Photo Credits: Saab Automobile AB
Saab History Launches Section on Saab Innovations
Saab Automobile has continues to prove that they are a leader when it comes to firsts in the industry. It is about time that these industry firsts and other innovations are best represented in an an easily accessible and intuitive format.
In an effort to promote these innovations, Saab History has launched an entire section on the website devoted to Saab Automobile’s innovations past and present.
This section will be easily accessible on the right-hand navigation panel titled “Innovations” identified with a graphic of an iconic innovation, the Turbo.
I have compiled the list of Saab’s innovations below so that I can begin to populate it. Within the list below you will notice innovations that are hyperlinked. These hyperlinked innovations indicate that they are currently included on the site within the innovations section. As time permits, I will continue to populate this list and hyperlink the remaining innovations so that this work-in-progress will reflect all innovations to date and all innovations will reside in the innovations section.
This list again is a work-in-progress, so if you see areas that you can contribute to either in content such as descriptions or photographs, videos, etc, please contact me.
Saab Innovations from 1947 to Present:
1947: Transverse two-stroke engine, front wheel drive, sturdy safety cafe, aerodynamic low drag design
1955: Three Cylinder engine, tubeless tires – (Needs description)
1958: Safety Belts – Saab was the first car manufacturer to introduce seat belts as standard. From the very start, Saab played an active part in the development of safety components – in-house as well as in co-operation with subcontractors.
1963: Dual Brake Circuits – The diagonally split brake system reduced the risk of losing brake power in the event of damage to the system
1967: Collapsible Steering Column – With Saabâ€™s design, the steering column does not penetrate the cabin in a head-on collision. Compared with other similar designs this has the advantage of not affecting the driverâ€™s ability to steer the car even after an accident
1969: Headlamps switch off with ignition – Driving with headlamps in the daylight is a documented safety enhancement. The automatic on/off switch eliminated the risk of discharging the battery by accident.
1969: Ignition lock between front seats – The traditional position of the ignition key caused severe knee injuries, even in minor accidents. Placing the ignition lock between the front seats gets it out of the way. Furthermore, the position is logical, adjacent to the seat belt lock, handbrake and gear lever.
1970: Headlights wash and wipe – Rain and dirt can remove 90% of headlamp illumination. Saabâ€™s simple yet unique solution was to create a wash and wipe system, which later became a legal requirement in many countries.
1971: Energy Absorbing Bumpers – With conventional bumpers, even a minor collision could result in costly repairs. With energy absorbing bumpers, collisions at speeds up to 8km/h require no repairs at all.
1971: Electrically Heated Seats: A major comfort enhancement. Originally it was developed from a health perspective; sitting in a cold seat is not good for anyone. Today, this Saab innovation is a part of the standard equipment in almost any car.
1972: Side Impact Protection – Saab was the first car manufacturer to introduce reinforcement members in the doors, in order to provide side impact protection. Surprisingly enough, the Saab was for many years the only car that offered this added safety.
1976: 3-Way Catalyst Converter – To comply with rigorous emissions regulations, Saab was one of the first car manufacturers to use a Lambda sensor controlled 3-way catalyst converter. Today, this is naturally a standard feature on all Saab cars and continued development work is being carried out to maintain and improve our position in this field.
1976: Turbocharging – Saab was the first car manufacturer to develop a turbo engine with the reliability and durability that is required for everyday use. Turbocharging provides increased output and huge torque at low and medium revs, without the usual increase in weight, cost and fuel consumption.
1978: Cabin Air Filter – Allergies are an increasing problem. The quality of the air is very important for people who suffer from hay fever or other allergies. Our electrostatic cabin air filter removes pollen and other particles, down to a size of 0.004mm from the incoming air.
1980: Automatic Performance Controll (APC) – Growing concern for the environment and reduced emissions led to the development of APC, Automatic Performance Control. APC enables the engine to run on fuels with a lower octane rating, with no loss of efficiency and durability. This is achieved using combustion process monitoring to control the turbocharger.
1981: Split-field Side Mirror – This Saab innovation eliminates the blind spots when looking to the rear. Simple, inexpensive and subsequently standard de facto.
1982: Asbestos-free Brake Pads – Saab was probably the first car manufacturer to take advantage of the new materials to replace asbestos.
1985: Direct Ignition – By the direct ignition system, Saab eliminated the ignition cables and distributor. Each spark plug has a separate coil which produces a firing spark voltage of 40,000 volts. The result is improved combustion and better cold-starting performance.
1988: Saab Traction Control (TCS) – Reduces the risk of skidding first installed in the 9000 CD
1991: Saab Trionic – Saab Trionic was developed in-house and is still one of the worldâ€™s most advanced systems for engine management. It measures all the parameters which play a significant part in the combustion process. The data is used for real-time control of turbocharging, fuel injection and ignition. The system also includes ionisation measurement inside the cylinders while the engine is running.
1991: Light Pressure Turbo – With the light pressure turbo, Saab has introduced turbo technology for standard cars with a less pronounced performance profile. Light pressure turbo is used to optimise driving characteristics and overtaking performance.
1991: CFC Free Air Conditioning – By tradition, the coolants used in air conditioning systems were of the CFC type – efficient but with a documented harmful effect on the atmosphere. In the early 90â€™s alternatives became available and Saab was one of the first to introduce this as standard.
1993: Saab Safeseat – The Saab Safeseat was introduced as a safety design philosophy. The aim is to ensure that all the interior safety features interact correctly and provide maximum protection.
1993: Night Panel – This function blacks out the instrument panel, apart from the speedometer. This reduces the risk of distraction while driving at night. All the systems still work in the background and the appropriate guage or lamp will light up when the driverâ€™s attention is required. A good example of our aircraft heritage.
