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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saab Convertible – by the numbers

A nice text written for the 20th anniversary of the Saab Convertible in 2006. It's still somehow resonates today. 

Saab has applied more than 20 years’ experience in the design and engineering of the latest Saab 9-3 Convertible. Here we delve under its soft-top to reveal a few fast facts and fun figures about a car that sets the pace in the premium convertible segment.
0…… is the number of robots used in the General Assembly area at the Magna Steyr plant in Austria, where the 9-3 Convertible is built. The skilled, 750-strong workforce carry out their tasks entirely by hand. (as far as i know, the production is now in Trollhattan, not at Magna Steyr anymore)
3……..most popular colors are: Black, Steel Grey, Silver
6…….swiveling cross-braces are used to mount the soft-top, ensuring it is tightly stretched when in position with a minimum of sagging.
7…….hydraulic cylinders are used to execute 4 different movements in the operation of the soft-top.
11 …….manual heat settings replace the automatic climate control when the soft-top is down. When it is back up, the climate control function is automatically reinstated, complete with any previously saved settings.
20 seconds…… is the maximum time required to fully deploy the powered soft-top with the engine is running, making it among the fastest-acting in the premium convertible segment.
21 degrees…… is the ideal back-rest inclination for rear passenger comfort and this was a requirement for the 9-3 Convertible, despite the packaging constraints of soft-top stowage in the trunk.
26 meters…….is the total length of the hydraulic hoses used in the roof system
30 kph …… the maximum vehicle speed at which the soft-top can be raised. There’s no need to come to a stop to raise the roof if it starts to rain.
99.999% ………. is the astonishing degree of accuracy required in the operation of the soft-top. The front rail travels more than two meters from the trunk and must line up precisely with its two latching points on the windshield header rail.
140 bar … the hydraulic pressure required to operate the soft-top – 56 times greater than normal tire pressure.
181 …… is the number of moving parts in the soft-top, controlled by one 60kB micro-processor. The main structure, including front headrail, is made from magnesium to save weight.
1,500 liters…..of water is sprayed over the Convertible’s soft-top in a special chamber at the Magna Steyr production plant to check weatherproofing.
3,500 kilos …….. or more than twice the weight of the car, is the impressive load that the windshield header rail and its supporting A-pillars can support. Necessary strength for roll-over protection and good torsional rigidity.

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