First U.S. aspheric mirror helps eliminate vehicle's 'blind spot'
A wider field of vision enables drivers to change lanes more safely, or back up with greater confidence. The Saab wide-angle, or aspheric, mirror combines a constant-radius curved area (similar to the conventional convex mirror that is common on passenger side exterior mirrors in the U.S.), with a portion on the outside of the mirror which has a gradually increasing curvature. It is the high curvature in the aspheric area that yields a greatly expanded field of view.
Both exterior mirrors are power-controlled, each with a standard defrosting heating element. While Saab's mirror surface is large - measuring 4 by 7 inches - for an effective rear view, the exterior mirror housing is compact, which is important for maintaining aerodynamic effficiency. The Saab 9-5 sedan's remarkable 0.29 Cd makes it one of the most aerodynamic automobiles available today.
Saab has used aspheric mirrors for several years in Scandinavia and Europe, and is expanding their use in Canada and the U.S. Current U.S. safety standards only allow a flat mirror on the driver's side.