Archive for June, 2005

GM Establishes Swedish R&D Office

Posted on 26. Jun, 2005 by .

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swedish rd office 600 GM Establishes Swedish R&D Office

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

2005-08-26

Focus on safety, manufacturing and fuel economy

GM Establishes Swedish R&D Office

General Motors Corp. will open a new science office in Trollhättan, Sweden that will expand GM’s advanced technical work portfolio in the areas of vehicle safety, emissions and advanced manufacturing, GM announced today. The new Science Office will develop centers of expertise in Sweden and will coordinate all local GM R&D (Research and Development) activities and projects. The $26 million (21.2 million euros) agreement begins in 2005 and will extend through at least 2008.

“GM’s extensive network of collaborators in Sweden including universities such as the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Chalmers University, as well as national laboratories and suppliers, is a result of Saab’s outstanding work in building relationships. The Swedish government is giving us an excellent opportunity to continue to expand our global network of partners,” said Alan Taub, executive director of Science at GM Research & Development laboratories in Warren, Michigan. “This is just a natural evolution of existing collaborative partnerships.”

The new commitment between the Swedish government and GM will complement existing Swedish government research and development programs.

Trollhättan is also home to GM’s wholly owned Saab brand widely recognized around the world for distinctive design, sporty driving experience, intriguing functional features and safety.

Taub said that with the support of the Swedish government, Saab engineers will be able to dramatically increase their existing network and build on relationships as well as establish working partnerships with new suppliers and technology partners.

Saab Brand Center to open in Sweden

As already announced, GM Europe will also establish a global Saab Brand Center in Sweden. This will be the epicenter of the Saab brand and will house a strategic design team that will concentrate on Saab-specific design. In addition to Saab designers, the Saab Brand Center will house a core team of engineers and marketers who will work in close collaboration to develop, evolve and maintain the Saab brand character in all areas – from developing future product proposals to ensuring consistent communication across the globe.

General Motors Corporation

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 317,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company’s history. GM’s global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

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Saab Reaches Four Million Milestone

Posted on 23. Jun, 2005 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2005-06-23

Saab Reaches Four Million Milestone

A Saab 9-3 SportCombi established a production milestone for the brand this week by becoming the four-millionth Saab car to be built.

At 2:35 p.m. Central European Time on June 21, the Fusion Blue 9-3 SportCombi 2.0t – one of the first examples of the newly announced model – rolled off the production line at Saab’s Trollhättan plant in Sweden and was taken to the Saab Museum, where it will be displayed alongside other historic exhibits.
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V-8 with Displacement on Demand, Award-Winning Inline-Six Pull Saab 9-7x Ahead of the Pack

Posted on 21. Jun, 2005 by .

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2005-06-21

V-8 with Displacement on Demand, Award-Winning Inline-Six Pull Saab 9-7x Ahead of the Pack

* A choice of two all-aluminum Vortec engines providing impressive horsepower and torque
* Standard automatic transmission
* Quietness engineered in for premium character

The Saab 9-7X is especially well-equipped for the demands of the American market for which it was developed. The V-8 model, incorporating the new Gen IV Vortec 5300 5.3-liter that delivers 300 horsepower (224 kw) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 Nm) of torque, is particularly destined to be an attractive offering among its peers. The vehicle is also offered with an award-winning, newly enhanced Vortec 4200 4.2L inline-six that produces 290 hp (217 kw) and 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) of torque.* Both all-aluminum engines are coupled to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.

The Saab 9-7X V-8 receives the new Gen IV version of GM Powertrain’s hallmark small block 5.3L. This engine is distinguished from other Vortec 5300 engines by its cast-aluminum engine block. It has pressed-in iron cylinder liners, similar to the 5.7L LS1 and LS6 aluminum Corvette V-8s. Because of the lighter block, a fully dressed engine weighs 100 pounds less than a comparable iron-block V-8.

The V-8 is equipped with high-flow, cast-aluminum cylinder heads similar to those in the famous LS6 Corvette engine. This, plus larger intake valves and an increase in valve lift (to 12.2 mm from Gen III’s 11.6 mm), result in significantly increased engine airflow. A new, flat-top piston profile combined with the chamber volume of the new cylinder head increases the compression ratio from 9.5:1 to 9.9:1. Flat response knock sensors mounted on the engine block allow optimal spark and knock control during hot conditions and/or with poor fuel quality conditions.

The 5.3L V-8 features GM’s Displacement on Demand (DOD) technology. DOD enables fuel economy gains of up to 8 percent in certain driving conditions by reducing the number of cylinders engaged in the combustion process. A sophisticated, next-generation engine controller determines when to deactivate cylinders, allowing the engine to maintain vehicle speed in conditions such as highway cruising. When the cylinders are deactivated, the engine effectively operates as a four cylinder, with every other cylinder in the firing order disabled. The engine seamlessly returns to V-8 mode the instant the controller determines that vehicle speed or load requires additional power.

Another distinguishing feature is what engineers call a “pan-axle” oil pan. Both the Vortec 5.3L and the Vortec 4.2L engines share this unique design, saving undercarriage space while reducing interior noise. The all-wheel drive system is bolted directly to the engine’s oil pan (rather than the chassis), and a half-shaft passes through the pan via a cast-in passage. Typically, the differential shaft crosses underneath the pan, and in turn, the engine must be raised. In this application, the shaft is designed to pass through the oil pan, which helps in engine packaging and, as a result, styling, visibility and noise reduction. This design helps to eliminate the noise transmission path for axle/driveline going into the vehicle compartment.

