If it was after the mainstream, then you should not get involved in old cars. Digital mobility is upon us, electric cars, fully networked, are considered the future. What do you want there with an analog, now 20 years old Saab 9k?
But it is precisely the analogy that makes the affair appealing. Man and machine are the focus. And it's not the cloud that takes the tax. The Anna project has been going on for several years, and meanwhile the Saab matures into a really good youngtimer.
The striving for perfection is not in the specification. But there are still things that bother me that need to be worked through. The chassis is one of the points. Although the Saab passed its TÜV appointment in 2017 without any problems, there is still a need for action. As with some 9000, the tail sags slightly. On ambitiously driven highway passages, bumps lead to uncomfortable reverberation, which is not entirely harmless. And anyway: the chassis doesn't match the car. The feathers are fine and from Saab. But the shock absorbers are of unsettled origin and inharmonic - and not from Saab. Gerard Ratzmann from Saab Service Frankfurt shares my opinion: The stuff has to come out!
Only what comes in? Reading in Saab forums and inquiries with other 9k drivers does not help me any further. If the one raves about yellow Konis, the next one advises decisively. This is going on for a few weeks, I can not really get on, but the solution is closer than I suspect. Sometimes you are blind and do not trust the wonders of the Saab galaxy.
Why don't you use original Saab dampers, I am asked first Kiel, then in Frankfurt? Yes, why? It is one of the unfathomable things Oriothat original parts that you don't expect are still available or are suddenly listed again after a long break. No matter why, but a small number of dampers for the front and rear will be in the system in summer 2017. Really cheap for the rear. Really expensive for the front.
In numbers: The front dampers, part number 4543799, cost € 326,64 each. The rear units, part number 4647095, each cost € 71,84. This means that the original Saab complete package is twice as expensive as a set from Koni. Original is always more exciting than accessories, I think, but still have to swallow.
Saab original or not?
To make a decision, you have to consider many facts. I want to keep Anna, drive as long as possible. Original seems better than accessories. Another neglected aspect of 9000 is chassis development. It is a story for a second look. Because superficially, Saab did the same with 9000 as Fiat did with Croma and Lancia with the theme. Mc Pherson struts front, live axle rear. Conventional. Boring. Point.
Or maybe not. Because with Magnus Roland a great talent is entrusted with the development in Trollhättan. In his further professional life he will teach a German premium brand how to define driving dynamics, and at GM he will show the Americans that sports cars can not only be fast on straight asphalt stretches.
The letter of recommendation for his impressive career will be the Saab 9000. At the front, the 9k Mc Pherson gets struts. They save the space that is required to install the motor with the flange-mounted gearbox across. In the event of an impact, the drive unit tilts, becomes an insurmountable barrier and preserves survival space. On the rear axle, Saab adopts the proven concept from the 900. Rigid axle, coil springs, anti-roll bar and, in contrast to the 900, a low-set Panhard rod.
The suspension is unexpectedly comfortable given the low body roll of the body when driving hard. (Teknikens Värld)
This brings stability, minimizes the tendency to roll, increases directional stability and driving dynamics. Because Magnus Roland is on the one hand motorsport-savvy, on the other hand he has the Sweden of the 80s in mind. Asphalt is just a discipline. At some point every driver inevitably ends up on gravel, snow or ice, and at the latest then it becomes clear how well a vehicle is really tuned. Saab aims to deliver the best. A perfect chassis for every surface, safe, comfortable and progressive.
Saab 9000 suspension. And Eric Carlsson takes his hands off the wheel.
Operation Driving Dynamics succeeds. Journalists report safe handling in turns, the low tendency to understeer. From the safety reserves, the perfect communication from person to machine. Rally legend Stig Blomqvist goes one better and chases the 9000 Turbo mercilessly over gravel roads. The unforgotten Eric Carlssson vouches that he likes to take his hands off the wheel and steer with his knees instead - an impressive demonstration at high speeds and with press representatives aboard.
The chassis is considered a sensation. Comfortable and sporty at the same time. And above all, for sure. It sets standards for the premiere of the 9000, the press is thrilled. Saab is convinced of its construction and changes it also with the introduction of the 2. Not generation. That has consequences.
The chassis of the Saab 9000 is of the rustic type. (ADAC Special 1998)
The chassis of the 9000 was at the end of its production time quite controversial. It was now called rustic, which was also due to the origin of the 80er years. MacPherson struts front, rigid axle rear, were considered obsolete. Even if German premium manufacturers continue to bet on it. It was chalked to the 9k.
As I read historical press reports, doubts arise. Which car are you writing about? Progressive driving dynamics? My Anna project is currently staggering through curves like a dromedary, in forums one reads again and again about a lack of driving dynamics.
How successful was the suspension tuning really? And how do you feel today, more than 3 decades later? The decision is clear. In Frankfurt you order the shock absorbers for front and rear, at the next opportunity the Saab goes into the workshop.
And then? Dromedary or driving dynamics? Or an expensive bad investment? In a week follows the sequel.