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AutoBlog: Frankfurt 2009: 2010 Saab 9-5 is proof there's still some flight left in the ol' Griffin

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Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Sedan, Saab

saab-95-frankfurt.jpg
2010 Saab 9-5 - Click above for high-res image gallery

To be honest, there have been points at which it felt like this new Saab 9-5 would never see the light of day. To say that the outgoing model had grown long in the tooth would be a colossal understatement, and in the hyper-competitive market that is the globe's entry-level premium segment, the 9-5 had become something of a placeholder, playing second fiddle to the automaker's newer, more dynamic 9-3. So with its own cheaper sibling playing the role of upstager and parent General Motors in the throes of bankruptcy, we didn't exactly have faith that Saab would ever launch this new sedan. But after an arduous development process and a new owner in the form of supercar maker Koenigsegg, the future looks - if not bright - at least markedly less dim.

If we sound like we're damning the 2010 9-5 with faint praise, we're not - after sitting in the car today at the Frankfurt Motor Show and talking extensively with members of Saab's team, we're actually rather optimistic that the perennially underweight automaker may yet emerge from its funk and put some rouge back in the 'ol Griffin. But until we drive it, we're going to reserve judgment before we break out the akvavit and reindeer steaks - we've been here before.

One thing's for sure - this new, larger 9-5 looks incredibly crisp in the metal. With clean flanks, a distinctive, cantilevered roofline paired with wraparound-look glass and handsome head- and tail lamp detailing, this is an attractive, cohesive design sans adornment - no gaping ducts, fender vents, or protruding aero addenda are in evidence anywhere. Very much in the Scandinavian mold, the 9-5 pulls design elements from the showstopping Saab Aero-X concept coupe and puts them in a real-world package. Similarly, like Scandinavian furniture, the design won't be to everyone's tastes.

Inside, there's gobs more space than in the outgoing car both front and rear, and the design has been tastefully updated in a driver-centric way that honors the marque's quirkiness (Night Panel button, eggcrate grid air vents, etc.) without becoming a caricature of Saabs past. Reinforcing the aeronautically-minded "Born From Jets" theme that had become something of a punchline with distractions like the 9-7x SUV, Saab has adopted new features like an optional heads-up display and a novel altimeter-like digital speedometer readout in case you aren't interested making use of the clear analogue gauges.

Click on the jump for more impressions and the official press release.



Continue reading Frankfurt 2009: 2010 Saab 9-5 is proof there's still some flight left in the ol' Griffin

Frankfurt 2009: 2010 Saab 9-5 is proof there's still some flight left in the ol' Griffin originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Sep 2009 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Looks good. I can't believe it still has RCA video input--HDMI anyone??

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Looks good. I can't believe it still has RCA video input--HDMI anyone??

game systems

dvd players

video cameras

all that stuff that is portable that young uns take on trips, is all RCA.

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From profile, it looks kind of like a Morris Marina, nice.

Morris.marina.arp.750pix.jpg

No pricing announcement yet, but I am sure they will overprice it. They won't hit 50,000 units globally like they hope, very few will buy this over a BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Acura, or even Volvo. And the few that do buy it will trade it in when it breaks down all the time.

Edited by smk4565
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Do you happen to have the scoop on what numbers will be picked at the NYS lottery drawing tonight? I mean, since you already know everything that's going to happen in the future, I might as well exploit that for personal benefit.

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Do you happen to have the scoop on what numbers will be picked at the NYS lottery drawing tonight? I mean, since you already know everything that's going to happen in the future, I might as well exploit that for personal benefit.

Too much omniscience leads to too much trolling.

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To me, smk4565, it looks more like the rear of the SAAB 99 or the SAAB 900 2-door models... I agree that the 50K target will be hard to reach, but maybe SAAB will be able to fund marketing to an extent GM was unable (or more likely unwilling) to do.

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Saab has sold 785 9-5's this year in the USA, and sold under 3,000 in all of 2008. The US is one of Saab's main markets, they are just too forgotten about to ever get volume again.

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Saab has sold 785 9-5's this year in the USA, and sold under 3,000 in all of 2008. The US is one of Saab's main markets, they are just too forgotten about to ever get volume again.

That is indeed a big risk, that SAAB might have become a forgotten brand in the US.

The 9-5 is a very old car, without any major marketing push besides GM's good old medicine of throwing cash on the hood, maybe this one can do signifcantly better with proper exposure... also, the 50K target is a worldwide target; with BAIC on board, SAAB's presence in China can grow, and that's where the long-term growth is, not US/Europe/Australia.

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From profile, it looks kind of like a Morris Marina, nice.

Morris.marina.arp.750pix.jpg

Did you forget to take off the beer goggles that cop that spoke to your health class let you wear?

Edited by whiteknight
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The more I look at it, the more I like it. I'm still not totally fond of the interior, but the exterior is rather appealing and serves as a nice evolution of Saab design.

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