Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 11:47:53 +0100
From: "DervMan" <>
Subject: Re: Have Saab reintroduced hatchback yet?

"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. 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. 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. >>> 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. :) -- The DervMan

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