NORCROSS, Ga. - Saab engineers firmly believe that a driver should feel as if they are one with the car - that intentions behind the wheel translate into precise response from the car. This concept of control has evolved naturally from Saab's aircraft heritage. In three-dimensional airspace, precise control is immensely important. Saab realizes that precise control is equally important in its earth-bound vehicles, as evidenced by the Saab 9-3. Offered in three-door, five-door and convertible models, the Saab 9-3 is designed to provide outstanding response and control, not only for spirited performance driving, but also for enhanced safety.
The Saab 9-3's fun-to-drive character is highly attributable to its powertrain line-up. All 9-3 models are powered exclusively by enhanced turbocharged engines that strike a precise balance between high performance, good fuel efficiency and low emission levels. The Ecopower 2.0L engine is the latest offering in a long line of dynamic Saab turbocharged cars. Saab presented its first turbo car in 1976 and has been optimizing turbocharging technologies ever since.
Traction Control System standard on all 9-3 models
New for 2001, Saab's Traction Control System (TCS) is standard equipment on all 9-3's. TCS is an "all-speed" system that modulates ABS braking and electronic throttle to optimize traction at the front drive wheels for enhanced control in inclement weather conditions.
Saab Chassis Philosophy - The Driver Must Be in Full Control
Saab's extensive Real-life Safety research and subsequent active-safety engineering has two primary objectives - to design the driver's environment so that the driver will find it easier to avoid incidents, and to provide the car's chassis with the properties needed to enable the driver to avoid accidents in emergency situations.
Suspension Systems Provide Precise Control For precise handling and control, the Saab 9-3 features a front suspension comprised of MacPherson struts with direct-acting gas shock absorbers and coil springs.
Split lower wishbones in forged aluminum and a stabilizer bar help maintain stability during cornering. This entire front suspension system works in tandem to provide excellent handling and precise control in nearly all driving environments.
The rear suspension features an H-formed, semi-rigid torsion-beam rear axle with inner and outer stabilizer bars, sport-tuned coil springs and gas shock absorbers. It is tuned to provide 9-3 occupants with ride comfort and allow the driver precise control.
Enhanced horsepower and torque ranges The 2001 Saab 9-3 models are available with two 2.0L Saab Ecopower turbocharged engines - a 205 horsepower high-output turbo engine in the Saab 9-3 SE 5-door and SE Convertible variants and a 185 horsepower engine for all other Saab 9-3 Coupe and 5-door models.
Saab's updated 205 horsepower 2.0L high-output turbo four-cylinder engine delivers its maximum horsepower at 5,500 rpm (5,750 rpm with automatic transmission) and strong low-end torque of 209 lb.-ft. at just 2,200 rpm. Because the amount of torque available in the rev range dictates the driveability and acceleration capabilities of a vehicle, this Saab engine, with a manual transmission, maintains its maximum torque all the way up to 4,800 rpm. With an automatic transmission, the maximum torque of 184 lb.-ft. is maintained from 1,900 rpm all the way to 5,700 rpm. With either variant, this broad, flat plateau of maximum torque provides power on-demand for driving enjoyment.
Saab doesn't restrict the fun-to-drive attributes of a broad torque range just to 9-3 SE owners. Its entry level 9-3 models offer a 185 horsepower 2.0-liter engine that, with a manual transmission, provides 194 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,100 rpm to 4,200 rpm. When mated to an automatic, the engine offers 184 lb.-ft. from 1,900 all the way to 5,000 rpm.
Saab Trionic 7 Engine Management System
All Saab engines feature the latest version of Saab's Trionic engine management system - Trionic 7. A highly sophisticated system, Trionic 7 utilizes a 32-bit microprocessor capable of two million calculations per second to control Saab's direct ignition, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure and the electronic "drive-by-wire" throttle to enhance engine response and eliminate turbo lag. It allows both engines to provide low emission levels, high fuel efficiency and adaptable power and torque levels, for flexible and responsive driving characteristics.
Saab turbo engines are labeled Ecopower and offer a unique combination of high performance, low emissions (all 2001 Saab 9-3 engines are LEV compliant) and good fuel economy. With its 9-3 SE turbo engine, Saab now provides over 100 horsepower per liter of engine displacement - an efficiency virtually unmatched in a family car, and traditionally only found in ultra high performance sports cars.
Transmissions contribute to fun-to-drive attitude
The Saab 9-3 features a standard five-speed manual transmission that includes a hydraulically operated clutch to ease driving and provide smooth gear shifts. For excellent low-end performance, and to make the car easy to drive in city traffic, Saab's manual transmission offers driver-friendly gear ratios and a final drive ratio of 4.05:1. These gear and final drive ratios provide quick off-the-line response while maintaining good highway cruising fuel efficiency. An electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable shift modes - sport, normal and winter - is optional.
Standard ABS Brakes Incorporate EBD
All Saab 9-3 models are equipped with standard front and rear disc brakes with a diagonally split hydraulic system and electronically controlled ABS. The car is also equipped with acoustic pad wear indicators that warn the driver when the brake linings are nearing the end of their life.
As with all Saabs, the ABS system is lightweight and compact with four-channel operation triggered by four individual wheel sensors. The ABS system incorporates electronic brake distribution (EBD). EBD comes into effect under hard braking before the ABS is activated. This balances the friction available at each wheel with the braking forces being applied. It automatically provides optimum retardation and the shortest possible stopping distance.