Latest Saab safety and environmental story bound to be a bestseller
NORCROSS, Ga. -- Saab's legendary active and passive safety attributes, developed and finetuned throughout decades of real-world traffic accident research and Rally successes, served as building blocks for the all-new 900. However, true to Saab tradition, the Swedish engineers weren't just satisfied with the safety status quo. The foundation for the 1994 Saab 900 is therefore not only rooted in a legendary Saab safety cage and advanced occupant protection system, but now integrates an entirely new range of structural innovations. These new features, along with the aircraft-turned-automaker's renowned tradition for caring how its cars impact the environment, will once again challenge the competition to keep abreast in today's demanding automotive marketplace.
Active Safety -- Inherent In Each And Every Saab
Like all Saabs, the new 900 is designed to serve as a consistent communication link between road surface and driver, providing continuous feedback and accurate information about ever-changing driving conditions. An integral part of the Swedish automaker's active safety philosophy is a unique "signal-to-noise" ratio, which is designed into every Saab and keeps the driver in touch with his or her surroundings and road surface changes at all times. Saab believes that drivers must feel road surface feedback, but not uncomfortable harshness, and hear sound without irritating noise, to make clear and concise driving decisions--especially during emergency situations.
Saab has a long and very successful history of building cars that meet these requirements, from the first Rally-winning Saab 92 (which scored victories before the production line was actually moving!), to the latest 900 and 9000 series of cars. A key element of such vehicle dynamics requires precise control of each and every component and attachment point within the suspension system, a demand that the new 900--like its predecessors--fuKills superbly.
The 900's robust floorpan and MacPherson front strut/twist-beam rear suspension system have been specifically developed to create ride and handling characteristics that take these traditional Saab virtues even further. Such attention to design detail has been extended down as far as the specification of rubber bushings, demonstrating Saab's total systems approach to engineering problem solving. As a result, fast and accurate dynamic suspension and steering control provide the basis for active primary safety, ensuring the driver always has instant information to avoid potential hazards.
For optimum accident avoidance capability, every 1994 Saab 900 is fitted with a standard anti-lock brake system (ABS), which has been specifically designed for front- wheel drive applications to maintain stability under heavy braking, while simultaneously allowing steering precision to be maintained. Saab 900s with the V6 engine option also feature a standard Traction Control system (TCS), which prevents wheelspin on slippery surfaces for further active control.
Clear reception of visual signals is also an integral part of the Saab 900's inherent accident avoidance philosophy. Large, electrically-heated and adjustable outside rearview mirrors, as well as large windows with all-window demisting, headlight washer/wipers, rearwindowwasher/wiper, a powerful, computer-designed lighting system and front and rear fog lights all ensure that the driver maintains an unencumbered field of vision. All are standard equipment on every 1994 Saab 900.
Passive Safety - Standard Equipment List Longer Than Ever Before
In the event of a collision, passive safety features--those which perform their intended function without the driver's interaction--can make the difference between life and death. That's why Saab believes a car should be designed to go as far as giving up its life to save yours in the event of a serious crash. To achieve this objective, Saab has engineered the all-new 900 to new levels of safety performance, creating its most ingenious framework of passive safety elements ever.
Subjected to a total of 19 different crash techniques at Saab's Trollhattan, Sweden engineering labs, including high- and low-speed frontal impacts, roll-over, full and offset barrier, pole, rear front-underride, and dynamic side impacts, the new 900 is well- prepared for the rigors and potential hazards of the real world.
The most critical component of the new 900's passive safety system is its elaborate, strong safet,v cage construction. Many years' experience with the previous Saab 900 body, including extensive accident research, has been combined with advanced structural technology developed for the Saab 9000 (twice in succession acclaimed by the Folksam Insurance Company as Sweden's safest car) to produce the most stable and rigid body Saab has ever constructed.
