Home News 2010 Saab 9-5 Makes US Debut
2010 Saab 9-5 Makes US Debut
Thursday, 29 October 2009 19:35

New Saab 9-5 Sedan makes its US premiere at the Miami Auto Show

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The All-New Saab 9-5 Sedan, making its U.S. premiere at the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami, takes center stage on the Saab stand as the Swedish premium brand celebrates the start of new era.

  • Progressive Scandinavian design inspired by Aero X and Saab heritage
  • Engineered with the driver in focus for segment leading sporty driving experience
  • High levels of responsible performance, both environmental and safety
  • Most technically advanced Saab with an array of 'high-tech' features

Making its North American public debut at the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami, 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 fashion-forward Svenska design with advanced technologies and will bring a fresh alternative choice to the premium sedan segment when sales start later in 2010.

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 new 9-5 heralds the introduction of a bolder, more expressive design direction for Saab.

The array of high-tech features available includes: an aircraft-like head-up information display (Pilot HUD); adaptive lighting (Bi-Xenon Smart Beam); Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis with real-time suspension damping control; keyless entry and starting; tri-zone air conditioning; and Saab XWD with a rear eLSD (electronic limited-slip differential), which provides optimal traction on slippery surfaces, an industry-leading all-wheel-drive system.

"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 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 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 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 and shoulder width are increased both front and rear. The choice of materials, the fit and finish and the tactile quality of the controls all reflect the new 9-5's premium appeal.

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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 diagonal 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, an industry-leading all-wheel-drive system already available on the Saab 9-3, will be availed in the 9-5 as well. Also available is adaptive chassis control with driver settings selection through Saab DriveSense and Bi-Xenon Smart Beam adaptive lighting.

New era

Defined and equipped by Saab as its top-of-the-line contender in the premium midsize sedan segment, the 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.

General Motors LLC. and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, is currently in a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab's future.

The sale, expected to close by the end of the year, includes a $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Saab is in the final stages of negotiations with Sweden's National Debt Office and expects confirmation from the EU Commission that Sweden's state guarantee conforms with EU rules on state aid. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB to fund Saab's operations and product program investments.

Saab plans to launch four new products within the next 16 months: The 9-3X, a versatile all-round XWD vehicle; the 9-4X, a compact luxury crossover vehicle; the 9-5 Sedan; and the 9-5 SportCombi.

Koenigsegg Group AB is a consortium of private investors led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB. Koenigsegg Automotive AB manufactures supercars. It has representatives in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and the Oceania. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in Ängelholm, Sweden.

Eric Geers
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