Both engines feature an algorithm called Smart Start that prevents the starter from engaging when the engine is running.

Among its advanced features are technologies such as variable exhaust valve timing (cam phaser), electronic throttle control, coil-on plug ignition, a state-of-the-art powertrain control module, a roller follower valve train, and the unique oil pan axle configuration mentioned above.

The Vortec 4200 4.2L inline-six, standard on the 9-7X, is updated for 2006 and impresses with a dramatically extended torque curve through the majority of the speed range. Peak torque is 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) at 3600 rpm, with 90 percent of peak torque already available at 1200 rpm.* EPA fuel economy numbers are estimated to be 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, which are fully competitive with primary competitors.

The 4L60-E Hydra-Matic electronically controlled automatic transmission is standard on all versions of the new Saab 9-7X. It is noted for its smooth operation, performance across the full torque curve, rugged durability, precise shifting and economical operation. The four-speed transmission is electronically controlled with automatic overdrive and a torque converter clutch.

Quietness reinforces premium character

An important element of quality is ride quietness. The Saab 9-7X engineers incorporated insulation measures, including:

* An acoustically laminated windshield
* Laminated front door glass
* Door primary seal designs that address sealing and wind noise
* Passenger compartment mat assembly, constructed of both a sound barrier and a sound absorber
* Engine-side front-of-dash sound absorber
* More than a dozen sound absorbing insulators in the doors, pillars and panels made of composite and/or fiberglass materials (strategically located around speakers, door handles or body structural gaps and openings)

The Saab 9-7X uses a special acoustic water deflector assembly, consisting of both a barrier and an absorber, for exceptional sealing/noise attenuation. This assembly is used on the inside of all four of the doors on the Saab 9-7X to absorb noise and provide a protective seal against water and dust intrusion.

* Horsepower and torque SAE Certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first manufacturer to begin using this procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.

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Performance and Safety of Saab 9-7x Put the Driver In Control

Posted on 21. Jun, 2005 by .

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2005-06-21

Performance and Safety of Saab 9-7x Put the Driver In Control

* Sport-tuned chassis helps provide responsive handling
* Standard all-wheel drive and rollover sensing system
* Comprehensive standard safety equipment, such as StabiliTrak, complements active safety vehicle dynamics and capabilities

Saab enters one of the fastest-growing market segments in the U.S., the mid-luxury SUV segment, with a distinctive model offering the elegant style and responsive handling that Saab is known for. The Saab 9-7X was designed to be a driver’s vehicle. To achieve its dynamic road manners and comfortable, well-controlled ride, the Saab 9-7X uses a uniquely tuned double A-arm front suspension with front coil springs and a five-link, electronically controlled rear air suspension. For improved traction under difficult road conditions, an advanced automatic all-wheel drive system, which requires no input from the driver to activate, is standard on all models.

Also standard on the new Saab 9-7X is StabiliTrak, which helps drivers maintain vehicle control during especially demanding driving conditions, such as on snow, ice or gravel surfaces.

The Saab 9-7X uses firm front and rear suspensions, providing a low ride height, a large front stabilizer bar and stiff upper control arm bushings in the rear, all designed to provide good body control for confident handling. The P255/55R18 all-season radials were specially developed by Dunlop for their road-gripping capability.

Saab 9-7X has standard four-wheel ABS. All brakes have 12.9-inch ventilated rotors in front and 12.8 in the rear. The front brake system utilizes dual-piston aluminum calipers. The steering gear is tuned for on-center road feel and smooth operation. The front section of the frame is stiffened with additional braces to help improve steering response and precision. An 18.5:1 steering gear ratio, together with stiff steering rack mounts, is designed to provide enhanced steering responsiveness and precision.

“The Saab 9-7X emphasizes the ‘sport’ aspect of the sport-utility vehicle,” said Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson, Saab Automobile AB managing director. “Like all Saabs, it is a dynamic vehicle that you want to drive.”

Put more ‘sport’ into a SUV

Suspension systems in mainstream SUVs tend to be under-damped and over-insulated from the road. Steering is often vague, requiring considerable correction at highway speeds. Body roll during sharp turns may be noticeable. Consequently, the driver is left somewhat removed from the driving experience.

In contrast, Saab puts the driver in control, providing a responsive vehicle that offers rewarding performance coupled with a reassuring feeling of what’s happening between the vehicle and the road surface. The chassis components of the new Saab 9-7X are specifically designed and its steering and handling tuned to provide fun-to-drive performance characteristics and superb ride quality. Main elements of the unique formula for the Saab 9-7X’s chassis are:

* Responsive steering/handling in tight turns and good on-center feel
* Excellent tire grip
* Well-controlled body roll
* Good crosswind stability
* A firm but comfortable ride, capable of absorbing the sharp bumps and ridges of rough roads
* Ride height lowered by one inch compared to other GM midsize SUVs

Saab’s first SUV is equipped with a double A-arm front suspension with coil springs, a 5-link solid axle electronically controlled rear air suspension and a rack-and-pinion steering system. The rear air springs are continually monitored by two sensors that feed data to a frame-mounted compressor/electronic control unit, which inflates or deflates the rear air springs as necessary to maintain the designed trim height of the vehicle. This also helps keep the headlights in a consistent position to light the road ahead.

All shock absorbers are valved to help provide firm body control for confident handling. The 36-mm diameter front stabilizer bar helps reduce body roll. A rear limited-slip differential is standard. It was specifically selected to help dampen yaw reactions during high-speed maneuvers.

