When You Need Saab’s “S” Button

Saab S button gear shift lever

In Saab 9-5, The electronic control module for the automatic transmission receives information on engine torque and road speed, and also controls the hydraulic pressure in the transmission to ensure that gear changing is as smooth as possible.

Three modes for the automatic transmission can be selected: Normal, Sport and Winter. The Normal mode, which provides the best fuel economy, is the default setting when the engine is started. When the Sport mode is selected, the throttle angle is altered to provide more power at the same throttle setting. The transmission also changes up later than in Normal mode to provide higher performance. In this mode, the SPORT indicator will appear on the main instrument panel.

The engine computer will adjust throttle angle to increase air flow as opposed to “normal” mode and the transmission computer will change the shift pattern for a more performance oriented shift.

Saab design detail

Sport Mode

To select Sport mode, press the ”S” button on the selector lever when the selector lever is in position N, D, 3, 2 or 1. In this mode, gear changes will take place at higher engine speeds than in Normal mode, in other words, the transmission will change up later and change down earlier for the same throttle (accelerator) position.

When this happens the drive-by-wire throttle becomes more sensitive to the driver’s foot pressure, effectively increasing the throttle angle at the same pedal position. This change will adapt the shifting points to provide a sportier drive by concentrating the gearbox’s best efforts on the engine’s mid-range power.

In Saab 9-3, Shift mode on cars with Sentronic 6-Speed automatic transmission. Activated with a separate button on the instrument panel. Provides faster response and more control during sporty driving.

Saab Sport drive button
Saab Sport drive button

When You Need Sport Mode

In real life, Indeed with Sport mode on it feels like a rocket, and this mode is ideal when overtaking other vehicles, an aloso in special situation like this below. Jonathan Jogenfors (founder of Saab Youtube channel Trionic Seven) has recently experienced just such a situation –  a situation when you need the extra power and speed! Turbo + Sport:


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