Epsilon 2 shots

When we were discussing the potential new 9-5 images the other day, many of you wondered when we might see something concrete to tell us the new models are on the way.

All thanks to Robin in NZ for these….

New Epsilon.jpg . New Epsilon 2.jpg

No, they’re not of a Saab, but the ARE reported to be images of the new Epsilon II chassis as the base for the Chevrolet Malibu.

From CAR Magazine online:

Pictured here beneath the next Chevrolet Malibu, the modular front- and all-wheel drive architecture will also underpin the Vauxhall Vectra and Saab’s new 9-3 and 9-5….

….There may be more than one suspension set up, different steering racks, and three levels of electronics,’ GM Europe boss Carl-Peter Forster has told CAR Online.

Saab, for example, will get the plushest Epsilon components, with a double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear axle biased towards sporty ride and handling. Adaptive damping will be offered, too.

Things are rolling, folks.

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  1. Hooray for no more Macpherson struts! I remember shortly after the 9000 was introduced, Saab said they’d never make another car with Macpherson struts … but then came GM. Finally, a return to a proper suspension for a sporty car.

  2. Is that second shot one of the upcoming Chevy Malibu hybrids towing its battery pack/electric motor? ;-P

    It’s surprising to me (and a little encouraging, actually) that they actually test passenger cars towing capability, apparently.

    And Robin from New Zealand sent these pics in? Are they testing the platform in New Zealand, or were these pics taken in the U.S. and Robin just found them on the web?

    Lastly, maybe Ted Y can provide a small tutorial to Swade on the technical workings and advantages of the double wishbone/multilink rear axle suspension over the Macpherson? I don’t know the difference. Swade could post what Ted wrote in a blog entry? Also, what the heck is “adaptive damping”? What kind of suspension does the Lotus Elise have as I believe that’s supposed to be the best (for sport) in the world.

  3. Oh jeez, I just read the post again and see that Robin submitted a link to CAR magazine online. I really wish I could go back and edit when this sort of thing happens… 😉

  4. another vote for “yay for double a-arms!” 😉 hopefully they’ll be easier to set up than old 900’s front end. my local Bob Jane are great to me (I bought expensive tyres off them after all) but secretly they must hate it every time I come in saying “it’s wandering off-centre again guys…”! 😀

    which reminds me… i need to book in a rotation and tell Frank to give me 1° negative camber now…

    adaptive suspension is an interesting development. the ability to change preload and dampning rates through magnetically affecting the fluid viscosity has already been well used in some (admittedly expensive) vehicles. in a Ferrari Enzo, for example, when you change gear (or rather, when you tell it to change gear) the rear suspension is firmed up to prevent the car bucking back. that’s cool, but what i’d really like to see approximated with regular mechanical shocks is Citröen’s lean-into-corner function of their hydro-whateveryoucallit suspension. basically the suspension counteracts the lateral roll of the car’s body into a corner so it remains more or less flat and level. it keeps the centre of gravity down which equals more grip and faster corner speeds. it also means that the suspension can be made more supple on the straights – where ride comfort matters more – rather than resorting to bone rattling stiff springs.

  5. Thanks for the link, Ted.

    It appears that the advantages of the Macpherson type are that it’s less expensive, leaves more room for the passenger compartment, and has better ride comfort.

    The double-wishbone type is more expensive, but appears worth it when you consider its advantages and that these are supposed to be “sport-oriented entry luxury segment” cars.

    I learned that the C900 has a double wishbone front suspension but the NG900 went to the cheaper Macpherson type. The 9000 and 9-5 have always had Macpherson.

    I don’t know if it’s related to the suspension per se, but I hope they work on reducing torque steer on the FWD models so on the higher-power models people don’t feel they need to spring for a Viggen Rescue Kit type option. From what I understand about torque steer it occurs when there are uneven lengths of axle coming out of the transaxle to each wheel. It’s especially bad in high-torque output engines (>210 Nm) and transverse layout (like SAABs). Luckily torque steer can be designed-out if its considered in the design phase.


  6. Not too many people would argue that the Lotus Exige is not one of the best (if not THE best) cornering car in the world.

    I looked into it and learned its suspension setup is “independent, double-wishbone, coil springs, and stabilizer bar” in the front and “independent, double-wishbone, coil springs” in the rear.

    I wonder why the new SAABs on Epsilon 2 will go with a “multilink rear axle”? Is it cheaper? Is the ride with the Lotus setup too “sporty” (aka rough)?

    Will the next-gen 9-5 adopt the ReAxs system currently found on the 9-3? Will the next-gen 9-3 feature it?

  7. Now I’m also wondering about the multilink rear suspension. Usually, it’s more than adequate for a front drive car because the front wheels are doing most of the work, and some slip at the rear during cornering might even help reduce understeer. But isn’t the new 9-5 supposed to offer all wheel drive as an option? Even our Aztek has a double wishbone rear suspension with the all wheel drive. The standard front wheel drive has a solid rear axle.

  8. Please excuse my comment about some slip with the multilink rear suspension; it makes no sense. I see no reason why it would slip with both wheels being perpendicular to the road. Multilink is okay with front drive because there’s no excess unsprung weight on the axle.

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