The 18-inch wheels have eight-inch wide rims, enabling the tires to spread out further and put a bigger footprint on the road. The P255/55R18 all-season radials were specially developed by Dunlop to provide road-gripping capability. The wheels accommodate four ventilated-disc brakes with large 12.9-inch (328 mm) front and 12.8-inch (325 mm) rear rotors. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is standard.

The steering system: stiff, fast and responsive

The Saab 9-7X is equipped with hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering designed to help provide precise steering response and a tight turning radius. An 18.5:1 steering gear ratio, together with stiffer bushings improves steering responsiveness and precision. In parking maneuvers, the 9-7X only requires 3.5 turns from lock to lock. The steering gear is tuned for on-center road feel and the front section of the frame is stiffened with additional braces to help make the steering responsive and precise.

Chassis tuning includes a new valve profile with high response rates for the steering gear, firm mounting bushings, and low-friction components within the steering gear. The bushings used to mount the steering rack are designed to help minimize compliance in the steering system that might compromise on-center feel. The gear uses new, low-friction components such as bearings (in place of bushings) and low-friction seals to provide smooth operation. Braces at the front of the main frame add lateral stiffness and support. Stiffening the front part of the frame makes the steering more responsive and precise by reducing compliance in the frame so that it begins to generate lateral force more quickly.

“The Saab 9-7X is an excellent example of Saab’s expertise applied to achieve sporty, driver-focused performance,” said Kjell-Ã…ke Eriksson, Saab executive director for Future Products. “While offering excellent versatility, it is still a delight to drive with minimal body roll and a firm but subtle and quiet ride.”

Dual-stage frontal air bags and rollover sensing system

On top of its well-mannered vehicle dynamics, the 2006 Saab 9-7X features a comprehensive standard safety package, including:

* StabiliTrak
* Passenger sensing system
* Rollover sensing system
* Head curtain side air bags
* Front safety belt pretensioners with load limiters
* Buckle-up reminder for front-seat occupants
* Dual-stage frontal air bags

Newly standard StabiliTrak is an important crash-avoidance feature that helps the vehicle maintain the driver’s intended path by applying a brake force at any corner of the vehicle independent of the driver’s use of the brake pedal.

The system uses an accelerator pedal position sensor, a brake master cylinder pressure sensor and a steering wheel angle sensor as inputs to interpret the driver’s desired path and whether to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle. It also uses these sensors plus a lateral accelerometer and yaw rate sensor to determine the vehicle’s actual path.

If the difference between the driver’s desired path and the vehicle’s actual path becomes great enough, the system takes appropriate action to assist the driver with maintaining the desired path. If the vehicle begins to “plow,” or understeer, the system applies the inside rear brake to help turn the vehicle. If the vehicle begins to “fishtail,” or oversteer, the system applies the outside front brake to straighten the vehicle.

Occupant protection was a priority in the design of the 9-7X. During a frontal impact, the standard dual stage frontal air bags allow the sensing and diagnostic module to choose a high or low inflation level based on crash severity when the seats are positioned toward the rear of the seat track for taller occupants. However, when the seats are positioned toward and near the front of the seat track, as for small occupants seated closer to the air bag, a switch in the seat track informs the SDM and limits the air bag to a less aggressive inflation level.

A passenger sensing system is used to automatically switch the right front air bag on or off, based on the passenger’s weight and the type of pressure on the seat. The system combines inputs from a pressure sensor on a bladder located in the seat and a belt tension switch to decide whether the air bag should be suppressed or enabled. An indicator in the rear view mirror signals whether the passenger airbag is “on” or “off.” Even with this innovative feature, passengers should always wear their safety belts and be sure that children 12 and under are properly restrained in the rear seat.

Standard head curtain side air bags are designed to help provide head protection in certain side-impact collisions and rollovers for all outboard-seated occupants. The new rollover sensing system is intended to help protect occupants during rollovers by triggering the head curtain side air bags and activating the front safety belt pretensioners.

The rollover-sensing module is located on the center tunnel under the rear seat and uses a complex algorithm to deploy safety systems in rollover events. This system is designed to measure the lateral and vertical accelerations of the vehicle, as well as the roll rate. It obtains the vehicle speed from the wheel speed sensors. These four inputs are used to help make a predictive deployment decision. Once the system makes its deployment decision, a message is sent to the central control unit, or sensing diagnostic module, which is designed to then deploy the appropriate safety systems.

Seat belt load-limiting retractors with pretensioners are also standard for the front seats. Pretensioner front seat belts are designed to help minimize forward movement during a frontal collision and vertical movement in a rollover. A device attached to each front seat belt retractor and triggered by the sensing diagnostic module at the same time as the air bags is designed to remove belt slack during a collision to help restrain front seat passengers. An energy-absorbing element built into the belt retractor helps regulate the forces on an occupant’s upper torso.

The Saab 9-7X features a safety belt reminder for front-seat occupants, which informs them automatically via a chime and indicator light if their safety belts haven’t been fastened.

The Saab 9-7X also is equipped with knee bolsters that provide lower-body protection in the event of a crash. The driver’s side bolster includes a metal panel with reinforced ribbing, which is located behind the plastic bolster surface, and in front of the energy-absorbing brackets. The panel more evenly distributes knee-loads into the energy-absorbing steel brackets, which are designed to crush during severe impact. The passenger-side glove box door is also engineered to act as a knee restraint.

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Saab 9-7x Offers a Low-Maintenance Relationship With Personal, Functional Features

Posted on 21. Jun, 2005 by .

