The Saab 9-3 Convertible has become the first ever soft-top car to achieve the maximum five-star safety rating under the Euro NCAP collision test programme.

The new 9-3 Convertible joins the 9-3 Sport Saloon and Saab 9-5 with a full five-star Euro NCAP rating, uniquely positioning Saab as the only car manufacturer to offer a full range of five-star Euro NCAP models in the UK.

The 9-3 Convertible was developed alongside its saloon sibling and, despite its drophead design, Saab engineers adopted the same crash safety performance targets for both products.

They were able to meet such tough requirements for a convertible by incorporating substantial reinforcements of the A-pillars, the chassis cross-members, including a new box structure behind the rear seat, lower B-pillars and side sills.

In addition, while developing the 9-3 Convertible’s DynaCage occupant protection system, Saab helped pioneer one of the world’s most comprehensive rollover crash test programmes. Pop-up rear roll bars, seatbelt pre-tensioning and the A-pillars, supporting a strengthened windscreen header rail, are all combined under DynaCage to provide an integrated safety system in the event of a rollover or its possible onset.

Although Saab welcomes Euro NCAP’s independent findings, its work in crash impact protection will continue to be based on the Saab ‘Real-Life Safety’ strategy, which involves studying the outcome of actual crashes in everyday road conditions. In this way, Saab focuses its safety engineering efforts on much more than achieving a favourable Euro NCAP test result.

“Euro NCAP is an independent organisation whose evaluations contain accessible and objective information which can be a useful guide for consumers,” says Per Lenhoff, Head of Crash Safety Development at Saab Automobile. “However, our Real-Life Safety concept is, as always, the controlling factor which guides crash safety development at Saab.”