1995: Ecopower – Saabâ€™s engine development does not simply focus on performance. Power should be instantly available but not at the expense of economy and environmental concern. Ecopower is the collective name for our efforts in this field. Turbo, ignition, engine management and catalytic converters are not treated as separate units, but are optimised to create a harmonious power source.
1996: Saab Active Head Restraint (SAHR) – The number of whiplash injuries would decrease dramatically if all cars had head restraints that were shaped and correctly positioned. That is why Saab has developed the Active Head Restraint. It automatically takes up the correct position in a rear-end impact and controls the movement of the head and vertebrae.
1997: Electronic Brake Force Distribution – To optimise the effect of the brakes, this function distributes the correct amount of the force to the front and rear axle
respectively. It is sensitive to the load distribution in the car and, unlike a traditional reduction valve, it does not reduce the total amount of available braking power.
1997: Ventilated Seats – Saab 9-5 is the first car with ventilated seats. As a compliment to air conditioning this provides an outstanding level of comfort and helps the driver to stay fit and alert.
1997: Comsense – Saab introduced a system that reduces the risk of distraction by briefly delaying incoming phone calls and lower priority alerts when the brakes or turn indicators are activated. This helps the driver to stay focused, for example when turning, overtaking or approaching a crossing.
1997: Saab Cup Holder – A sleek cupholder design to keep liquid cannisters safe and secure from flying through cabin and out of the way in an accident.
1997: Asymmetric Turbocharged V6 – The Saab 9-5 was the first car in the world to be equipped with an asymmetric turbocharging system. This engine concept uses one turbocharger on the front cylinder bank, driven by exhaust gases from only those three cylinders. The single highly-responsive Garrett GT17 turbocharger delivers compressed air to all six cylinders in both cylinder banks. Combined with a boost pressure that reaches only 3.6 psi (0.25 bar), this technology allows a patented boost control system that eliminates the need for a wastegate. The advanced 24-valve 3.0L turbo V-6 engine uses a narrow angle of 54 degrees between the cylinder banks. The engine’s strong maximum torque of 229 lb.-ft. at only 2,500 rpm, available all the way up to 4,000 rpm, provides useful performance to reduce passing times and avoid potentially hazardous situations. The high torque also allows longer gearing, which improves fuel economy and reduces engine noise at speed.
1998: Cargo lug system in the 9-5 Wagon – (Needs description)
1998: Sliding Load Floor 9-5 Wagon – (Needs description)
2000: Saab Variable Compression (SVC) – Saab launched an entirely new engine concept named SVC. Owing to the SVC engineâ€™s unique design, it offers performance on a par with units twice its size but with the fuel consumption of a small engine. The SVC engine is a 5-cylinder 1.6 litre unit producing 225 bhp and it delivers no less than 305 Nm of torque.
2002: Saab Combustion Control (SCC) – The Saab Combustion Control (SCC) system is a new engine control system developed to lower fuel consumption while radically reducing exhaust emissions, without impairing engine performance. By mixing a large volume of exhaust gases into the combustion process, Saabâ€™s fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 10 percent, and exhaust emissions lowered enough to comply with the California Ultra Low Emission Vehicle 2 (ULEV2) requirements, set to take effect in 2005. Compared to todayâ€™s Saab engines with equivalent performance, this will reduce the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by almost half, and will cut the nitrogen oxide emissions by 75 percent. The SCC system is based on a combination of direct injection of gasoline, variable valve timing and variable spark gap.
2002: Electronic Stability Program (ESP) – Saab’s ESP works like this: it assists the driver in the direction of his steering efforts. If he goes into a corner on which there is less grip than he had anticipated, resulting in an oversteering slide as the tail starts to lose control, the ESP system applies brake force to the outer wheels to nullify the yaw rate of the car and gently bring the car back into line. In that way it complements the driver at the wheel, rather than aggressively offering help at the last available moment. The new Saab ESP system also works when a slippery road causes the car to understeer – when the nose of the car starts to push wide instead of following its intended course. ESP offers just enough brake-force control to help bring the car back into line, because too much assistance might suddenly switch the car from an understeer to an oversteer situation.
2002: ReAxs System – Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan was introduced with a chassis geometry system that ensures smooth interaction of the steering, front suspension and multi-link rear axle. ReAxs enables the rear wheels to steer slightly when turning, helping the car move in the intended direction. It provides crisp steering feedback and contributes to enhanced driving stability in curves.
2003: Cargowing – Serves as a spoiler when lowered. When raised it becomes a functional rack for special holders to carry objects such as skis and snowboards.
2003: CargoSET – A function introduced for Saab 9-3 Convertible that automatically expands the luggage capacity as you raise the soft-top. The space occupied by the folded soft-top becomes available for luggage, providing a total of 380 litres.
2004: Saab Alcokey – The Saab â€œAlcokeyâ€ concept includes a small mouthpiece in the car?s key fob. A transponder communicates with the car?s electronic control unit, preventing the engine from starting if a breath sample from the driver is found to contain alcohol above legal levels.
2005: Saab BioPower – An 85% Ethanol Powered / 15% powered engine – (Needs description)
2006: Saab E100 BioPower – The Saab BioPower 100 Concept, showcases the first production-based turbo engine to be optimized for pure, eco-friendly bioethanol (E100) fuel. The result is a level of performance never seen before from a road car using this fuel.
2006: Saab BioPower Hybrid – The innovative Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept, delivers zero fossil CO2 emissions, enhanced performance and a range of energy-saving features by combining the use of pure bioethanol fuel and electric power generation for the first time.
2007: Saab TTid – (Needs description)
2007: XWD (Cross-Wheel Drive) – A Saab/Haldex AB innovation, the most advanced all-wheel drive system in the world.
94 (Sonett I) (14)
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9-5 BioPower 100 (9)
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