ALL you need to know about the 9-3 SS – part two

It seems that not all of the press release info would fit on one blogpost, so here’s the stuff that didn’t make it last time……

Body structure, Electrical systems and Lights: Firm Foundations

Highlights include:

· New standards in torsional rigidity
· Stable platform for excellent noise suppression, handling and crashworthiness
· 59 per cent of bodyweight in HS/UHS steel
· Second-generation ‘crash boxes’ help prevent body damage
· Multiplex digital signal network for fast control of all major functions
· Fiber optics provide advanced ‘infotainment’ infrastructure
· Powerful screen washing system

The body structure of the 9-3 Sport Sedan is the stiffest yet produced by Saab and is the solid foundation on which the car’s exemplary handling, ride and safety characteristics are built.

The use of high-grade steels, tailored blanks, laser welding, galvanizing of all external components and advanced joint techniques has produced an extremely strong and durable body. Effective ‘crash boxes’ in the front bumper help to minimize body damage in impacts up to 15 kph.

The power of the lighting system, which includes the option of bi-xenon headlamps, is in the fine tradition of Saab cars, as is the efficiency of the windscreen wipers and washing systems.

Structural Benefits
An exceptional level of structural stiffness was an essential requirement in the design of the 9-3 Sport Sedan. It is high torsional rigidity that helps give that reassuring ‘hewn for solid’ feel, which is communicated every time a door is closed or the car negotiates a poor road surface. And it makes a major contribution to eliminating squeaks and rattles, vibrations and resonance.

A stiff body is also a prerequisite for the work of chassis engineers. The car’s handling can only be effectively honed through its suspension and steering if the structure on which all these components exert loadings is solid and predictable.

Finally, but probably most importantly, the car’s ability to withstand a heavy impact is largely due to the strength of its passenger compartment and the ability of the structure’s crumple zones to prevent energy reaching it.

Structural Strength
A four-door sedan body is inherently stronger than a five-door hatchback format because there is no large rear tailgate opening. This feature, and advances in technology, contributes to the exceptional torsional rigidity of the Sport Sedan, 22,000 Nm/degree of deflection. To put that figure in perspective, the body structure is as strong as a meter long rod, fixed at one end, would need to be to bend just one degree under the weight of fully-laden large car placed on the other end!

The Saab design team adopted unique bracings above the rear wheel housings to provide a structure that is more than a match for premium class competitors, despite some potential loss of stiffness through retaining the versatility of a split/fold rear seat.

Whilst 59 per cent of the car’s body weight is composed of high strength or ultra high strength steel, a far more important consideration is how all the elements – 332 structural body parts – are connected and interact in sharing the load-bearing task. The strength of a good design is far more than simply the sum of its parts.

The 9-3 Sport Sedan’s body is essentially a monocoque construction fabricated from beams and pressings. Saab structural engineers used CAD techniques and finite element data models with a resolution of up to 500,000 cells representing the car’s structure.

Special attention was devoted to the design of seams and joints. It is pointless using high strength steels for different sections if the technique used to join them together is not at least as strong. For example, there are no joints at all at any of the corners of the safety cage, where stresses are likely to be greatest. Instead, joints between beams are carefully welded in place on straight sections with overlaps of at least 20 mm.

In order to be sure that extra strength does not necessarily mean extra weight, Saab engineers made great use of new technology in specifying ‘tailored blanks’ for large structural components. For example, the two main bearers which extend from the front of the car to the rear bulkhead are made from pressings of high strength steel. These are produced to different thicknesses, according to the localized loading demands at any point in the car’s structure. In other words, the extra strength or weight is located only where it is required.

Outer Body
Both front and rear bumper assemblies are designed to be ‘self-repairing’, in that they can absorb impacts up to 8 kph, minimizing damage and the need for repair. The bumper ‘skin’ is simple and quick to replace after a minor collision. A very practical benefit in minimizing the nuisance and cost of those little ‘supermarket car park’ incidents.

For higher speeds, Saab was first to introduce deformable ‘crash boxes’ behind the front bumper on the second generation Saab 900 in 1993. These are intended to absorb and contain relatively ‘low speed’ impact forces in order to prevent damage to more expensive bodywork components.

Other manufacturers have now adopted crash boxes but, in the in the 9-3 Sport Sedan, the technique is perfected still further. No less than 103 computer simulations were carried out to ensure their effectiveness; a testimony to the extreme attention to detail that went into finalizing the new structures.

