerful appearance and a very competitive drag coefficient of only 0.29. The 9-5's sporty profile is supported by an all turbo engine range, four-wheel independent suspension, an exceptionally strong body structure and features a broad range of new safety innovations.
New All-Turbo Engine Choices
The Saab 9-5 Ecopower engines are designed to provide a unique combination of responsive performance, low exhaust emissions and high fuel efficiency. To the driver, perhaps the most noticeable effect of Ecopower technology is the high torque output achieved at low and mid range engine speeds - providing quick acceleration and strong off-the-line response. The new Saab single-bank turbo 3.0L V-6 is the world's first asymmetric turbocharger design. An exhaust manifold integrated low-pressure turbocharger on the front cylinder bank feeds compressed air to the entire transverse-mounted engine, boosting low-end torque to 229 lb. ft. at only 2,500 rpm. True to Saab's engine design emphasis on maximum torque availability, the maximum torque plateau extends all the way to 4,000 rpm. With four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams, the asymmetric Turbo V-6 develops 200 hp @ 5,000 rpm, and is matched exclusively with an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with driver selectable sport, economy and winter shift modes. The 2.3L four-cylinder engine is fitted with an aluminum alloy, twin-cam head with four valves per cylinder, twin balance shafts and a small, responsive and intercooled Saab light pressure turbo (LPT) system. The 2.3L Ecopower engine produces 170 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 207 lb. ft. of torque at a mere 1,800 rpm. This potent engine's broad plateau of maximum torque remains constant all the way up to 3,600 rpm, and is available with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Both engines feature new electronic "drive-by-wire" technology, controlled by the latest generation Saab Trionic engine management system, which also monitors and controls the Saab Direct Ignition timing, fuel injection rate and maximum turbo boost pressure. The new asymmetrically turbocharged 3.0L V-6 engine marks the first application of Saab's powerful Trionic and Direct Ignition systems on a V-6 engine.
New Chassis and Suspension Systems
The new Saab 9-5 follows the Saab philosophy that responsive performance and good handling are major contributors to driving safety. The Saab 9-5's chassis has been extensively developed to provide predictable and responsive control that is stable, well balanced and forgiving in difficult situations. The Saab 9-5's chassis and fully independent suspension provide the best possible balance of directional stability and a comfortable, well-controlled ride. A strut type front suspension is matched to a new split rear axle used for the first time on a Saab. Isolated front and rear subframes lessen disturbances more effectively and provide important insulation from noise, vibration and harshness. All versions of the Saab 9-5 are equipped with a new generation of electronically controlled ABS as standard. This system also incorporates electronic brake force distribution (EBD) that works under hard braking before the ABS is activated. EBD automatically maximizes the grip available at each wheel independently to reduce stopping distances. The V-6 Turbo engine also includes an integrated electronic traction control system that operates on the front brakes or reduces engine torque automatically to prevent wheelspin on slippery surfaces.
Real-life Safety Structure
Saab engineers have always viewed occupant safety as one of the most vital attributes of a car's design. All safety work at Saab is based on the Real-life Safety concept - that Saab cars must be as safe as possible in accident situations that occur in the real world. It's one thing to design a car that performs well in controlled laboratory tests, it's entirely another to design a car that performs well in the infinitely variable conditions of the real world. To help ensure the collision qualities of new Saab models can be predicted as realistically as possible, Saab cars are designed using 25 years of real-life safety data accumulated by Saab experts in studies of more than 5,000 actual road accidents. Furthermore, all new Saab models are subjected to more than 40 different crash tests, although only 11 are mandated by government standards. As a result, the horseshoe shaped front structure of the Saab 9-5 incorporates three robust load paths on each side of the chassis that distribute crash loads more effectively and spread energy away from the passenger compartment as much as possible. The body structure of the Saab 9-5 is designed to deform progressively in proportion to the impact speed. This design gives the 9-5 a predictable and consistent crash behavior, virtually regardless of what obstacle the car encounters. The Saab safety cage around the passenger compartment is made from an extremely rigid system of high-tensile steel members. Biomechanical studies of side impact injuries have resulted in a special collision deflecting side structure that Saab calls its pendulum "B" pillar. Simply put, kinetic energy from a crash is like water or electricity in that it will always take the path of least resistance. In Saab's pendulum "B" pillar our engineers have designed-in