Saab 9-5 Sedan: Start of something new

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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 brings a fresh alternative choice to the premium sedan segment.

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 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 new 9-5 offers CO2 emissions as low as 139 g/km.

“This car is the start of a new era for our brand,” says Jan Ake Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s CEO. “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.”

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 cliche of a four-door coupe look.

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 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/fan speed control for the rear cabin, in addition to the dual zone air conditioning up front.

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

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