The finished design is an octagon shape with a conical profile and ‘concertina’ sections that will protect the structure of the car, including its front body panels, from damage in impacts up to 15 kph. The boxes are now bolted and only lightly welded to the front beam to make their replacement even easier.

Where there are no structural demands, Saab engineers were able to consider the further use of weight-saving materials. They have adopted aluminum for the hood, saving 50 per cent or 9 kilos in weight compared to using steel. It is also slightly stiffer and more resistant to dents.

The design of the trunk lid was also the subject of detailed research and the solution adopted is typically Saab. For owners to be able to exploit the load carrying capabilities of a 60/40 folding seat, it was important that boot opening was as large as possible. That is why the design team chose ‘swan neck’ hinges for the once piece boot lid

The use of a more conventional strut and multi-link pivot arrangement would have resulted in an unacceptable 15 per cent reduction in opening width, worth 10 cm. The spring-loaded ‘swan-neck’ hinges, in fact, give an even easier, almost ‘weightless’ opening and closing action.

The doors are inset-mounted, as part of the monoside body pressing. With substantial ultra high strength steel reinforcements, they play an important occupant protection role. A particular feature of note is the way the bottom edge of the door frame overlaps and interlocks with the strong, reinforced side sills. This allows the doors to spread heavy impact forces by gaining support from stronger sections of the body.

Electrical and electronic architecture
The entire electrical and electronic network uses databus transmission, often referred to a ‘multiplexing’. In this way, a CANBUS (Controller Area Network) connects groups of electrical subsystems, using just one or two wires with microprocessors, transistors and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) to replace a complicated wiring harness and all its associated relays, switches and bulbs.

CANBUS technology offers great benefits in weight saving, reliability and data transmission capacity. It is used to connect the car’s main subsystems: powertrain, chassis, body, ‘infotainment’, telematics, navigation and climate and comfort.

A battery of sensors are the ‘nerve endings’ of the Sport Sedan and the data they provide is dispatched as packages of digital signals, or ‘buses’, along three information ‘highways’, stopping where required at 44 sub-stations, or microprocessors, for analysis and subsequent action. A powerful control module governs each of these highways and their sub-stations; all three integrated with each other to ensure there are no ‘traffic jams’ or conflicting requirements.

If all this functionality were to be achieved using a traditional, complex wiring harness, it would weigh twice as much, more than 40 kilos, and be twice as long, at 1,600 meters.

A single wire highway, or ‘low speed’ Bus, with a capacity of 33 Kbytes per second, connects functions within the car: the ignition switch, steering column lock, airbags, the main instrument panel, interior lighting, doors, mirrors, windows, security alarm, gear shift position and, where fitted, the sunroof, electrically-operated seats and parking assistance.

Powertrain control, the engine management system, ABS, TCS, ESP and related functions are all connected by a second, dual wire, ‘high speed’ Bus, with a transmission capacity 15 times greater at 500 Kbytes per second.

The third highway uses fiber optics, instead of wire, to give a massive capacity of 25 Mbytes per second, 50 times greater than that of a dual wire bus. It is utilized by all ‘infotainment’ systems, the integrated GPRS telephone, which features Bluetooth™ wireless connectivity, the GPS navigation system with DVD reader and an advanced voice recognition (AVR) function. These systems are described further in the ‘Interior Design and Features’ section.

The fast moving world of information technology is likely to place increasing demands on the ‘in-car’ time of drivers and passengers and the Sport Sedan is configured to accommodate all likely future developments in digital communication to and from the car.

Superior Lighting
The strong lighting performance of Saab cars is almost as widely acclaimed as their reputation for safety. Hardly surprising, as good night-time visibility is, of course, an essential element of driving safety.

The Sport Sedan’s headlamps are housed within neatly integrated units, made from molded clear plastic, which is lighter and less prone to stone chips, cracking and condensation than glass.

The standard equipment headlamps use halogen bulbs behind projector units for excellent illumination. Sport Sedan customers can also go one step further by specifying exceptionally powerful bi-xenon lights, an option for all variants (xenon only in US).These gas discharge bulbs give an extremely bright, much whiter light than halogen units. Saab was among the first manufacturers to offer this technology for both dipped and main beam – hence the term, bi-xenon. Where a normal halogen bulb will emit 1,500 lumens of lighting, a xenon unit will give 3,200 lumens, more than twice as much power, giving a spread of light 60 per cent better.

