The Saab 9-5 is long overdue for an overhaul, with the current model first hitting streets as far back as 1997, but the next-generation model due late next year may not even be built at Saab’s traditional home in Sweden. Latest reports claim the new model will be sourced from Opel’s Ruesselsheim plant in Germany with production tipped to start mid next year.

The car will then debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September before going on sale towards the end of the year. According to Automotive News, the new 9-5 will be available with Saab’s new XWD traction system and electronic limited-slip differential and will also be offered with a range of flex-fuel turbocharged engines as well as a new V6 diesel.

The reason for the move to Ruesselsheim is because the next 9-5 will be based on GM’s new FWD Epsilon II platform, which has already debuted in the all-new Opel Insignia and is produced at the German plant. To differentiate Saab as a premium product engineers will provide a stiffer suspension set-up, a new steering rack and a different range of electronics. The car’s styling will also be heavily influenced by the original Aero X concept car pictured above.

Production of Saab’s next 9-3 will remain in Sweden. The car will move to the smaller Delta platform and isn’t expected to be launched until 2011.

2009 Opel Insignia hatchback spy shots

Opel Insignia Coupe and Estate renderings

2009 Opel Insignia sedan