Saab Technology

Saab Put Reverse Lights at the Front of Its Cars and It’s Actually Brilliant

Saab's Front-Mounted Reverse Lights: Illuminating the Future of Reversing Safety

Saab's Side Guidance Reversing Lights illuminate the path ahead, providing enhanced visibility during reverse maneuversSaab's Side Guidance Reversing Lights illuminate the path ahead, providing enhanced visibility during reverse maneuvers

Saab, the Swedish automaker known for its innovative designs, once introduced a unique and ingenious feature in their vehicles: reverse lights at the front. While this may seem counterintuitive at first, the reasoning behind this unconventional approach becomes clear when you understand the purpose and benefits of this design choice.

The reverse lamp, often overlooked and underappreciated, is an integral part of a car’s lighting system. Its primary function is to illuminate the area behind the vehicle when it is in reverse gear, ensuring the driver has sufficient visibility while maneuvering in reverse. Traditionally, reverse lamps are located at the rear of the car, but Saab took a different approach by incorporating them into the front corners of their vehicles.

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Side Guidance Reversing Lights

The concept behind Saab’s front-mounted reverse lights, known as Side Guidance Reversing Lights, is to provide additional illumination in areas where it is most needed during reverse maneuvers. When backing out of a parking spot or navigating in tight spaces, the driver often needs to make turns while reversing. However, standard rear-mounted reverse lights only illuminate the area directly behind the car, leaving a significant blind spot around the front quarter of the vehicle.

By placing reverse lights at the front corners, Saab effectively addressed this issue. The Side Guidance Reversing Lights shine light in the direction the front half of the car is moving, compensating for the blind spot created by the turning motion. This extra illumination improves visibility and helps the driver avoid potential collisions with obstacles that may be hidden from view by the rear-mounted reverse lights alone.

Saab's Side Guidance Reversing Lights illuminate the path ahead, providing enhanced visibility during reverse maneuvers
Saab’s Side Guidance Reversing Lights illuminate the path ahead, providing enhanced visibility during reverse maneuvers

Saab’s innovation in incorporating front-mounted reverse lights not only enhances safety but also simplifies the maneuvering process, particularly in low-light conditions. Imagine reversing out of a dark parking garage or a narrow alleyway. The additional illumination from the front reverse lights provides valuable guidance and helps the driver navigate with confidence, reducing the risk of accidents.

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It’s unfortunate that Saab is no longer manufacturing vehicles, as this unique feature has not been widely adopted by other car manufacturers. Today, many modern vehicles rely on ultrasonic sensors or cameras for detecting obstacles during reverse maneuvers. While these technologies serve their purpose, they often come with drawbacks such as constant beeping sounds or higher repair costs in case of sensor damage.

Beauty is in simplicity

Saab’s front-mounted reverse lights, on the other hand, offer a simple yet elegant solution without the need for complex electronic systems. The Side Guidance Reversing Lights provide real-time visual feedback to the driver, supplementing the information from rear-view mirrors and sensors. They offer a tangible and intuitive aid that assists drivers in making precise and safe reversing movements.

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The fact that Saab took the initiative to prioritize the reverse lamp and elevate its functionality demonstrates their commitment to innovative design and engineering. It’s a testament to their attention to detail and their understanding of the importance of every component of a car’s lighting system.

An unconventional approach is not always wrong

Saab’s decision to incorporate reverse lights at the front of their vehicles was a stroke of brilliance. This unconventional approach significantly improved visibility and safety during reverse maneuvers, especially in situations involving turns or tight spaces. While the automotive industry has moved toward different technologies to address this issue, Saab’s front-mounted reverse lights remain a shining example of their commitment to creating practical and thoughtful solutions.

Though Saab may no longer be producing cars, their legacy of innovation and unique design choices, such as the front reverse lights, continue to inspire and remind us of the possibilities for improvement in the automotive industry. It is through such creative thinking that automakers can push the boundaries and create safer and more efficient vehicles for drivers around the world.

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Konstantin Jokić
an automotive journalist and dedicated Saab enthusiast hailing from Novi Sad, Serbia, is a valuable contributor to With a wealth of experience in the automotive industry and a strong affinity for Saab cars, Konstantin brings a unique perspective to the blog's content. His in-depth knowledge, engaging writing style, and passion for Saab automobiles enrich the platform, catering to both local and global Saab enthusiasts. Through his articles and insights, Konstantin strengthens the sense of community among Saab lovers and helps elevate as a trusted source for Saab-related information.


  • To David Sander >
    You have to jump the sides together. Occasionally cops will pull you over for having a tail light out.

  • Alan Binger >
    true. I love trying to explain it is functioning as designed. They won’t listen.

  • To David Sander >
    It’s easy. The bulb is there, unused on the other side. Just figure out which wires they are and splice them together.

  • To Alan Binger >
    except on my 9000 CSE. One side is the rear fog light, the other side is the reverse light. Every year when I get the state inspection done, it “fails” because one of the reverse lights is out. I have to open the owners manual and show them it only has one reverse light.

  • Saab always have ideas 💡… LED lights front headlights was Saab 1st has LED headlights … Saab is the best Car no Cars can beat it

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