The effective control of such a powerful beam is essential for the benefit of fellow road users, as well as the driver, and bi-xenon lights have a dynamic, self-leveling function as standard. Under acceleration or braking, sensors detect body motion at the front of the car and electric motors in the headlamp units automatically adjust the height of the beam to compensate for any changes in the attitude of the body.

The performance of headlamps, no matter how powerful, is badly compromised if the lenses become caked in grime. Powerful spray jets, working at 3.5 bar pressure, keep the plastic units clean.

At the rear of the car, the single fog light automatically disconnects when the ignition is switched off, an added precaution to prevent it being inadvertently left on when no longer necessary.

The high level rear brake light is now an LED unit, as tests show this illuminates more quickly than a conventional bulb, giving a more efficient warning signal.

Cleaning power
Keeping a clear windscreen is vital for driving safety and the large wipers are linked to a powerful battery of three pairs of washer jets, all working under high pressure with twice the power of other systems on the market. It is cleaning power designed to shift the most stubborn of deposits.

In true Saab tradition, the 5.0 liter washer reservoir is exceptionally large, with two liters more capacity than normal. User trials show that jets working at such high pressure do not, in fact, require more washer fluid because they are generally used in shorter bursts.

The windshield wipers are two-speed with an infinitely variable intermittent wipe. An automatic rain-sensing operation is available as an option, including driver adjustment for sensitivity.


Safety: Optimized through Real-life Experience

· Crash test configurations based on ‘real-life’ research
· Safety structure with front and rear crumple zones
· Second generation Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR) for front seats
· Roof rail airbags for side and severe frontal impacts
· Sophisticated sensing for airbag/seat-belt deployment
· New generation ESP®

Saab Automobile AB (Saab) has a long tradition of successful work with vehicle safety. In surveys of real-life collisions made by the US Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and the Swedish insurance company, Folksam, many Saab cars have scored well, several times being ranked best in their segment. In EuroNCAP crash tests, the Saab 9-5 Sedan, 9-3 Sport Sedan and 9-3 Convertible have all achieved a maximum five star rating and, in the United State, the 9-3 Sport Sedan is also the first car with standard safety equipment to receive a “Double Best Pick” rating in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

For Saab, the pursuit of improved safety is a never-ending quest and the Saab 9-3 product program has given safety engineers another opportunity to apply the lessons of real-life safety.

Crash impact resistance benefits from a number of structural systems first seen on the larger 9-5 model and the introduction of additional occupant protection measures, including second generation Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR) and Roof Rail Airbags.

‘Real-Life’ Crash Configurations
Computer simulations and crash testing at Saab are designed to replicate what happens in real collisions on real roads, based on the findings of a database covering more than 6,100 real-life accidents, including the Saab 9-3 and Saab 9-5, on Swedish roads.

During the Saab 9-3 product development program, the structural design of the car and the deployment of its occupant protection systems were evaluated not only in consumer and legally required crash tests, but also in a large number of additional in-house configurations, taking occupants of different sizes into consideration. Prototype tests were carried out in the laboratory and outdoors in a wide range of speeds and configurations.

However, advanced crash simulations, using finite element methods (FEM) and drawing on Saab’s extensive experience, help to find solutions before any prototypes are built. Support by simulation is used throughout the development process in structural design, as well as for the tuning of occupant protection systems, such as seat-belts and airbags. As a result, crash tests are increasingly used as a physical means of verifying what is already known.

Body Structure
The steel safety structure of the 9-3 Sport Sedan’s passenger compartment is fabricated mainly from high strength steel. Most beam sections are completely closed for additional strength and all joints are designed to help prevent tearing under severe impacts.

The front and rear crumple zones are made of carefully shaped steel members designed to help absorb, distribute and deflect impact energy away from the passenger compartment.

Three distinct load paths on each side of the 9-3 Sport Sedan’s front structure are designed to help channel impact forces through the front sub-frame, along the longitudinal members and through the upper rail into the A-pillar. The longitudinal members have large sections that extend right through the floor of the car as far as the rear seat. This design is a development of the concept first seen on the Saab 9-5.

