The way some cars are built these days its not surprising that bad weather eats right into their bodies. And suddenly you have a two-tone car. Your original colour plus a new one. Rust.
But Saab 900 Sedan owners won’t have such a problem. That’s the Turbo version racing up that Scottish mountain side. Like all Saabs it’s been given five thick coats before it sees the cold light of day.
The first combination of two anti-corrosion solutions is followed by a second coat, an electrocoated paint primer that gets into all those cracks and crannies that rust usually gets into. The third coat is an anti-chip treatment, so
gritted roads won’t leave you gritting your teeth.
The fourth is an undercoat. And on top of this goes the fifth, the top coat. Finally, just to seal everything, a three course underseal is applied. Perhaps we should claim these are coats six, seven and eight, but to be honest they’re more underwear than an
overcoat. It’s a body treatment that prompted Bodyshield, one of Britain’s leading rust protection companies, to state that there wouldn’t be much business for them if all cars were built like Saabs.
Of course being born in Sweden does help. Fighting Nordic conditions has given birth to many other features to beat the cold. Take the heating system.The heated fresh air flows into the interior through no less than twelve inlets and a three-way control directs the heat to wherever you need it most. A unique air filter also stops minute particles of dust and dirt filtering in. (In summer it even stops pollen.)
The Turbo has also got its own loft insulation, with a thick glassfibre padding that insulates against cold and noise.
Then there’s something that both driver and passenger will quickly warm to. On the Sedan Turbo, both front seats are electrically heated.
VVe realise that if a driver’s not comfortable he’ll soon lose his grip. Of course with Saab’s rally-proven front wheel drive there’s little chance of the 900 Sedan losing its grip, even in the most treacherous conditions.
To appreciate its sure footedness you’ve got to drive one, but it’s probably best summed up by one of Britain’s best motoring journalists when he said “as for cross-country driving the Saab can make a conger eel seem arthritic.’
We at Saab would go a stage further. We’re sure that if any car manufacturer tries to outstrip a Saab 900 in winter, they’d be destined to catch a cold.