The heyday of crash tests began 30 years ago. At the same time it was probably the best time for car magazines. In the pre-Internet age, the current issue was regularly bought at the kiosk. Mostly it was the auto-motor-sport, which was then considered to be the leader. The magazine had already started its own crash tests early on.
High expectations for the Saab 900 II
The result was then available in the form of a VHS video cassette as a supplement to the magazine, or the manufacturer distributed it to its dealers and customers. In 1994, the then new Saab 900 II had to face the test. Expectations were high, especially high in the Saab case. Because the Swedish brands Volvo and Saab stood for safe vehicles like hardly any other provider.
Saab Germany provided the test object, the Auto-Motor-Sport crew and the TÜV tested. The result was good from Saab's point of view. The new Saab was considered a particularly safe vehicle and stood out from the crowd. The result was not flawless, which in the end resulted in criticism in the media. But the 900 II was considered very safe.
Back then, Saab was constantly improving the safety of its vehicles. Data from accident research flowed into the series, with each model year there was a spoon more in additional safety for customers. With the change from 900 II to 9-3 I, it was refilled and upgraded again. The body became stiffer and additional airbags were deployed.
It was all a long time ago. Almost 30 years have passed since the first 900 II was rolled off the production line. The matter of vehicle safety has also changed fundamentally since then. It used to be the hardware that mattered. A body that is both rigid and soft enough to absorb impact energy while protecting passengers was the fine art of vehicle construction.
Today it is software that makes the difference. The computer rules and clever assistance systems recognize the crash before it can even take place. In the best case, they avoid it, in the worst case they protect the lives of the inmates. Volvo is pursuing the vision of completely avoiding accidents and not letting anyone die in traffic.
But the best of all assistance systems is humans. Driving defensively, relaxed and with foresight prevents accidents. That was already the case at the time of a Saab 900 II and is still valid today.