The three load paths are connected transversely via cross-members, the most important of which is the bumper beam. This helps to distribute impact forces across and through the front structure, to help provide a controlled and predictable deformation in a wide range of frontal collisions. The beam is made from boron alloy steel, up to six times stronger than plain steel with a very high yield strength of 900 Newtons per square millimeter.

To help provide side impact protection, Saab engineers developed the B-pillar, side sills and door beams to behave as a single, integrated structure, increasing the likelihood of deformation in a controlled and predictable way. A key part of this strategy is the ‘pendulum’ movement for the B-pillar, a concept also used on the 9-5.

In effect, the B-pillar is ‘hinged’ from the roof rail of the passenger compartment. It has strengthened upper and middle sections so that, in an impact, it is designed to bend inwards at the bottom, helping to deflect lateral forces downwards towards the floor, away from the more sensitive occupant head and chest areas. The door beams are designed to help support this structure and the bottoms of the doors also interlock with the reinforced side sills so that the entire side structure of the 9-3 Sport Sedan is designed to perform a load-sharing role.

The door beams are also designed to help provide a major load-bearing function in side impacts against narrow objects, such as a tree or telegraph pole, when the B-pillar is not engaged.

At the rear, two more longitudinal members are designed to buckle and deform in a progressive manner to help protect the passenger compartment in a rear end collision. They also assist in dissipating crash energy towards the C-pillars. The fuel tank is mounted low down in front of the rear axle, away from any likely point of impact.

Second Generation Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR)
Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR) are fitted as standard to the front seats. Crash investigation findings published by the US Journal of Trauma, and comparative tests by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Thatcham insurance research center in the UK, have shown the SAHR to be extremely effective in helping to prevent serious neck injury to front seat occupants in the event of a rear end collision. The Journal of Trauma published a Saab study that found a remarkable 75 per cent reduction in severe neck injuries when comparing Saab cars fitted with SAHR against older Saab models not equipped with the SAHR system.

The Saab 9-3 product line features a ‘second generation’ version for even faster activation in rear impacts at lower speeds. The head restraint is activated as soon as the occupant’s lower back is pressed into the seatback by the effect of inertia during a rear impact.

The restraint is fixed to the top of the seat-back frame, which is designed to pivot at its mid-point. As the occupant’s lower back comes into contact with the bottom of the seatback, the upper half of the frame carrying the head restraint is designed to move forward and upward, towards the occupant’s head. In a rear end collision, this mechanism helps prevent neck injury by reducing the amount of head movement relative to the torso.

The SAHR system is entirely mechanical and after activation the head restraint automatically springs back to its passive position, ready for future use.

Roof Rail Airbags and Front Side Airbags
Roof-mounted airbags are installed on each side, between the A and C-pillars, in the interior headlining above the side windows. These are designed to help provide head protection for both front and rear seat occupants throughout an entire crash sequence. Side airbags, mounted in the outboard edges of both front seatbacks, are designed to help provide thorax protection.

Both are activated in side impacts, together with seat-belt pre-tensioning, and also in severe frontal impacts which require stage 2 activation of the front airbags. This helps provide head and body protection in the event of any subsequent secondary impact or an eventual roll.

To improve cushion kinematics during inflation, the roof rail airbags are inflated outwards from the central B-pillar area. They remain inflated for up to three seconds in order to help prevent an occupant’s head striking the A, B, or C-pillar, or intruding exterior objects, during the course of an impact sequence.

For sophisticated impact sensing and ‘intelligent’ airbag deployment, there are two impact sensors in each side of the car, one in the sill near the B-pillar and the other in the lower part of the C-pillar. These sensors measure acceleration rates, a decision on airbag deployment being taken by the central sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) in a few milliseconds.

Dual Stage Front Airbags
These are designed to help provide an ‘occupant-friendly’ deployment in frontal impacts.

Two sensors in the front bumper beam detect impact severity, a sensor in the seat track communicates the seating position and a switch in the seat-belt buckles indicates whether or not the belts are being worn. This data is sent to the centrally located SDM which, within milliseconds, chooses between activation of the belt pre-tensioners alone, or in combination with stage 1 or stage 2 inflation of the airbags. In a severe impact, where stage 2 of the front airbag is used, the roof rail airbag is also designed todeploy for additional head protection.

A collision with a relatively low level of impact energy would, for example, likely require less airbag pressure and, therefore, a slower rate of inflation than a more severe, high-energy impact. A short driver sitting close to the steering wheel also benefits from a softer, lower pressure inflation.

