Friday quick and safe snippets

First off the bat, is which now features a review comparing the 9-5 to the A6. They deduct points for interior quality but comment on the 9-5’s road holding qualities as “best in class”. I am a little surprised that they compare fuel economy seeing as the 9-5 comes equipped with more horsies and torque. That is the only category where the 9-5 loses, yet they only reward it a score of three (Audi gets five) in their summary. Nice interior apparently beats the nice feeling you get from piloting the car through the ‘twisties.

Thanks Thomas for the tip

Pam, our on the spot IIHS spotter, let us know that IIHS has completed another test of the 9-5. This time they have put a poor unsuspecting 9-5 through a heavy side-impact. Designed to test what happens if a car gets struck by a SUV, the 9-5 holds up nicely, though IIHS notes there is a possible chance of rib fractures. Adding side curtain airbags in the rear helps the new 9-5 improve upon the score set by its predecessor.

It will be interesting to see the 9-5’s rollover score. That test only provided the Audi A6 with an ‘Average’ score and that is one event where Saab have a long history of success thanks to “on the roof” Carlsson. Which will bring to question those reviews that typically award the A6 the same safety score as the 9-5.

On the lighter side of things, a nice classic Saab 900 Turbo makes a cameo appearance in the Beastie Boys Fight for Your Right (Revistied) video. Jamie, who provided us with the link calls the cameo “unlikely”, but I am not sure what he meant by that. (BTW: That video is probably not safe for work. Public urination is frowned upon in the workplace I believe — proceed at your own risk)

Per Eklund demostrates ESP

Per Eklund knows what you’re thinking. He has ESP.

And in this video he’ll show you how it works. This was shot by the good people over at Autowereld whilst they were partaking of the Saab Arctic Adventure.


Hat tip to Sofie from Saab for the video, via Twitter.

Hat tip to Richo for the ESP joke, back in 2007/8. Still no better.

Saaby Christmas Snippets

Greeting all. I hope you had a nice Christmas hiatus from SU.

I’m not sure I’ve ever gone a full two days without writing in the last few years, but it was a refreshing break (apart from the dismal day 1 of the Boxing Day Test – Englishmen may feel free to gloat now).

So…. did you have a Saaby Christmas? Any Saaby gifts given or received?

Personally, I didn’t receive any Saaby gifts from the family. The only car-related gift was a copy of the new book by Ben Collins (aka the-driver-formerly-known-as The Stig), which at first reading, looks as if might have been co-authored by Troy Queef.

I did, however, receive a fantastic 2011 calendar from a friend in Skåne, Sweden. It’s a home-composed job, photo-printed and featuring photos that Bengt had taken at various events in 2010.

It’s taking pride of place in our kitchen.


I’ve got a couple of other things to be thankful for this Christmas, too.

We had a wonderful pre-Christmas visit earlier this month from a couple of Finns who were touring around Tasmania as part of a longer Australian trip. Eirik and Eeva will be well known to Finnish Saab Club members and we had a great time meeting them and chatting over a BBQ dinner.

Eirik’s got a fleet of Saabs, a few of which he’s handed down to his children, but he still does all the maintenance for the whole collection.

The red Saab 95 is a particular favourite. The black treatment around the windows is a tribute to the support cars that used to follow the Saab rally teams around, cars that also had this similar paintwork applied.

Eirik does the vast majority of the restoration work on these cars himself, which must be incredibly satisfying. He only recently completed work on this early Saab 96….

….and he also has a quite rare Saabo caravan in his collection, too. Fantastic!

It was wonderful to meet Eirik and Eeva and we hope to meet them again on their home soil at the 2011 IntSaab meeting, which will be held in Finland.


Another event from earlier in the month that I’m thankful involves a friend’s daughter.

Bill and Jane live in southern New South Wales and I met Bill when I bought my 900 a few years ago (and subsequently down here in Tas when they were on holiday).

Bill’s daughter Camilla was recently forced into some emergency evasion maneuvers when someone pulled out in front of her near their home. Thankfully, her Saab 900 stood up to the situation and did its job, protecting her whilst taking the brunt of a troubling impact.


So – did you have a Saaby Christmas?

Monday Night Snippets

BIG thanks to Jeff P for the LA Auto Show banner featuring at the top of the website all this week!

Outstanding stuff. I know a few people have commented on it already, so Jeff – it’s put smiles on people’s faces already……. job done!


This might be the final entry on SU before I hit LA, so there’s a bit of stuff to cover.


People and cars.

That’s what this stuff is all about. People and cars.


One of Finland’s former parliamentarians, Riitta Uosukainen, is doing some free promotional work for Saab after she and her husband had a collision with a moose on the weekend:

“We were driving with my husband at 17.00 (this time of the year it’s really dark outside in Finland at five O’clock), when suddenly a giant moose jumped out from the dark straight on to our car.”

The impact was so severe that Mrs. Uosukainen thanks the rugged build of the car, and thanks to that nothing bad happened to the people inside it:
“The car was totaled. If it hadn’t been a Saab we both (She and Her husband) would of been dead.”

Then she thanks all the officials who arrived to the scene and gives compliments to the Police, ambulance staff, tow-car company and the hospital. Everything worked flawlessly. “I think it’s good for everybody to know”.