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2005-06-21

Saab 9-7x Offers a Low-Maintenance Relationship With Personal, Functional Features

* Ample room for five people and 40 cubic feet of their “stuff”
* Driver Information Center personalizes the 9-7X
* Front- and rear-seat “infotainment”
* Standard XM Satellite Radio and OnStar safety and security system

The new Saab 9-7X offers the basic requirement for what SUV buyers seek: ample room for passengers and their belongings. With a wheelbase of 113 inches (2,870 mm) and an overall length of 193.2 inches (4,808 mm), the Saab 9-7X comfortably seats five adults. It holds up to 39.8 cubic feet (1,127 liters) of cargo space with the rear seatback up and 80.1 cubic feet (2,268 liters) with the seatback folded down. A 65/35-split rear bench seat is standard in all 9-7X models, as is a trailer hitch receiver and hitch receiver cover. Maximum towing capacity equipped with the V-8 engine is an estimated 6,500 pounds (2,948 kg).

All seats are trimmed with high-quality leather. The folding, self-storing, second-row seat assembly not only extends the rear cargo area, it provides convenient storage for both tire jack and tools in the same compartment. The tools and jack are stowed side-by-side underneath the seat and can be accessed easily from the rear passenger side door, without the need to remove cargo in the rear compartment. The rear seats are split 65/35 and fold forward to become part of the cargo compartment floor when more space is desired. They feature articulating headrests that flip backward out of the way when the seat is lowered, eliminating the need to remove and re-stow them. When the seat is raised, the customer simply flips the headrest back into place.

The front-row seats feature standard power eight-way adjustment, as well as an independently heated seat cushion and back with three temperature levels. A power lumbar control system and power recline adjustment also are standard, along with a driver’s seat memory package for both seat and mirrors.

The rear cargo compartment includes the following features: a scroll-type stowage shade for privacy and added security, an air compressor hose, auxiliary power outlet, sidewall storage compartments and a hidden stowage well under the rear floor for storing valuables. Storage facilities also include a compartment in the center console and a lockable glove box.

Another striking example of the versatility of the new Saab 9-7X is the standard rear air suspension. Because of this, the vehicle is designed to be self-leveling, regardless of the load in the cargo area. This also applies to a trailer hitched onto the 9-7X. In keeping with the active lifestyles of Saab 9-7X customers who enjoy outdoor leisure pursuits such as boating, hiking, mountain biking, camping and winter sports, the trailer hitch receiver is standard on all models.

Furthermore, an external air hose coupling, located in the right rear quarter panel for the compressor holding up the air pressure in the rear springs, is provided. The 22-foot air hose is long enough to reach all four tires for inflation – and a number of fittings enable inflation of sports accessories like a rubber dinghy, balls or bicycle tires.

Driver information center personalizes your Saab

A multi-language, 22-character information center acts as an interface to the driver for both systems information and for personalization and memory programming. It is positioned directly under the speedometer on the instrument cluster. Buttons to control the driver information center are located in the instrument panel center stack. Features include the following:

* Low-level notification and/or status is provided for oil life (based on engine speed, heat and distance traveled), washer fluid and fuel level
* Other messages include “key fob battery is low,” “ice possible,” “tighten fuel cap,” “door ajar” and “liftgate ajar”
* Computer calculations are available for fuel data, estimated range, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, dual trip odometers and elapsed time
* Memory settings can be created for seat position, mirror position and adjustable pedals, if equipped

Personalization features set through the driver information center include the following:

* Configurable to perform in English, Spanish or French
* Automatic door locks can be set to lock when the vehicle speed exceeds 8 mph for 3 seconds (feature can be disabled if not desired)
* Automatic door unlock can be configured for all doors when the key is withdrawn from the ignition; all doors when the vehicle is shifted into “park;” driver door only when the vehicle is shifted into “park;” or turned off completely
* Key remote feedback can be customized for the horn shortly sounding, the lights flashing, both, or turned off completely
* Headlamp delay at exit can be customized for times up to 220 seconds
* Perimeter lighting can be programmed on or off
* Automatic mirror curb view when the vehicle is shifted into reverse can be set on or off

The advanced electronics of the Saab 9-7X also include battery rundown protection. If the interior lights, headlamps and park lamps are inadvertently left on, the central electronic controller unit will automatically turn them off after 20 minutes, eliminating battery drain.

The advanced “Pass III” key features an electronic chip that communicates directly with the engine management system. If an incorrect key or foreign object is inserted in the ignition, it will not be recognized and fuel will be prevented from flowing to the engine.

Entertainment: much is standard, even more is available

Radios, all with Radio Data System (RDS), were selected for their high-quality performance, with special attention paid to contours that permit flush-mounting between the radio face and the dark wood-effect trim surrounding it. The standard AM/FM stereo with integral six-disc CD changer is aesthetically designed and ergonomically easy to operate. Standard equipment on all Saab 9-7X models includes radio controls for rear seat occupants and earphone jacks. In addition, the 9-7X provides OnStar, with 12 months of Safe & Sound protection featuring automatic notification to the OnStar Call Center when air bags are deployed and optional hands-free calling and information services.

XM Satellite Radio provides more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $12.99 a month. In addition, customers with GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments.

Optional equipment includes a rear DVD player with flip-down screen for second-seat passenger viewing or a power moonroof offered at no additional charge.