Seat-belt Load Limiter and Reminder System
Despite the use of airbags, seat-belts are still the single most important occupant restraint system and three-point belts are provided for all seating positions, including the middle of the rear seat.

For both front occupants, there are belt pre-tensioners and load limiting functions to help remove belt slack and reduce belt loads in more significant collisions. The pre-tensioner is mounted on the belt retractor and is activated by a signal from the airbag sensing system, igniting a small pyrotechnic charge that retracts the belt.

The load limiting function consists of a torsion bar inside the retractor that, at a pre-determined load level, will start to deform helping to reduce the belt load.

Saab has used a seat-belt reminder function since 1974 and, to further emphasize the importance of belt usage, the system in the 9-3 range independently informs and reminds the driver and the front passenger of non belt usage.

Occupant-friendly Interior
A great deal of experience has gone into making the interior surfaces and materials more ‘occupant-friendly’. In particular, the front areas of the cabin near the knee and lower leg are well bolstered to help prevent occupant injury. The driver’s pedals are also designed to break away in a severe impact and the steering column is also collapsible.

Passenger safety is the main reason why interior door armrests and inner door handles are recessed. It is also one of the reasons why the Sport Sedan, in common with most other Saab cars, has a floor-mounted ignition switch, well away from sensitive knee and leg areas.

Driving Safety
It is, of course, better to avoid becoming involved in any road collision. And the Sport Sedan’s excellent chassis dynamics, steering and brakes help to keep the driver in control and, therefore, less likely to be involved in, or better able to avoid, a collision.

Driving safety is also advanced by the availability of a new Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), Mechanical Brake Assistance (MBA), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). These features are described in the Chassis section.

Improved driving safety also involves reducing the potential for driver distraction and the Sport Sedan features Saab ComSense functionality, which uses the concept of ‘dynamic workload management’ and is described in the Interior Design and Features section.


Security and Comfort: A Secure and Comforting Experience

Highlights include:

· Most secure Saab ever
· Highly rated by Insurers
· Sophisticated immobilization, anti-theft and alarm systems
· Useful ‘comfort and convenience’ functions

The 9-3 Sport Sedan is, quite simply, the most secure Saab ever built. Its defense system enlists an arsenal of anti-theft devices that includes all practical technology that is currently available. Security is focused on preventing the car being stolen or having items taken from it. With security comes comfort, and there are also a host of features to ensure the Sport Sedan is easy, convenient and rewarding in every day use.

Highly rated by Insurers
Representatives of leading insurance companies in Sweden and elsewhere were consulted throughout the development of security systems for the 9-3 Sport Sedan. They were asked what they believed to be the most effective measures available, as well as examining and assessing the car’s security performance. As evidence of the success of this work, the British insurance industry’s Thatcham research center has awarded the Sport Sedan a maximum five star rating for ‘theft of the vehicle’ and four stars for ’theft from the vehicle’.

Saab is confident that such close liaison with insurance industry experts should contribute to highly competitive insurance groupings and reduced insurance costs for owners.

Anti-Intrusion Measures
The front passenger door is fitted with a ‘freewheeling’ lock cylinder, which will immediately disengage from the door unlocking mechanism if any device, other than the correct key, is inserted. Efficient ‘shielding’ of the locks inside the doors also prevents tampering with specialist ‘tools’ and deadbolts for all four doors make it virtually impossible for a would-be thief to forcibly break in.

Even if a thief were to gain entry, there would be little point in removing any of the car’s ‘infotainment’ systems. Apart from being uniquely designed to fit only a Saab car, they are electronically ‘married’ to their original ‘host’ car. They could only function in another Saab after being re-programmed at a Saab dealer.

New for Saab is the security marking of a large number of major components to enable the police to trace them back to the car if they are recovered following a theft.

Anti Car Theft
To prevent the car itself being stolen, the immobilizer system uses both an electrical steering column lock and disablement of the engine management system.

When the ignition key is inserted in the floor-mounted switch, a transponder sends a signal to a control unit in the module which then communicates with all systems in the car through the central integrated control module. The ‘start’ message is encrypted in a complex, rolling code from the key’s transponder which would take an estimated eight years to ‘crack’ in the unlikely event that a would-be thief could make the correct electronic connections.

