AIRCRAFT-INSPIRED SAAB 9-5 COCKPIT PROVIDES SUPERIOR DRIVER ERGONOMICS
NORCROSS, Ga. - The interior of the Saab 9-5 is designed to provide superior driver ergonomics. The Saab 9-5 cabin, and especially the driver's seat, has 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 assembly and center console is charcoal gray or warm beige, while the buttons and controls are still black so that they stand out from the burl walnut background, making them easier for the driver to find at a glance. A direct influence of aircraft ergonomics, the Saab 9-5 is equipped with the Saab Night Panel function in the dashboard, which turns off potentially distracting lights and instruments at night to improve visibility and then displays information on a need-to-know basis. The Saab interior design engineers have considered every useful area within reach of the driver, and carefully selected, positioned and tested the various controls so that each was logically placed for the wide variety of people who will eventually own and drive the new Saab 9-5. For example, the ignition switch is located where Saab engineers feel it is most visible and safest: on the center console between the seats. It takes one smooth and natural motion to fasten the seatbelt, start the engine, disengage the handbrake and select a gear-all on the center console. In the event of a frontal collision, the keys are safely out of the way on the console rather than hanging from the steering column where they can impact the driver's leg. To ensure that as many drivers as possible would find the best driving position for their proportions, the Saab 9-5's steering column is adjustable for reach and rake. All in-car controls, except the door release handles, are black so they stand out from the charcoal gray or warm beige interior trim color. The inside door handles are chrome, so they are easier to find in the dark. Most of the other controls are illuminated and identified by easily understood graphic symbols. Working from the most ideal driver's seat position, the front and passenger seats were then added to the package equations to provide the most comfortable, safe, practical and harmonious interior cabin. The front passenger seat matches the driver's, with the same height adjustment mechanism. The rear seat's lower cushion, high backrest and reclining angle of 28 degrees was chosen for maximum comfort and support. In terms of interior space for passenger comfort, the Saab 9-5 is roomier than most of its competitors.
Ultimate Seat Comfort: Warm in Winter, Cool in Summer
Saab first introduced electrically heated seats to the auto industry in 1971. The Saab 9-5 continues to offer heated seats as an option, for both the front and rear occupants. The front seat heating systems have three temperature settings independently controlled by a three-position thumbwheel. A switch on the rear of the center console operates rear seat heating. A ventilated seat option for the Saab 9-5 is an industry first. Previously used only for premium buses, trucks and construction equipment, where driver alertness was a particularly critical factor, this is the first time ventilated seats have been offered in a passenger car. Two extremely flat electric fans in each front seat-one in the seatback and one in the lower cushion-remove the warm, humid air that is normally trapped between the person and the seat. The fans pull the air through perforations in the leather upholstery, through small channels in the padding, and vent it underneath the seat. The fans operate at three driver-selectable speeds for effective full-body ventilation. In addition to obvious comfort advantages, the heated and ventilated seats contribute to safe driving by keeping the driver more comfortable and alert. Both front seats have a wide range of power adjustments for reach, height and recline, plus an adjustable lumbar pad for optimum back support. The Saab 9-5 SE also includes three-position memory for the driver's seat and door mirror settings. This is a much-appreciated feature when more than one person regularly drives the same car, and also enables the driver to tilt the passenger side mirror down when reverse gear is selected, making parking easier.
Convenience Has High Priority
In total there are 11 places inside the car to secure small items. Bins in the lower front door panels are supplemented by stowage pockets under the leading edge of the front seats, map pockets in the seatbacks and bins under hinged lids in both the front and rear center armrests. There are also small elastic net pockets on the lower part of each B-pillar to store a compact umbrella or folded magazine. Four cupholders are provided. One is placed vertically in a slot near the center of the instrument panel, cleverly twisting into position to form a horizontal support ring. Another detachable cupholder is under the front center armrest, while two more are spring-loaded at the forward edge of the folding armrest in the rear. A duct from the air conditioning system is fed to the glove compartment to keep drinks chilled or chocolate bars from melting in hot weather. Fully open, the sliding vent can chill the glove compartment to about refrigerator temperature, or 45 degrees F. The Saab 9-5 also features handy double sunvisors, one behind the other. The first one can be unclipped and swiveled, while the second can be folded down in the forward position.
Advanced Heating, Ventilation and Climate Control
All Saab 9-5 models in the U.S. market feature a fully automatic climate control (ACC) that requires only temperature selection. Since many drivers like to be slightly cooler or warmer than the passengers, Saab has developed an ACC system that groups all the passengers (front and rear) together in one zone, rather than simply separating the left and right hand sides of the car. Air for the driver's zone can be up to 9 degrees cooler or warmer than the air for the rest of the cabin. The ACC features a dedicated microprocessor that assesses the readings from five separate sensors, then optimizes temperature, air distribution, recirculation and fan speed settings to produce the most effective cabin climate. Outside temperature readings are delivered to the controller by the high-speed data bus from the main sensor used for the engine management unit. A second sensor mounted in the roof console measures the cabin temperature. A sun-load sensor on top of the instrument panel measures both the angle and elevation of the sun relative to the car, as well as the sun's intensity. The processor then calculates how much left/right or upper/lower compensation is needed by the air distribution system to provide the selected cabin temperature balance, using a Saab patented algorithm. Separate left and right outlet temperature sensors close the control loop by checking that the system has produced the desired effect. Each of seven face-level vents provided in the cabin-three for the driver, two for the front passenger and two in the rear of the center console-can be adjusted or shut off separately. For optimized defroster/demister control there are two outlets on each side of the dashboard, one for the middle part of the windshield in front of the driver and passenger, and the other directed toward the lower part of the windshield. Demister vents are also provided for each side window. Green-tinted heat-absorbent glass is standard, preventing about 50% of the sun's thermal radiation from entering the cabin, reducing the energy required to drive the AC compressor.
