Saab is readying its new 9-5 saloon for launch later this spring having completed more than 300,000 miles in testing on roads from the Arctic Circle to southern Spain.
Chassis testing took place on some of Europe’s most challenging roads, including in Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK.
The six-strong driving team brought a fleet of 15 9-5s from the Arctic Circle in Sweden’s frozen north all the way to the baking plains of southern Spain in an effort to replicate real-world conditions for prospective buyers.
Saab’s chief test driver, Peter Johansson, said the exhaustive testing was necessary to optimise the 9-5’s two different suspension layouts, front and all-wheel-drive transmissions, two steering systems and Saab’s new DriveSense adaptive chassis system.
“Throughout the development process, we focused on giving this car all the exciting driving characteristics you would expect from a Saab,” said Johansson.
“The electronic systems such as the stability control, DriveSense adaptive chassis and our XWD system must all work together. The stability control, for example, must not get in the way of enjoying the benefits of the chassis and transmission systems.
“We’ve developed the car to have predictable, neutral handling in most situations. When cornering under extreme loads, it is forgiving and easy to control with no sudden surprises.”
As well as extreme conditions, the driving team also tested the fleet of 9-5s at the high-speed bowl at Nardo in Italy, and at the Nurburgring.