Some of us can say we have a Trollhättan DNA, well if You’re like Tim and me are born by parents raised on the banks of the Göta River that night be true. But just half a century of making SAAB cars the city could hardly have changed any of the pairs in the double helix we call the DNA.
The DNA that some people refers to as having anything to do with SAAB has its roots in the chassis dynamics. Form and shape of the cars has nothing to do with DNA since SAAB has never looked inte the rear mirror when making the new car models. Look at the 99 that replaced the 96 in the late 1960. The only thing that resembled the old car was the front wheel drive an the solid rear axle to some extent. So over the years the design has changed in a progressive way and one of my friends Björn Envall was in control of this for almost 30 years.
The SAAB – DNA is a complex mix of advanced applied and theoretical physics combined with the drivers feel and ability to respond to various forces and frequencies told by the car. When harmony is reached almost as when mastering an instrument. That is where the SAAB – DNA can be found. Some feel it instantaneously some not at all.
– Jörgen Trued, SU Historic Rally Team & S2AB Rally Team Manager & Driver
The DNA is in the perception and feel of the driving dynamic of the cars conveyed to the driver. Probably the best guy in the world in this field is another of my good ex. SAAB friends Magnus Roland. The principles he outlined for the driving dynamics of a SAAB is the DNA. That thinking was used by Magnus when he worked on the Le Mans Corvettes some 15 years ago but before that on the 9000 in particular. A rear axle geometry hat still is top notch and a truly affordable construction. There are manufacturers out there who are interested in this axle. Magnus has worked out some amazing constructions and 3 years ago in with his colleague in the S2AB AB, ex rally world champion Stig Blomqvist a 5 link rear axle for Audi. Or should we say put on an Audi 4S. In testdrives head to head with a standard Audi S4 Stig managed to drive the 5 link faster and with more accuracy and less need for micro adjustments. In collaboration with Benteler in Germany they decided to make a sales push with Audi. But apparently Ferdinand Piech himself stopped it all saying that it was not invented in house. The SAAB 9000 was developed with Stig´s driving style as an inspirational source. And The 9000 turned out to be a great performance car.
From what I have heard is that the NEVS corporation at least CEO Matthias Bergman is interested in the “SAAB-DNA” and the two guys who can inject that into their company is Magnus and Stig. To truly understand the underlaying principles for the fundamentals of chassi dynamics would need a presentation by Magnus himself. He is truly a genius when it comes to get to grips with the twilight-zone of classic mechanical engineering old school and the quantum mechanics and forces for beyond the average scope of a traditional car company. A company making average cars. The car going down the road and into a corner with a driver behind the wheel is a very complex system, truly a system of systems. All frequencies in the tire rubber to the G forces and the the forces in a microscopic level bonding the car to the road are hard to understand for a skilled to average skilled engineer. The driver feels sensations and experience the environment, this interface with the car is where the DNA might be hidden. But to do a truly great car that makes you a better driver requires deep expertise in applied and theoretical physics and psychology (Perception & Decision making). I have had many great discussions with Magnus on the topic of driver performance, he is the wiz of chassis physics and have the Man-Systems-Interaction knowledge.
Most probably the best Swedish drivers through history both from the city of Örebro. Stig Blomqvist and Ronnie Petterson