By optimizing every element of its Swedish steel pressings, and paying particular attention to the characteristics of the joints, Saab engineers have developed a lightweight, yet rigid structure that can absorb the high energy associated with a crash. As in the Saab 9000, both front and rear 900 body sections have optimized collapse characteristics--or crumple zones--that spread impact loads as widely as possible in all types of accidents.
One example of such attention to technical detail is the special reinforcement from the base of each A-pillar to the front of each sill. This structural enhancement prevents severe frontal offset impacts from being transferred by a front wheel into the passenger compartment as the wheel is pushed back--which in turn could distort the door frame, making it difficult to open the door.
The new Saab 900 is designed to provide exceptional occupant protection against side impacts, and fully complies with 1997 U.S. side impact standards. An elaborate network of pillars, members and reinforcements is used in the main safety cage and vehicle interior to shield the occupants when a side impact occurs.
Special emphasis has also been placed on the role played by the roof structure in providing body stiffness and crash protection from roll-over accidents. As a result, the static load required to collapse the front corner of the roof is almost three times the weight of the car--90 percent over the U.S. Iegal requirement.
The Saab 900's fuel tank is well isolated, and positioned ahead of the rear axle. Saab's renowned occupant protection system receives a standard passenger-side air bag to complement the existing driver's-side air bag. In addition, all Saab 900s are equipped with dual-acting inertia-reel, three-point lap-and-shoulder safety belts in each of the five seating positions. In the front, both of the height-adjustable front safety belts feature pretensioners and bottom anchorages integrated with the seat frames. A telescopically-adjustable steering column is collapsible, to ensure minimum intrusion during severe frontal impact.
Of course, the Saab 900 wouldn't be a 900 without its center console-mounted ignition key. In addition to its ergonomic advantage, Saab's unique ignition key location reduces the possibility of the driver's knee coming into contact with the key in the event of a collision.
New Saab "Safeseat" Takes Rear Seat Passenger Protection To The Front Of Safety Technology
The 1994 Saab 900 serves as the launch pad for Saab's innovative rear "Safeseat," which provide an unprecedented new level of rear seat passenger protection. Stig-Goran Larsson, Vice President of Product Development for Saab Automobile AB, calls it "a unique combination of various safety systems which provide a similar level of protection for all three rear seat occupants."
The most obvious elements of Saab's "Safeseat" are three rear inertia-reel, three- point safety belts. Saab is one of the first manufacturers to devise a method of combining a three-point restraint for the rear-center seating position with a split-fold rear seatback. Rearseat passengers also benefit from the ability to include three head restraints--the center head rest is optional, the two outbound headrests are standard. The new Saab "Safeseat" also incorporates a full-width crossbeam, attached to an upper portion of the 40/100 split backrest. The patented crossbeam not only provides the upper anchorage for the seat belt system and mountings for three rear head rests, but acts as a load restraint to protect passengers from shifting objects in the luggage compartment under hard braking or frontal impact.
Another special "Safeseat" feature is a dual-purpose crossbeam under the front edge of the rear seat, which acts as an anti-submarining ramp and simultaneously resists door intrusion in a side impact collision. Other structural enhancements include high- strength steel door reinforcement beams front and rear, energy-absorbing door trim padding, structural foam inserts in upper and lower door cavities, and an underfloor crossbeam system to resist side impacts. The Saab "Safeseat" system will also include optional drop-down child booster seats.
Low-Speed Crash Protection Self-Restoring Bumpers Will Be An Advantage For Lower Insurance Premium Costs
Self-restoring front and rear bumpers give every 1994 Saab 900 an additional safety (and insurance premium) advantage. These special Saab bumpers recover their shape after sustaining collisions of up to 5 mph--which exceeds federal safety requirements.
Another Saab safety innovation, developed in collaboration with U.S.,Swedish and European insurance companies, protects body sheet metal and front head lamp clusters from damage--and will bring smiles to many U.S. insurance company underwriters. Saab's revolutionary low speed crash protection system is comprised of special energy- absorbing metal boxes, which are mounted between the front bumper supports and the chassis side rails. They are designed to absorb energy and collapse when involved in impacts at speeds up to approximately 10 mph with only half of the front involved in a crash, and up to 13 mph with the entire front structure involved. After a collision, the boxes are easily replaced without having to realign the 900's chassis.