Double Air Filtration
Saab was the first carmaker to offer a dust and pollen filter for the cabin air in 1978. All Saab cars made since 1990 have featured an updated version that uses an electrostatic charge to remove airborne particles down to 4 microns in size. It is twice as effective as the original filter in collecting dust, soot and pollen, as well as reducing the greasy haze that can form on the inside of the windshield, impairing visibility, especially at dusk and night. A second gas and odor-adsorbing filter is standard on the Saab 9-5. It uses an activated charcoal bed that utilizes adsorption to reduce health-impairing substances such as hydrocarbons (benzene, butane, etc.), nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, and ozone, and to reduce some odor. Made up of porous charcoal pellets that have a total surface area equivalent to about six exhaust catalytic converters, the filter is particularly effective in reducing irritation of the eyes, mouth, throat and lungs.
Enhanced Saab 'Night Panel'
Saab introduced an innovative new concept in instrument displays when the aircraft-inspired "Black Panel" was launched on the Saab 900 in 1993. It allowed the driver to turn off all the supplementary information illuminated at night, leaving only the speedometer. Any additional information important to the operation of the vehicle, such as very high engine speed or a low fuel level, appeared automatically. An enhanced version of this system, called the Saab Night Panel, is a new feature of the Saab 9-5. It operates in much the same way as the Black Panel system, except that the Night Panel function dims the background illumination of dashboard controls in addition to darkening the non-essential gauges and displays. The result is more distraction-free nighttime driving-an important safety consideration.
Quietest Saab Ever
The new Saab 9-5 has the lowest interior noise level ever achieved in a Saab car. The excellent aerodynamic properties of the body helps reduce potential wind noise. Almost all the unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) are reduced by the design of the engine and suspension mounts, while the turbocharger fitted to all engines helps reduce exhaust noise. Porous sound absorbent pads are applied to the engine compartment bulkhead and hood top to damp out engine radiated sound. Damping pads are fused to the floor and wheel housings before the body is painted and extra sound insulating materials are applied to all sheet-metal surfaces that might be susceptible to vibration. Particular attention-such as triple door seals-has been given to the upper door frames to minimize road and wind noise transmitted through this area. All door seals are tubular to ensure they are effective regardless of whether there is a slightly positive or negative air pressure difference between the inside and outside of the car.
New Anti-Theft Protection System
The advanced Saab 9-5 anti-theft protection system has a number of mechanical and electronic features, including alarm sensors for the door, hood, trunk and one that detects breaking glass, all integrated into a single set of controls. If someone attempts to disconnect the alarm, the siren is also activated by an interruption in the connection between the siren and the control unit. When the key is inserted into the ignition switch on the center console, the security system's control unit must recognize the individual digital key code before it clears the immobilizer logic in the engine management system and allows the engine to start. The rolling code changes to one of over four billion every single time the key is removed from the ignition switch. The key can only be removed from its lock on the center console after reverse gear with manual transmissions, or park with automatic, has been selected, effectively locking the front wheels to prevent towing. At the same time, the engine is immobilized electronically to prevent it being started illegally without the key. The 9-5's doors are locked and unlocked by a remote control contained in the key fob. The alarm is automatically armed when the car is locked. Lock cylinders are designed to break away if forced, leaving them to simply spin freely, further improving security.
Premium Audio Systems with Steering Wheel Controls
The Saab 9-5 audio systems are designed to complement the advanced interior, following the Saab ergonomic philosophy of being functional and extremely easy to use. Supplementary controls for the most frequently used audio functions (volume up/down, audio source, seek and selection of preset stations) are now repeated on either side of the airbag housing in the center of the steering wheel, within easy thumb-reach of the rim. Main audio controls and push buttons are located in the center dashboard above the climate control system. All Saab 9-5's include an in-dash CD player and integrated tape cassette deck as standard equipment. The Saab 9-5 features a premium system tuned especially for the Saab interior that incorporates a power amplifier with 150 watts of output, played through a total of seven speakers. A top-of-the-range installation in the Saab 9-5 SE uses components tailored to the 9-5's interior by renowned hi-fidelity experts Harman/Kardon. With a power amplifier rated at 200 watts and two oval sub-woofer speakers added to the rear parcel shelf for a total of nine speakers, the sound quality is nothing less than superb. Each system can operate an optional trunk-mounted six-disc CD autochanger, for which the 9-5 is prewired. A dual radio antenna integrated into the rear window eliminates the need for an exterior aerial. The antenna has a signal-boosting amplifier that reduces reception difficulties. The radio works together with the antenna amplifier to automatically select the signal from whichever antenna can supply the best reception.