Standard equipment abounds

The standard equipment level of the Saab 9-7X leaves little to be desired. Beyond the amenities mentioned above, standard equipment in the 9-7X model includes:

* 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Dunlop all-season P255/55R18 tires
* 4.2L inline six-cylinder engine delivering 290 horsepower (217 kw) and 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) of torque*
* Automatic all-wheel drive
* XM Satellite Radio
* OnStar
* Memory driver’s seat
* Bose premium audio
* Integrated roof rails
* Anti-theft system with remote
* Automatic climate control
* Automatic transmission
* Cruise control
* Daytime running lights
* Floor mats
* Front fog lamps
* Full-size spare
* Homelink universal home remote feature
* No-charge scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles
* Power door locks with remote keyless entry
* Rear limited-slip differential
* Head curtain side air bags
* Tilt-adjustable steering column
* Metallic paint

On top of that, the Saab 9-7X V-8 distinguishes itself with:

* 5.3L 300-hp V-8 engine with Displacement on Demand technology
* Saab-specific six-spoke 18-inch wheels
* Adjustable foot pedals
* Xenon headlamps
* Headlamp washers

* Horsepower and torque SAE Certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first manufacturer to begin using this procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.

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9-7X Chassis Engineered to Meet Saab Driver’s Expectations

Posted on 21. Jun, 2005 by .

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2005-06-21

9-7X Chassis Engineered to Meet Saab Driver’s Expectations

Saab customers expect a sporty, driver-focused experience behind the wheel. To ensure that the new 9-7X meets those expectations, the following enhancements were made to the chassis and suspension systems of GM’s award-winning midsize SUV architecture upon which the 9-7X is based:

* Ride height lowered by one inch
* Additional braces between the cross members and frame
* Firmer springs and shocks
* Stiffened and quicker steering
* Larger front anti-roll bars
* Larger brakes
* Specific Dunlop tires
* Limited-slip differential

Specifically, here is a list of characteristic Saab driving dynamics and the enhancements that were applied to the 9-7X to achieve the desired results:

Steering (for on-center feel, feedback and precision)

* Toe-in adjusted from 0.1 degrees to 0.2 degrees
* Caster increased an average of 0.5 degrees
* Revised steering valve characteristics including a larger torsion bar
* Steering gear mount stiffened from 6,000 N/mm to 9,000 N/mm
* Intermediate shaft isolator stiffened 33 percent
* New 18-inch Dunlop tires provide better stability and higher lateral stiffness
* Additional braces between cross member and frame at the front

Steering (for response and linearity)

* Steering gear ratio lowered to 18.5:1 from 20.3:1
* Steering gear mount stiffened from 6,000 N/mm to 9,000 N/mm
* New 18-inch Dunlop tires provide better stability and higher lateral stiffness
* Additional braces between cross member and frame at the front
* Front anti-roll bar diameter increased to 36 mm from 34 mm
* Revised shock absorber settings for improved body control (average 70 percent more damping at the front and 20 percent more damping at the rear in the V-8 and 40 percent at the front and 10 percent at the rear in the L-6)
* Added front lower control arm bushing travel limiter

Handling (for stability)

* Toe-in adjusted from 0.1 degrees to 0.2 degrees
* Caster adjusted from 3.5 degrees to 4.0 degrees
* Steering gear mount stiffened from 6,000 N/mm to 9,000 N/mm
* New 18-inch Dunlop tires provide better stability and higher lateral stiffness
* Standard limited-slip differential

Handling (for linearity and predictability)

* Revised shock absorber settings for improved body control (average 70 percent more damping at the front and 20 percent more damping at the rear in the V-8 and 40 percent at the front and 10 percent at the rear in the L-6)
* New 18-inch Dunlop tires provide better stability and higher lateral stiffness
* Front anti-roll bar diameter increased to 36 mm from 34 mm
* Rear suspension upper link bushing stiffened from 4,600 N/mm to 7,000 N/mm
* Rear suspension lower link bushings stiffened from 3,200 N/mm to 4,600 N/mm

Emergency handling

* Standard StabiliTrak
* New 18-inch Dunlop tires provide better stability and higher lateral stiffness
* Revised shock absorber settings for improved body control (average 70 percent more damping at the front and 20 percent more damping at the rear in the V-8 and 40 percent at the front and 10 percent at the rear in the L-6)
* Standard air spring rear leveling
* Standard limited-slip differential
* Front anti-roll bar diameter increased to 36 mm from 34 mm
* Ride height lowered by 25 mm (approximately one inch)

Ride comfort (for body motion and control)

* Front and rear springs stiffened by 15 percent
* Revised shock absorber settings for improved body control (average 70 percent more damping at the front and 20 percent more damping at the rear in the V-8 and 40 percent at the front and 10 percent at the rear in the L-6)
* Front anti-roll bar diameter increased to 36 mm from 34 mm
* Standard air spring rear leveling
* Ride height lowered by 25 mm (approximately one inch)
* Front suspension upper shock mount is stiffer by 33 percent

Brakes (improved brake performance, response time, pedal feel and travel)

* Front caliper material changed from aluminum to stiffer cast iron
* Piston diameter increased to 48 mm from 45 mm
* Brake booster diameter reduced to 240 mm from 260 mm
* Master cylinder diameter increased to 27 mm from 25.4 mm
* Brake pedal ratio reduced to 3.6:1 from 3.8:1

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Saab’s First SUV Doesn’t Miss a (Design) Cue

Posted on 21. Jun, 2005 by .