the path of least resistance to deflect crash forces away from the upper parts of the human body, which are more susceptible to injury. The Saab Active Head Restraint (SAHR) is a unique new safety system that reduces the risk of whiplash injuries. This world-first safety feature effectively limits the front seat occupants' head movement during a rear-end collision. The beautifully simple design of the SAHR system requires no electronics, sensors, or pyrotechnics to function. Since the SAHR system is fully mechanical, it can function time and again as needed and there are no specific parts that have to be replaced after its use in an accident. The SAHR system is standard equipment on all Saab 9-5 variants, indicative of Saab's genuine concern with Real-life Safety. The Saab 9-5's extensive standard safety equipment list also includes new dual-stage head and torso protecting side-impact airbags integrated into the side of the front seatbacks. When activated, the airbags inflate in two stages. The bottom section of the bag is inflated first to protect the torso, which is the first part of the occupant's body at risk from side-impact collision forces. While the lower section of the bag is fully inflated, the upper section of the bag is gradually inflated. The top section of the airbag then fully inflates, with the assistance of pressure from the lower section allowed through check valves when the occupants' torso contacts the lower bag area, to offer protection for the head. All five seating positions incorporate three-point inertia reel seat belts with semi-automatic height adjustments and anti-submarining ramps to prevent the occupant from sliding under the belt in a severe frontal collision. All Saab 9-5 models are now fitted with a new, force-reducing front seat-belt and pre-tensioner system which is more effective and more comfortable. These new seat-belts feature more pliancy which, at a predetermined load level, causes the belt to slacken slightly when the occupant is thrown forward with sufficient force. This permits gentler restraint of the forward motion of the occupant, and reduces the risk of belt-induced injury in the event of a high-speed collision, especially if the individual involved has frail bones. It is nevertheless worth noting that any possible belt-induced injuries would be marginal compared with the injuries that are likely to be sustained by an unbelted individual in a corresponding collision. All Saab 9-5 models are equipped standard with one the industry's most sophisticated anti-theft systems. An ingenious system of cylinders and striker plates causes the lock cylinders to rotate freely if an attempt is made to unlock the door by using some form of skeleton key, or if a tool is used to break into the car. The Swedish Consumer Agency conducted an anti-theft test of 30 new cars, including the Saab 9-5. Some of the cars were broken into after only four or five seconds. Only eight of the cars could withstand a break-in for at least a minute and only the Saab 9-5 had theft-resistant door locks that could withstand a break-in attempt for a full two minutes. If a thief is persistent enough to get in the car, an engine-immobilizing system makes it virtually impossible to start the engine without the proper key, by programming one of over four billion security codes into the key each time it is removed from the ignition.
Cockpit Inspired Interior
The interior of the Saab 9-5 is designed with driver ergonomics as the main focus aimed at providing superior man-machine interaction, which gives the cabin, and especially the driver's seat, an evident cockpit feel. The instrument panel is slightly curved around the driver with controls and buttons logically grouped after function. The color of the dash board and center console is a warm, charcoal gray color, while the buttons and controls are still black so that they stand out from the background, making them easier for the driver to find at a glance. One direct influence of aircraft ergonomics on the Saab 9-5 is the Saab Night Panel system. When activated, Saab's Night Panel turns off all instruments but the speedometer, lessening the distraction from bright lights on the dash, and greatly improves night driving visibility. Information from the deactivated instruments is then provided on a need-to-know basis by automatically reactivating and illuminating any instrument that requires the driver's attention. Other technical highlights helping the driver to keep alert and in control include a pollen, gas and odor double-filtration system, Automatic Climate Control with an independent "temperature zone" for the driver, double sunvisors and optional ventilated front seats that provide the same body cooling as if the driver or front passenger were standing up. The driver's visibility is enhanced with six high-pressure jet washer nozzles to keep the windshield clean, the standard headlight washer and wiper system, complex surface headlights, electrically heated outside rear view mirrors, side guidance reverse lights and cornering lamps built into the front fog lights. Saab's excellent warranty on all 1999 models includes bumper-to-bumper protection with 24-hour roadside assistance for four years/50,000 miles. Perforation coverage extends for six years with no mileage limit. Saab's first maintenance service is performed free of charge.