Special Features Designed With Utmost Concern For Customer Well-Being
Several features specifically designed to provide an extra safety and security edge for Saab owners and occupants are standard equipment on all new Saab 900s.
A courtesy light function can be activated after the ignition is turned off, which will immediately turn on the low-beam headlights for 30 seconds. The additional external lighting is a welcome feature anytime outdoor light is low, or non-existent.
Another nighttime safety feature is the revolutionary Saab 900 "Black Panel" function, which reduces driver distraction from instrument panel illumination glare. Activated with the push of a button, Saab's Black Panel dims all illuminated gauges with the exception of the speedometer. The system includes an electronic override, which ensures that all warning lights and symbols are activated on a "need-to-know" basis-- similar to the type of technology found in advanced aircraft, also produced by Saab.
The Saab 900's standard anti-theft system includes a new Dead-Lock feature, which makes it impossible for anyone to open the door by forcing the external or internal door handles. In addition, the door will remain secure if an unauthorized person breaks your Saab's window glass and pulls up on the internal door lock button. Saab has also included a special Central Locking Unit function. A microchip located in the unit senses significant collision forces and automatically de-activates the door locks upon impact, providing an additional safety edge.
The Saab 900 includes manually activated "child-proof" rear door locks, along with a lock-out for the rear power windows.
Environmental Consideration--Simply Part Of The Saab Heritage
Saab has been at the forefront of the environmental movement for nearly 20 years, not only building cars that pay special heed to maintaining ecological balance, but progressively developing production processes that eliminate pollutants during manufacturing. The new 900 benefits from the full extent of Saab's environmental focus, and consequently is one of the most environmentally-friendly cars on the market today.
Like every 1994 Saab, the 900 features standard chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free air conditioning, which helps protect the earth's ozone layer. Saab also manufactures all plastic foams used for interior trim without the use of CFCs, and was the first auto manufacturer to offer asbestos-free brake linings, introducing them to production more than 11 years ago. In addition, Saab does not use asbestos in clutch linings, nor cadmium in any of its production processes.
Saab has historically specified compact and lightweight powertrains and the all- new 900's 2.3-Liter four-cylinder and 2.5-Liter V6 engine option are no exception. Great effort has gone into the development of these engines to ensure that they are powerful, yet efficient, and that they consume a minimal amount of fuel and generate low emission levels. Saab's catalytic converter features an all-metal core for quicker heating and improved efficiency.
Recyclabilit,v played an important role while the Saab 900 was still on the drawing board. Saab considers the feasibility and economics of recycling its cars from the first planning stage, covering every aspect of design from construction to destruction. Since 1989, new plastics and rubber materials have been marked with an identifying code for more efficient recycling. Metals are used as efficiently as possible to save weight--and hence the energy consumed in use.
The 1994 Saab 900 includes a new electrostatic version of Saab's familiar interior air filtration system which effectively traps dust and pollen particles down to less than half-a-micron in size, a special benefit that allows allergy sufferers to breathe easy.
Saab Takes Away The Heat
Saab has also introduced heat-absorbent glass on the new 900. Its special properties prevent 50 percent of solar heat from reaching the interior. In Saab-conducted climatic wind tunnel tests, heat-absorbent glass decreased interior cooling time after the car had started by 35 percent, which means less work for the Saab 900's climate control system. In addition, only ten percent of solar heat penetrates heat-absorbent glass when the Saab is moving, making the cabin more comfortable for occupants in summer and saving energy by reducing the load on the standard air conditioning system.
Every 1994 Saab 900 comes standard with one additional feature--the care and concern of a committed team of Swedish engineers and technicians, who build cars for members of the global Saab family, not simply customers.