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2005-06-21

Saab’s First SUV Doesn’t Miss a (Design) Cue

* Smooth surfaces and clean execution convey a premium, contemporary look
* Familiar Saab features and instrument panel create a driver-oriented interior
* Unmistakable Saab styling cues inside and out support Saab brand character

As the first SUV of the Swedish premium brand, the new Saab 9-7X has the expected dimensions and capabilities of a sport utility vehicle – but its exterior and interior styling give it a much more car-like appearance than most competitors in the segment.

“The exterior and interior design of the Saab 9-7X are in line with its dynamic road behavior and convey the sporty refinement of a Saab rather than the ruggedness of a traditional SUV,” said Simon Padian, senior designer in charge of the 9-7X.

Saab styling cues are apparent even from a distance. Key features include Saab’s signature three-port grille, rear quarter windows that visually appear to wrap around the

D-pillars and brand-specific wheels. The Saab 9-7X’s profile is clean and uninterrupted, without large bumper offsets or protruding shapes and forms.

Inside, Saab drivers will instantly feel at home. The instrument panel’s cockpit-inspired center stack and controls are angled toward the driver. Like the exterior, the 9-7X’s interior features Saab-traditional strong, brand-distinctive design elements and cues. They encompass such Saab icons as the air vents with their characteristic sliding-plate design, a cupholder like that of the Saab 9-5, and the center console ignition switch location.

The exterior: clean, harmonious and powerful

The new 9-7X retains Saab’s familiar curvaceous front. The rounded hood ends at a horizontal cutline, with flush surfaces supporting the aerodynamics. The one-piece front fascia harmoniously integrates the typical three-hole-grille and the low, horizontal headlamps that wrap around into the sides of the vehicle. The grille textures, which share a precise, geometric mesh pattern, create a strong identity.

The headlamps are detailed to provide a rich, multi-tone effect, reflecting the latest in European design trends. The unique tail lamps have a clear acrylic lens and reflector optics. Their bezels have a stainless (smoke gray) color, which contrasts with the chrome to heighten the effect of the lights.

The headlamps use three independent lighting units, with separate lamps for the high and low beam, as well as the park/turn signals, including daytime running lamp functions. 9-7X six-cylinder models use projector beams for low-beam lighting. The high-intensity discharge lamps for the low beams provide even greater nighttime visibility. The headlamp washers extend outward like those on the Saab 9-5 and are mounted on the front fascia, just below the headlamps. Their location eliminates gaps and provides flush surfacing, enhancing the “functional beauty” characteristic of the vehicle’s design. Projector beam fog lamps are standard. Small, round and laser-like, they contribute to the precision look and overall balance of the front-end design.

As part of the contemporary simplicity of the overall bodyside theme, the vehicle also has no bodyside moldings, which is in keeping with Saab’s traditional clean, uncluttered look.

Styled, brightly finished roof rails are standard. The roof rails visually integrate with the vehicle’s upper contours, accentuating and extending the profile. The roof rails taper down and forward in front, picking up the trajectory of the windshield profile, accelerating higher as they go rearward to create visual forward thrust before tapering down at the back. They have chrome accent bars and a brightly painted silver base. The roof rails were designed to accept all the same support hardware as the 9-5 Sport Wagon, making it easy to add Saab-common accessories.

The standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Dunlop P255/55R18 tires, combined with the vehicle’s low stance, emphasize its stability and fun-to-drive performance characteristics. Wheels are painted bright silver with exposed lug nuts that reinforce Saab’s philosophy of functional beauty. The 9-7X with the 4.2L engine has 12-spoke wheels, with the slender spokes radiating to the tip of the outer rim for a flangeless appearance and contemporary, large-wheel look. The 9-7X V-8 features a bolder, six-spoke wheel design that underscores its enhanced performance capabilities.

The rear: familiar wrap-around window

The rear quarter windows feature the same wrap-around, Saab-distinctive design as the Saab 9-5 Sport Wagon. Visually, they appear to wrap over the D-pillars and into the rear window. The upper header portion of the tailgate extends the flow of this design by allowing a line to extend from the rear quarter window to its lower edge.

The Saab 9-7X provides a standard receiver hitch assembly and a bumper step pad, providing convenient roof access. The surface pattern of the step pad matches that of the sill plate in the interior cargo area, providing a harmonious appearance when the liftgate is opened.

The rear lamps, like the headlamps, include three lighting units, with clear acrylic and polycarbonate lenses, reflector optics and precision-detailed bezels combining to create a three-dimensional, precision-crafted effect. The lamps are vertically stacked, with a clear backup light at the top, an amber-colored turn signal in the middle and a red stop light at the bottom.

As part of the 9-7X’s clean design, the badging is discrete. A Saab emblem appears at the top of the license plate box, which is incorporated into a strip of horizontal chrome running across the top of the box, providing a harmonious balance with the bright chrome cues at the front of the vehicle. The rest of the license plate box is body-colored. The chrome-finished oval exhaust pipe tip, like the wheels, signals the vehicle’s performance characteristics.

Driver-oriented interior

Work inside the Saab 9-7X was focused on providing an upscale, sporty, driver-oriented interior that captured the feel and flavor of other Saab models. In doing so, the designers blended the best of heritage cues from models like the 9-5 Sport Wagon with design features from more recent new entries like the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible.

The Saab 9-7X’s instrument panel is shaped to create a driver-oriented space by angling its center stack and controls toward the driver. A four-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, textured with a low-gloss grain, like the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, provides a European feel. Additionally, like all other Saab models, the Saab 9-7X offers dual stalks with wiper controls on the right stalk.

