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2011 Saab 9-5 SportCombi [Spied again]

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2011 Saab 9-5 SportCombi [spied again]

Perhaps an indication that sale negotiations are going better than expected, our spy photographers have just sent us the images of the 2011 Saab 9-5 SportCombi wagonundergoing cold weather testing. The fate of General Motors’ Saab brand was put into question last year when a proposed sale to Koenigsegg fell through.

Our spy photographers caught this pre-production test car in the northern parts of its home country, Sweden, where it was part of a huge test-group with lots of Swedish drivers and engineers in each of the cars. The Saab 9-5 estate pictured here was scheduled for launch in autumn 2010, by which time the company hoped to have sorted out the complicated separation from GM. It’s one of four new Saabs that were supposed to come within the next 18 months: the 9-5 sedan and estate, the new 9-4X crossover and the next 9-3.

The prototype is said to be remarkably close to the finished 9-5 estate. We would have loved to see a smooth style, with a visor-like wraparound rear screen, a large tailgate for easy access and a heavy dose of Swedish practicality.

The current 9-5 estate ushered in aviation-spec cargo lashing tech. Many will remember the press launch, where the Swedes hung a wagon upside down hanging from a single aluminium lashing point… That sounds like a symbolic parallel to Saab’s situation today. While the new 9-5 shares many mechanical similarities with the Opel Insignia, Saab product planners have told openly that 70% of the 9-5 was designed in Sweden and was thought to be 100% built in Sweden. Originally, GM had planned to switch production to Russelsheim in Germany.



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