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Saab 900 Form and Function ..............Roadholding and Roadsafety - Page 3 of 16

" Road holding is very good, and the Saab corners with a rare blend of agility with stability " .....(Motor, Great Britain)

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A chassis of good design must be able to absorb all irregularities in the road surface, without the occupants noticing them. The chassis must also give the motorist the opportunity to drive the car safely at all times, regardless of weather and road conditions.


Front wheel drive is one of the factors that contributes to the good road behaviour of the Saab 900.
At kerb weight, about 60% of the weight of a Saab 900 is supported by the front wheels and 40% by the rear wheels.
Even when the car is loaded to its maximum capacity, most of the weight will remain over the front wheels, ensuring predictable and familiar handling characteristics.
In a car with frontwheel drive, the rear wheels assist in maintaining good directional stability, since they transmit no drive forces. On the Saab 900, the weight distribution and the design of the rear axle and brakes enable the rear wheels to absorb relatively high lateral forces, when braking. The Saab 900 normally has a certain amount of understeer and retains its characteristics under extreme conditions. At kerb weight, 61% of the weight of a Saab 900 is supported by the front wheels and 39% by the rear wheels. At maximum total weight, the corresponding weight distribution is 51149. So the Saab 900 still has a certain amount of understeer and behaves in a familiar and consistent manner, even when fully laden.

Rear axle
The rear axle is a rigid, lightweight tube that always keeps the rear wheels parallel. It causes none of the changes in track that are an inherent weakness of independent rear suspension. On cornering, the lateral forces are absorbed by a Panhard rod. The arms on each side prevent the rear axle from rotating during braking, acceleration etc. The anti-roll bars fitted to certain models further improve their already excellent high-speed behaviour. All rear axle mountings are rubber-bushed, to prevent the transmission of road noise to the body.

The Watt's link configuration on the rear suspension-a straight, rigid rear axle with two leading and two trailing arms plus cross member-uses the arms to absorb longitudinal forces and braking torque. All movement caused by irregularities in the road surface are absorbed vertically. The Panhard rod braces the back axle laterally during hard cornering. 

Front wheel suspension
The front wheels are mounted in double wishbones which are pivoted (cont. page 4)

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