Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 13:10:48 +0100
From: Colin Stamp <>
Subject: Re: Have Saab reintroduced hatchback yet?

On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 11:47:53 +0100, "DervMan" <> wrote: >"Colin Stamp" <> wrote in message >news:jov7f3tc081ldgp9su0j9m80idms9rbv3fnospamcom... >> On 21 Sep 2007 15:51:29 GMT, Adrian <> wrote: >> >>>Colin Stamp ( gurgled happily, sounding much >>>like they were saying : >>> >>>> Yep. Looks are the only real reason I can think of why anyone might >>>> actually prefer a saloon to the equivalent hatch. They really don't >>>> have any redeeming features to offset the loss in practicality unless >>>> you prefer the looks big-time. >>> >>>Shell rigidity, too. You've got a much smaller hole in the shell. Not >>>quite >>>relevant to the buying decision for a new car, though. >> >> I'm not quite sure what you're driving at here. Are you concerned >> about handling? If so, we can dispel that little myth here and now. If >> the shell flexed anything like enough to make a significant difference >> to the handling, there would be all sorts of problems with the hatch >> as the opening changed size and shape. It'd rattle, leak, burst-open, >> buckle and the window would break. I'm sure I'd have noticed if >> anything like that was going on at the back of my car. > >It's a bit more subtle than this. > >The next time you read a car advert, it may mention that the chassis is X% >stiffer than the previous generation, so it can improve the handling and >ride - usually at the same time. This is one reason why the (say) BMW >3-Series rides well and handles well. There are other reasons too, like low >unsprung mass, which helps. There is an awful lot of bullshit talked on adverts. a chassis which is a few percent stiffer on a road car will make no discernable difference to the handling. It would be a different story on a race car where the chassis needs to be lightweight, making flex a problem, and at the same time, the suspension is very stiff. What you see on the adverts is just a cynical attempt to sell cars on a bogus parallel with race cars. > >But anyway, the reason why a stiffer chassis can improve the ride and >handling is that as chassis bends and flexes over use, the suspension is >less efficient or more compromised. Those small movements do, I'm led to >believe, make an appreciable difference. > Not on a standard road car with standard road suspension. You'd have to stiffen the suspension to a enormous degree before chassis movement started to become significant compared to suspension movement. > >It'll only be subtle, the bodywork will be built to a tolerance, so you >probably won't notice it - not to mention that windscreens are structural >components. But bits move ever so slightly. At the same time the >suspension components are also moving. Of a sort, the chassis is partially >acting as the suspension. Of course, over a tight corner, the suspension is >better at being suspension than the chassis twist. > >This is partially the reason why your 9-3 will have a top mounted chassis >brace in the engine compartment. The other is that it improves crash >robustness. My guess is that the strut brace is more of a marketing ploy than anything else - same as the boot spoiler. > >>>> The stupid thing is that a lot of the saloons I see around look like >>>> hatchbacks. The current 9-3 SS for instance, looks like they designed >>>> it to be a hatch and then the marketing department got them to move >>>> the hinges from the top of the back window to the bottom to keep the >>>> image conscious target market happy. >>> >>>*DING*... You've got it... The target market is image conscious, and the >>>image of a saloon is more upmarket than that of a hatch. >>> >> I'm not disagreeing that a lot of people see it that way. I'm just >> pointing out how strange those people are - especially when they >> supposedly can't bear their cars to be hatchbacks even when they look >> like hatchbacks. > >It's strange isn't it? I have a sneaky suspicion that the manufacturers >originally designed hatchback-shaped saloons to benefit from the improved >structural strength (for crash protection and improving the drive) without >making the car _look_ as though it was designed to be stronger, if you see >what I mean... > >>>> The fact that people continue to buy these hatch-shaped saloons >>>> suggests either that they have some kind of wierd brain disease >>> >>><shrug> Probably. These are people who order nice shiny new (usually >>>leased) executive company cars, paying shitloads of income tax on 'em... >>>Dervy, you're the expert... > >Well, kinda. I don't lease something myself, instead, I prefer to buy them >when they come off lease. :) > >> Yep. People with far more money than sense. It's always amazing how >> intelligence and wealth really do have absolutely no relationship to >> one-another. > >It's great, isn't it? People who must have the latest in (whatever) usually >have no appreciation for what their discarded item is worth. > >I love these people. I'm the second buyer of the item. :) You and me both. As long as they don't all make such stupid decisions that there's nothing worthwhile left for us to buy! Cheers, Colin.

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