The she gives a warning to all drivers out there: “It’s unbelievable how this situation could surprise us all. The way it came (the moose, translators clarification), there are no words to describe it. It’s such a noise that it felt as if it fell from the sky.”

Thanks to Pekko for the translation.

Assuming they’ll order a new 9-5 to replace the one the moose just totalled, perhaps VM could deliver it personally to keep the story rolling?


I had a great catch-up dinner with a couple of Sydney Saab friends this evening. OK, Richo’s moved over to the dark side, but I still sense good in him, as does Princess Lea [sic]. Brendan B was there with his Viggen convertible, too.

The other members of the Sydney Saab clan that I usually catch up with were probably sick of seeing each other’s faces as they had what looks like a great meet-and-drive event on the weekend.

I had to put two shots of the Viggen in there – because it used to be mine! It’s now owned by a guy named Wayne G, who tells me it’s purring like a cat.

Great job, NSW Saab nuts!


The Guardian had a short review of the Saab 9-5 over the weekend.

No urgency. Not much of huge interest there.


It’s interesting that Volvo’s new Chinese owners want to move into places Volvo hadn’t planned on going….

…. and then their main product development guy leaves.

Saab might be struggling onwards, but I still think we got the better deal.


LA – here we come!

Saab passengers survive Semi crash in Denver

If you were told that this truck crashed into a car “at a high rate of speed”, you’d fear for the welfare of the car’s occupants.

From the Denver Post.

Saab crash with semi

The crash triggered a fire in the semi, which accounts for most of the damage you see there, but any semi hitting a car at high speed is a recipe for potential disaster.

The car was a Saab (model unknown) and thankfully, the mother, infant and toddler who were in the Saab all escaped the incident with just minor bumps and bruises. The driver of the semi was also uninjured.

“Seatbelts and the proper use of child seats definitely saved some lives tonight,” said Summit County Deputy Chief Jeff Berino.

I wouldn’t mind adding in a healthy dose of safety engineering, too.

Thanks to Tim and Ted for the links.


It’s always a case of mixed feelings when covering crash stories.

It’s good to talk about Saab’s built-in safety technology because the company has worked hard at it over a 60+ year history. The Saab safety philosophy has saved thousands of lives over a number of decades and many of them well before safety became a fashionable element of automotive design.

There are no safe crash situations, however. Despite all the advantages a Saab gives its occupants, there will always be situations where the physics overcome the best efforts of the engineers. For every story like the one above, you have to acknowledge that there are some drivers or passengers who didn’t make it.

No car can guarantee your absolute safety in any given situation, but a Saab gives you as good a safety cell as any, and much better than most.

That said, it’s wonderful that this young family survived….


JeffP pointed out some great safety advertising by Mercedes Benz a few days ago. He’s right.

MB have filmed some testimonials from accident survivors, which they have posted on their US website. Watch one or two of these and you can’t help being moved by the stories told. (Watch for or five like I did and the sight of women crying becomes a bit cheezy, but that’s the old hard-ass cynic in me coming out).

Bottom line, what these people went through is very real and it’s been handled very tastefully by Mercedes Benz.

Saab 9-3 rammed through wall – still looks good

A story from here in Australia….

Saab 9-5 through wall

Lest you think it was a Saab owner having a blond/grey/whatever moment, I can inform you that the 9-3 was innocently parked and minding its own business when it was shunted by a learner driver who applied the gas rather than the brake.

The back end still looks pretty good for something that’s just been pushed through a brick wall. I’m not sure the front end fared so well.

There’s a full story and video here.

Thanks to Mrs Swade!

Saab safety in Dubai

This one got passed on to me via email.

Apparently the car’s owner is an expat Kiwi, living and working as an architect in Dubai. I don’t know if they have a lottery in Dubai, but I’d suggest this guy might have bought a few tickets if they do.


I’m happy to be alive today, alhamdulillah!! and thanks to my Saab!

Last night I took a different route home to avoid a traffic jam on Abu Dhabi Corniche. Approaching the Maqta bridge in fairly heavy traffic, I was in the right hand lane travelling about 80kph, ready to exit on the other side of the bridge, when a huge cement truck-&-trailer next to me moved right, into my lane, apparently without seeing me. I edged over onto the shoulder just as the shoulder was ended by the concrete barrier moving left to meet the bridge. I was caught between the barrier and the trailer, and dragged about 30m.

The front wheels of the trailer, as high as my head, were grinding away at the driver’s side of the car, as the right-hand front corner was grinding against the concrete barrier. As the truck wheels pulled ahead of me, the bonnet was folded up and the edge of the truck tray assaulted the roof of my car, which held firm and prevented me from going under the truck. The rear trailer wheels came by next, grinding along the driver’s side again, and as the trailer started to pass by, my car jack-knifed around the rear corner, pivoting by its nose against the concrete barrier. I saw the structural steel frame on the rear of the truck coming at me, and then as it tore the front door away, the RSC’s actually folded under and away from me. The passenger cage of my car didn’t deform, and I was left untouched. The car came to rest with its nose against the concrete barrier and perpindicular to the traffic following me.

Surely if the t&t hadn’t have been empty, even my Saab would not have held up.


I’m certainly glad this guy’s lived to tell the tale.

A Saab won’t get you through every possible accident you can have, but it’ll give you a better chance than just about anything else on the market.

Drive Safe.

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