2010 Saab 9-5

2010 Saab 9-5

The Saab 9-5 is long overdue for an overhaul, with the basic mechanical underpinnings in the current model first hitting streets as far back as 1997. A totally redesigned model was expected to make an appearance last year but its release was pushed back due to limited resources at Saab and the introduction of the facelifted 9-3, not to mention the company’s then-ongoing ownership limbo. But the wait for the next 9-5 will soon be over as the car is scheduled to make its world debut next month at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Images for the car have been out for some time now, showing a clear resurgence of Saab's past design traits married to a modern, sleek profile, and now the company has released official details and specs.

Underneath the new sheet metal is a heavily revised version of General Motors’ front-wheel-drive Epsilon II platform, which is also shared by Opel for its new Insignia range. To differentiate Saab as a premium product engineers have provided a stiffer suspension set-up, a new steering rack and a different range of electronics.

The car’s all-turbocharged powertrain lineup is the broadest ever offered by Saab, with customers able to select from a choice of three fuels--petrol, diesel and E85 bioethanol.

At launch, there will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 160 horsepower, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline unit with 220 horsepower and a range-topping 2.8-liter turbo V-6 gasoline unit with 300 horsepower on tap.

Shortly after launch, a 1.6-litre gasoline turbo with 180 horsepower will be introduced, together with a 2.0-liter BioPower E85 engine. All transmissions will be six-speed.

The array of high-tech features continues inside, including a head-up information display (HUD), bi-xenon adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control; Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis with real-time damping control, keyless entry and starting, dual-zone climate control, a parking assistant, and Saab’s XWD all-wheel-drive system with an eLSD.

Infotainment choices include a range-topping Harman Kardon 5.1 channel surround sound audio system and an 8-inch color touch screen navigation system with hard disk storage for map data and 10 GB for MP3 music files. A large center console provides storage and connections for several portable devices through USB and 3.5 mm AUX ports alongside a 12 V power outlet.

Rear passengers can even access their own audio or watch a DVD. The rear seat entertainment unit in the back of the center console accommodates audio controls and folding viewing screens are installed in the backs of the front seats. Wireless headphones are provided for listening and viewing.

The new 9-5 will be built at Saab’s home plant in Trollhattan, where it has been engineered, and production is tipped to start by the end of the year.