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The Saab 9-5 is officially official, again

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The Saab 9-5 is officially official, again

Posted 2010/03/01 @ 06:00 AM

By Spencer Woods

It's the exact same press release about the exact same car, minus any General Motors contacts. Saab is making the 9-5 sedan official again ahead of the Geneva Motor Show by releasing the same info it released before the Frankfurt Motor Show.

This means Saab is reminding all of us that the 9-5 sedan will come with an all-turbocharged gas and diesel engine lineup that starts capacity with 1.6-liters and goes all the way to 2.8 (the U.S. likely won't see the diesels.) Although the base 1.6 liter engine is in Mini Cooper territory, Saab's turbo boosts it to a respectable 180 hp. The new sleeker body also is available with adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, and all-wheel-drive.

While most companies who re-release the same material six months later get about the same coverage as when Mercedes adds a new shade of silver to its color pallet (five different shades for the SLS AMG, really?!) we're kinda rooting for Saab here. Since Saturn and Pontiac went the way of the dodo, and Hummer may be following shortly, we take notice of reports from a former GM brand that's trying to move the peg forward...even if with nothing new.

For those who were in a coma last August, read the press release below.

The all new Saab 9-5 sedan signals the start of a new era for the Saab brand. Sleek, sophisticated and unmistakably Saab, it combines stand-out looks with advanced technologies and will bring a fresh alternative choice to the premium sedan segment when sales start later this year.

The clean, sculpted shape embraces the purity of Scandinavian design and its dramatic wraparound window graphic echoes Saab’s aviation heritage. With frontal styling inspired by the award-winning Aero X concept car and a muscular, low-slung stance, the all new 9-5 heralds the introduction of a bold, more expressive design language.

The array of high-tech features on offer includes: an aircraft-like head-up information display (Pilot HUD); adaptive lighting (Bi-Xenon Smart Beam); adaptive cruise control; Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis with real-time damping control; keyless entry and starting; tri-zone air conditioning; dynamic parking assistance and Saab XWD with a rear eLSD, the industry-leading all-wheel-drive system.

The all-turbo powertrain line-up starts at 1.6 liters and carries forward Saab’s rightsizing engine strategy, which focuses on responsible performance through the development of highly efficient and relatively small four cylinder turbo engines. There is a choice of three fuels - gasoline, diesel and E85 bioethanol – and with diesel power, the all new 9-5 offers CO2 emissions as low asn139 g/km.

“This car is the start of a new era for our brand,” says Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s Managing Director. “We have created an advanced and very distinctive product by leveraging the power of our roots in key areas, such as progressive Scandinavian design, sporty driving and responsible performance. The all new 9-5 delivers in all these respects, as will every future product from Saab.”

Scandinavian Design

Forward-looking design that doesn’t ignore where it’s coming from – that sums up the visual appeal of the all new Saab 9-5 sedan. “We are giving a fresh, very modern expression to some of our classic brand design cues,” says Simon Padian, Saab Brand Design Chief. “We have taken visual themes in our recent concept cars, such as the Aero X, which are inspired by Scandinavian design and our brand’s aircraft heritage.”

The face of the all new 9-5 is defined by a deep grille flanked with curving, ice-block headlamp units. The entire glasshouse is presented as a ‘wraparound’ mono graphic, the disguised windshield and side pillars giving the cabin Saab’s signature cockpit look. Squint slightly, and the proportions of the windshield and roof become reminiscent of the classic 900 model.

Viewed from any angle, the all new 9-5 cuts a strong and powerful stance. The ‘organic sculpture’ of the low-slung body blends clean, uncluttered lines with natural, curvaceous shapes. Brand design cues are evident in the ‘hockey stick’ belt-line, the strong rear C-pillars and the fuselage-smooth surfacing of the bodywork. The large Saab logo embossed in the center of the grille characterizes the more assertive, self-confident design language.

The car’s dynamic character is emphasized by a falling roof-line that culminates in sweeping rear pillars which buttress a slightly recessed rear screen. Latent energy is conveyed by fenders that are subtly pulled out to melt into the wheels. Below that smooth, flat rear deck, a full-width, ice-block rear light bar wraps into signature lighting.

The all new 9-5’s overall proportions stretch the traditional three-box sedan silhouette, while avoiding the fastback cliché of a four-door coupé look.

Driver-focused cabin

Inside the spacious cabin, simple forms define its architecture and echo the design purity of the exterior. Compared to its predecessor, legroom is increased both front and rear. The choice of materials, the fit and finish and the tactile quality of the controls all reflect the all new 9-5’s premium appeal.

The driver-focused cockpit is traditional Saab, while its execution is all new. The deep center console sweeps up at a shallow angle around the driver into the main instrument display, which is topped by a neat ventilation zone. Deeply recessed main dials include a rolling ‘altimeter’ speed read-out, a reference to Saab’s aviation heritage from the Aero X concept. Driver displays, including the optional head-up display (Pilot HUD) in the windshield, are predominantly illuminated in signature Saab green and have a crisp, floating appearance. The car’s ignition, now a start/stop button, remains between the front seats, next to the gear shift.

Infotainment choices include a top-of-the-line harman/kardon surround sound audio system and an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with hard disk storage for map data and 10 GB of jukebox-style music files. A large center console provides stowage and connections for several portable devices through USB and Aux ports alongside a 12V power outlet.

Rear passengers can access their own audio or watch a DVD. The rear seat entertainment unit in the back of the center console accommodates audio controls and fold-out viewing screens are installed in the front seat-backs. Wired and wireless headphones are provided for listening and viewing. The rear seat entertainment unit also includes twin air vents and an independent temperature control for the rear cabin, in addition to the dual zone air conditioning up front.

On the road

An array of chassis technologies is focused on delivering a sporty, rewarding driving experience that belies the 9-5’s size.

Saab XWD, the industry-leading all-wheel-drive system, already available on the Saab 9-3, is offered with all engines except the 1.6-liter gasoline and 160 hp turbo diesel.

Available throughout the range is adaptive chassis control with driver settings selection through Saab DriveSense, Bi-Xenon Smart Beam adaptive lighting and intelligent cruise control. Two different suspension layouts are factory-fitted according to engine power and both are available with a sport chassis setting.

Saab has some 30 years experience in turbocharging engines and the all-turbo powertrain line-up in the all new 9-5 further develops Saab’s rightsizing engine strategy. At launch, the four cylinder choice comprises a 160 hp, 2.0-liter turbo diesel with CO2 emissions of just 139 gm/km and a 2.0-liter gasoline turbo developing 220 hp. A top-of-the-line 2.8V6 turbo, generating 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque, is offered exclusively with Saab XWD.

Shortly after launch, a small, 1.6-liter gasoline turbo with 180 hp will be introduced, together with a 2.0-liter BioPower E85-capable engine. A powerful 190 hp, 2.0-liter two-stage turbo diesel, generating 400 Nm of torque, will complete the powertrain line-up.

All transmissions are six-speed.

New era

Defined and equipped by Saab as its top-of-the-line contender in the premium sedan segment, the all new 9-5 is the most technically advanced car ever produced by the company. It will be built at Saab’s home plant in Trollhättan, where it has been engineered and chiefly developed.

Available in Linear, Vector or Aero specification, the all new 9-5 heralds the start of a new era for Saab. Scandinavian simplicity was never this advanced!



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A powerful 190 hp, 2.0-liter two-stage turbo diesel, generating 400 Nm of torque, will complete the powertrain line-up.

Is this one of the reasons GM did not want to give away SAAB cheaply? If GM has the engine, it should use it shamelessly in other applications.


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