Further measures have also been taken to combat the so-called professional thief, who may be stealing a car to order for resale. Barriers, or ‘firewalls’ have been put in place to protect the car’s electronic systems from digital intrusion with illegal scanning devices.

As the car’s original key is such a vital component in the chain of security precautions, confidential measures have been put in place at Saab dealers to ensure there is no fraudulent issue of a replacement or duplicate key.

Alarm system
As a further back-up to the car’s perimeter security features, an advanced alarm system can also be specified. This engages a siren and flashing lights to discourage anyone from entering or trying to move the car.

The alarm will be activated if any illegal attempt is made to open the hood, trunk lid or any of the doors. A ‘tilt’ sensor will also sound the alarm if the car is lifted in any direction, such as during an attempt to tow it away. Inside the car, an extremely sensitive ultrasonic beam will detect any movement, including pieces of flying glass or an arm reaching inside following a break-in.

A further refinement is the use of a separate battery to power the alarm system. This is hidden in the car to prevent illegal tampering and prevents a thief from disabling the alarm by disconnecting the car’s main battery.

For greater personal security, the car’s alarm can also be activated by pressing a ‘panic’ button on the car’s Electronic key, or by pressing the interior central locking button on either front door.

Comfort and Convenience
A range of features is available to enrich the experience of driving and travelling in the car. Although often small refinements, they can make a significant contribution to developing a rewarding, interactive relationship between the car and its owner.

‘Smart’ door mirrors
Ever folded in the door mirrors and then forgotten to reposition them until you are back in the car? An annoying oversight that can’t happen on the 9-3 Sport Sedan. The optional, electrically-foldable mirrors are linked to a speed sensor and will automatically fold out once the car exceeds 30 mph..

A typical Saab innovation is the button for tilting the mirrors down. This function normally operates automatically when reverse gear is engaged. But it can be just as useful to tilt one or other mirror when going forwards, following a kerb or low wall, for example. A push of the button gives you the choice in this car! Standard fitment.

Remote window and sunroof operation
In many circumstances, it can be useful to remotely close or open the front windows, and even the sunroof, after leaving the car. This is can now be done simply by holding down the lock/unlock button on the remote control unit.

For example, this function makes it possible to close a front window or sunroof that has been inadvertently left down. Likewise, the front windows and sunroof can be opened, or set to a desired position, to let heat out of the car. Optional feature.

Automatic disconnect/connect fog lamps
To prevent the rear fog lamp being inadvertently left on when no longer required, it is automatically disconnected when the ignition is switched off. However, both front (where fitted) and rear fog lamps do not have to be switched on again if the engine stalls because they are programmed to remain live for 30 seconds after the ignition is first switched on. Standard feature.

Variable speedometer illumination
The Night Panel’ feature allows all main dashboard illumination – except for the speedometer – to be switched off when driving at night. The Profiler function also enables the driver to restrict illumination of the speedscale to the range, 0 –90 kph. It will, of course, automatically illuminate if these speeds are exceeded. Standard feature.

‘Intelligent’ windshield washing
When the windshield is washed at speeds under 20 kph, the wipers will automatically make an additional sweep after an eight second delay in order to clear the windshield of residual streaks. Standard feature.

Washer fluid saver
When there is less than one liter left in the washer fluid reservoir, the headlamp washer function will automatically de-activate in order to prioritize washing of the windshield. Standard feature.

Vertical wiper parking
If you want to cover the windshield – to prevent frosting up when parking outside or to help keep the interior cool in hot weather – the wipers can be parked in a vertical position by removing the key fob and pressing the control stalk once. Standard feature

Automatic air recirculation
To avoid the unpleasant smell of detergent in the windshield washer system entering the interior, the air conditioning can be programmed (through an authorized dealer) to briefly switch to ‘recirculation mode’ whenever the driver operates the washer system via the stalk control. Standard feature

‘Halo’ lighting
When approaching the car, a simple blip of the remote control on the Electronic key will turn on the exterior and main interior lights as a ‘lead-me-to-the-car’ function. With a range of up to 20 meters, this facility can help identify the car at night in a crowded car park, illuminate its immediate surroundings and discourage anyone from attempting to enter the car when it is being opened. A standard fitment.

