The new Saab 9-5 has been a long time coming. In fact, we weren’t sure we’d ever have the chance to get behind the wheel such was the stickiness of the Swedish manufacturer’s financial wicket.
So it’s great to see Saab’s chief test driver, Peter Johansson and his team of chassis experts are putting the final touches to the way the 9-5 drives. But don’t just think that all they have to do is play around in the snow of Sweden or pound the Nurburgring for hours on end. Oh no.
The purpose of the half-million kilometres of testing that have been undertaken hasn’t been to find the ‘sweet spot’ once – with a whole range of engines, two types of suspension, automatic and manual transmission, front- and four-wheel drive, not to mention the various wheel and tyre combinations to take into consideration, every permutation has to be fine-tuned.
We’ll have to wait until later in the year to find out if Peter and his team have managed to inject the car with the requisite ‘Saab-ness’, something that has been missing from its products for far too long.
By Owen Ready