The instrument cluster features satin-nickel-ringed gauges and the distinctive graphics of Saab 9-3 models. Saab-unique green provides the color and backlighting for LED cluster and HVAC displays, as well as for the radio and driver information center.

Saab aficionados will likely recognize the dash panel’s distinctive, vertical cupholder, like the one used in Saab 9-5 models. The cupholder pops out of the dash when pressed, flipping out sideways with a spring-dampened, twisting motion. A second, large, conventional cupholder is designed into the center console.

Control knobs for the radio, rear wiper, dimmer switch, HVAC system and the directional airflow controls feature the 9-3′s familiar soft, rubber-molded texture. HVAC outlets feature Saab’s distinctive sliding-plate design. The control knob moves a series of plates (rather than conventional vanes and shutters) that slide over each other.

The steering wheel features an easy-to-handle set of redundant audio system controls on the top left- and right-side spokes. Buttons to control the driver information center are located in the instrument panel’s center stack. Also located there is the hazard switch, providing an easy-to-access, five-button row of switches at the very centerline of the instrument panel above the radio.

Another typical Saab feature is the location of the ignition switch behind the gearshift on the center console. The gearshift lever has a symmetrical design, wide shift boot and conveys a substantial feel, reinforcing the Saab 9-7X’s driver-oriented character.

The center console is highly functional and tastefully appointed with dark burl wood effect trim inserts and chrome accents. A matching dark burl wood effect trim insert is found on the gearshift lever. The front of the console houses a large-size drink holder and two 12-volt power outlets.

The front door sills of the Saab 9-7X feature brushed aluminum, with the word “Saab” prominently de-bossed in bright, polished aluminum lettering. The same material is used for rear doorsill plates and inserts in the cargo area, taking the brunt of cargo as it slides into the rear. The sills’ surface pattern matches the top of the rear bumper top.

The standard soft, heated, nuance leather-appointed seats, with eight-way power adjustment including electrical lumbar and recline for both front seats, and leather-appointed rear seats, are among the Saab 9-7X’s many standard features. Seats are available in either a Desert Sand color, with matching door armrests and door inserts, or in a Carbon Black color that matches the carpeting, instrument panel and console that is standard with both interiors.

The center console lid and the door armrests, as well as the shifter boot and parking brake, are tailored with luxury French seam contrast stitching. All sew lines and seat trenches are tight and small. This not only ensures a detailed, high-end upholstered appearance, but one crafted to be durable and eliminate the possibility of a “stretched seam” appearance over time.

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9-7X, Saab’s First SUV, Broadens Portfolio, Extends Reach into Growing Segment

Posted on 21. Jun, 2005 by .

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2005-06-21

9-7X, Saab’s First SUV, Broadens Portfolio, Extends Reach into Growing Segment

* Significant extension of Saab model lineup targeting one of the fastest-growing vehicle segments
* Styling, performance and driving characteristics create a sporty, fun-to-drive offering in the SUV segment
* Comprehensive standard equipment including all-wheel drive, StabiliTrak, side curtain air bags, leather-appointed seats, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, OnStar and XM Satellite Radio
* Two models – 9-7X with award-winning 290-horsepower, 4.2L inline six-cylinder; 9-7X V-8 with 300-horsepower 5.3-liter with fuel-saving Displacement on Demand technology

As part of an aggressive and unprecedented product development program, Saab is launching its first SUV, the new 9-7X. Expanding its model offering to four vehicle lines, Saab is now targeting one of the fastest-growing market segments in North America. Sales in the mid-luxury SUV segment increased from about 50,000 vehicles a year in 1997 to more than 483,000 in 2004. By 2010, the segment is projected to reach 850,000 in annual vehicle sales.

The all-new 9-7X will bring unique Saab characteristics to this growing segment, including sophisticated exterior and interior styling; premium design features, safety and quality; a chassis tuned to deliver sporty and fun-to-drive performance; and the ignition cylinder in the center console behind the gear lever. As a seamless fit with the other products in the Saab portfolio, it will appeal to customers looking for a driver’s vehicle with the versatility of a SUV. The vehicle will be built at GM’s Moraine, Ohio assembly plant.

“The 9-7X is a crucial addition to our lineup, providing customers with Saab’s driver-focused interpretation of an SUV and filling an important need in our growth strategy,” said Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson, Saab Automobile AB managing director. “The Saab 9-7X emphasizes the ‘sport’ aspect of the sport-utility vehicle.”

Saab’s market research revealed that 39 percent of Saab customers in the U.S. currently have a SUV in the household. Furthermore, almost 30 percent of Saab customers who leave the Saab brand purchase a four-door SUV. “The new Saab 9-7X will provide our dealers with a world-class SUV to satisfy existing Saab customers and attract new ones,” said Jay Spenchian, Saab USA general manager. “The 9-7X plays a crucial role in the most aggressive product expansion in Saab’s 58-year history.”

The Saab 9-7X Linear comes standard with a newly upgraded 4.2L Inline six-cylinder engine delivering 290 horsepower (217 kw) and 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) of torque;* vehicle stability control; leather-appointed seats; 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels; side curtain air bags; al-wheel drive and a six-speaker, 275-watt Bose sound system with six-disc CD changer; power moonroof, navigation and rear-seat DVD system. The V-8 model adds a 5.3L engine with fuel-saving Displacement on Demand technology; xenon headlamps; headlamp washers and adjustable pedals.

