Last time I attended an event like this, I did a video in the first Saab 9-3 with XWD, with Kenneth Backlund from the Saab Performance Team. Kenneth was there again today, but frankly, after this drive with Stefan Rundquist from Saab, I was too queasy/shaky/stunned to even think about a lap with Kenneth.
Don’t take that in a bad way. What Stefan did in this car was demonstrate something approaching the extraordinary capabilities of the Saab XWD system.
You’ll hear the rain and see the wipers. This track was incredibly wet today. We were in a 2.8T V6 Saab 9-5 and on some of these long sweeping corners were doing up to 150km/h and the car was totally rock solid – totally.
You’ll see in some sections that Stefan is actually steering quite sharply and trying to induce some forced oversteer (at over 100 km/h on a bend) and the tyres just dig in, shift the power around and keep the car stable.
It really was an incredible eye-opener as to what this car can do. I’ve mentioned already that to me, the V6 version of the 9-5 seems more like a smooth cruiser, that it doesn’t invite you to really test its limits. I think this video shows that despite its long touring credentials, this car is capable of handling whatever tests you might throw its way.
The video is from a handheld camera so it does move around a little with the frequent changes in momentum and motion, but hopefully you’ll still get a good sense of what’s going on.
My sincere thanks to Stefan for the ride – now I know how Saab felt back in 2009!