Welcome lighting
A warm welcome always awaits the driver courtesy of automatic soft footwell lighting, with ‘theatre’ dimming, and ‘puddle lights’ in the bottom of the front doors to illuminate the ground outside. Likewise, at night the main interior light will switch on when the ignition key is removed so the driver or passengers are never left completely in the dark. These features are standard for all variants, expect Linear, which has ‘puddle lights’ only..

‘Follow me home’ lighting
When leaving the car at night, a tweak of the lights stalk will keep the headlights on for 30 seconds. A useful aid for walking up the drive to the door or when parking in unfamiliar ground. Standard feature.


Ownership and Accessories: Owning and Enjoying the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan

· Flexible service intervals
· 10 year anti-perforation warranty
· Excellent serviceability for reduced workshop times
· Low-speed accident damage protection
· Favourable insurance ratings
· Design and lifestyle-orientated accessory range

World class build standards and the use of premium quality components and materials, backed by a 10 year anti-perforation warranty, contribute to competitive ownership costs, including servicing and insurance.

Good serviceability, reducing the cost and improving the convenience of ownership, was an important priority for the 9-3 project development team. As was the availability of a range of exclusive accessories, giving owners greater scope to enjoy the full potential of their car.

Lower Servicing Costs
The excellent quality of major mechanical components, due to better machining and finer tolerances, has allowed Saab to move away from rigid time and distance restrictions for scheduled servicing. It is now more important to monitor how the vehicle is actually used by its owner.

With all variants, the engine management system logs key usage parameters, such as the number of cold starts, journey distance and engine speeds used and applies an algorithm to inform the driver when an oil change is due. The maximum service interval on most markets is now every two years, or 30,000 kms for both gasoline and diesel engines. At any time, the driver can also request notification of when the next change is due.

With engine coolant filled and sealed for life, the only other major service items for the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan are spark plugs, the air filter and the engine drive belt.

Quicker repairs, lower insurance
Saab engineers have worked closely with representatives of leading insurance companies to introduce ways of minimising accident repair bills, as well as improving vehicle security and anti-theft protection. This close liaison is intended to achieve highly competitive insurance groupings and lower premiums.

A number of design elements in the outer body make accident and other repairs easier and faster. For example, electrical wiring and connection points are located away from areas more vulnerable to crash impacts and there is just one single connection point between the engine and main wiring harness in a well-protected position.

Low speed frontal collision protection, through ‘self-repairing’, energy absorbing bumpers (for impacts up to 8 kph) and deformable ‘crash boxes’ (for impacts up to 15 kph), helps protect the body structure from serious damage that would require expensive reinstatement. The front wings are also bolted to the main structure to make removal and replacement easier and less time-consuming.

Anti-perforation warranty
The warranty period covering body perforation is 10 years, a result of Saab’s confidence in under-body joint and sealant treatments and new electro-galvanizing procedures.

The body-in-white is prepared, sealed, galvanized, primed and painted at one of the most modern paint shops in Europe where quality standards are considered to be class-leading. All primer and paints are water-based, except for the final clear lacquer finish.

Accessories tailor-made for individuality
True to its tradition as a sporty and multi-dynamic brand, the 9-3 Sport Sedan is available with the large range of accessories. These include sporty design and more practical and lifestyle-orientated items.

For a more distinctive look, inside or out, there are a number of sporty design enhancements. Exterior items include: front spoiler, rear spoiler, sill extensions, fog lights, sports exhaust and a range of alloy wheels up to 18 inches. For the interior, there are alloy and dark gray or deep red walnut veneer trim inserts for the doors and the gearshift lever and housing, manual or automatic. Also a leather/wood steering wheel.

These features are designed to support owners in the enjoyment of their leisure pursuits. They include: cycle, ski, snowboard, surfboard, canoe and kayak holders; roof rack, roof cage and roof boxes and removable or fixed tow bars. Cargo mat, luggage box, cargo net and fold-out rear bumper scratch protectors are also available.

Comfort and Security
Pre-wiring facilitates the addition of entertainment and navigation equipment. Also available is a hands-free phone kit, CD changer, a pedal extension kit and an extensive range of engine heaters.

Saab Parking Assistance and the Saab Anti-theft Alarm can be fitted as accessories. A first aid kit, spare bulb kit and towing line are also available.


Specifications and performance:

These are too difficult to reproduce here, but try here.

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  1. Hi,
    Can you tell me the best way to trace the history of the engine that is now in a 1990 Saab Carlsson.
    I know this is not the original engine.
    Hope you can help.

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