Refinement at first glance

“The exterior and interior design of the Saab 9-7X are in line with the vehicle’s dynamic road behavior, and convey the sporty refinement of a Saab rather than the ruggedness of a traditional SUV,” said Saab senior designer Simon Padian. “For example, the interior features such Saab icons as the air vents with their distinctive sliding plate design, the famed cup holder like the Saab 9-5, and a center console ignition key.”

The 9-7X reflects Saab’s sporty and functional brand character throughout its exterior design. Key features such as Saab’s signature three-port grille, rear quarter windows that visually appear to wrap around the D-pillars and brand-distinctive wheels telegraph the 9-7X’s heritage even from a distance. Overall, the Saab 9-7X presents a very smooth, aerodynamic, sporty appearance, with an excellent body-to-tire relationship derived from the vehicle’s low stance in combination with its standard 18-inch wheels.

The 9-7X’s profile is clean and uninterrupted, without any big bumper offsets or protruding shapes and forms. The tail lamps are vertically stacked with clear acrylic lenses, reflector optics and precision-detailed bezels combining to create a precision-crafted effect.

The Saab 9-7X’s cockpit-inspired interior features high-quality materials and finishes. The new instrument panel’s center stack and controls are angled toward the driver and feature Saab’s trademark strong, brand-distinctive design elements and cues.

Performance focuses on the driver

Like all Saabs, the 9-7X is designed to be a driver’s vehicle. To help achieve its comfortable, well-controlled ride and responsive handling, the Saab 9-7X uses a uniquely tuned double A-arm front suspension with front coil spring and a five-link, electronically controlled rear air suspension. The Saab 9-7X has been developed to deliver responsive European driving characteristics and a low ride height with firm front and rear suspensions, a thick front stabilizer bar and stiff upper control arm bushings at the rear.

All shock absorbers have been tuned to help provide firm body control for confident handling. The P255/55R18 high-performance all-season tires were specially developed by Dunlop for their road-gripping capability. A quick 18.5:1 steering gear ratio, together with stiff mounts, were designed to help provide steering responsiveness and precision. The steering gear itself is tuned for on-center feel and smooth operation. The front part of the frame is stiffened with braces to help increase steering responsiveness and precision.

The Saab 9-7X features standard advanced automatic all-wheel drive. Traction and handling performance are further enhanced by a standard limited-slip rear differential. Brakes are large, four-wheel vented discs with front aluminum dual-piston calipers and four-wheel ABS.

Customers can choose between two all-aluminum engines, which are coupled with a standard electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The 4.2L Inline 6, elected one of the “10 Best Engines” by Ward’s Magazine, delivers 290 hp (217 kw) and 277 lb.-ft. (375 Nm) of torque. The 5.3L V-8 delivers 300 hp (224 kW) and 330 lb.-ft. (447 Nm) of torque, and includes fuel-saving Displacement on Demand (DOD) technology.

DOD enables fuel economy gains of up to 8 percent in certain driving conditions by reducing the number of cylinders engaged in the combustion process. A sophisticated, next-generation engine controller determines when to deactivate cylinders, allowing the engine to maintain vehicle speed in conditions such as highway cruising. When the cylinders are deactivated, the engine effectively operates as a four cylinder, with every other cylinder in the firing order disabled. The engine seamlessly returns to V-8 mode the instant the controller determines that vehicle speed or load requires additional power.

The newly standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is an important crash-avoidance feature that assists the vehicle in maintaining the driver’s intended path by applying a brake force at any corner of the vehicle independent of the driver’s use of the brake pedal.

The system uses an accelerator pedal position sensor, a brake master cylinder pressure sensor and a steering wheel angle sensor as inputs to interpret the driver’s desired path and whether to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle. It also uses these sensors plus a lateral accelerometer and yaw rate sensor to determine the vehicle’s actual path.

If the difference between the driver’s desired path and the vehicle’s actual path becomes great enough, the system takes appropriate action to assist the driver with maintaining the desired path. If the vehicle begins to “plow,” or understeer, the system applies the inside rear brake to help turn the vehicle. If the vehicle begins to fishtail, or oversteer, the system applies the outside front brake to straighten the vehicle.

“The Saab 9-7X is an excellent example of Saab’s expertise applied to achieve sporty, driver-focused performance,” said Kjell-Ã…ke Eriksson, Saab executive director for future products. “Although it offers excellent versatility, it is still a delight to drive, with minimal body roll and a firm but subtle, quiet ride.”

On top of its well-mannered vehicle dynamics, the Saab 9-7X features a comprehensive standard safety package, including:

* Dual-stage front air bags
* Passenger Sensing System
* Rollover sensing system
* Head curtain side air bags
* Front seat belt pretensioners with load limiters
* Front seat belt buckle-up reminder

Room for people and their luggage

With a wheelbase of 113 inches (2,870 mm) and an overall length of 193.2 inches (4,808 mm), the Saab 9-7X offers ample room for friends and family. It holds up to 39.8 cubic feet (1,127 cubic liters) of cargo space with the rear seatback up and 80.1 cubic feet (2,268 cubic liters) with the seatback folded down. A 65/35 split rear seat is standard in all 9-7X models, as is a trailer hitch receiver and hitch receiver cover. Maximum towing capacity equipped with the V-8 engine is 6,500 lb. (2,948 kg).

* Horsepower and torque SAE Certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first manufacturer to begin using this procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.

Saab Automobile AB and Saab USA, Inc. are subsidiary companies of General Motors Corp. Saab Cars USA is the importer of Saab 9-2X, 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.saabusa.com.

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