Re-familiarise yourself – the 2010 Saab 9-5

I thought it might be a useful idea to re-post these press materials for the new Saab 9-5.

We had a good look at this last year, of course, but a lot of stuff with Saab has been about the business side of things. Soon, we’ll be able to put that aside just a little and concentrate more on what matters – the cars.

This is what it’s all about, after all.

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The following are from the press materials for the 2010 Saab 9-5.

Other releases include:

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All New Saab 9-5 Sedan: Start of a New Era for Saab

  • Public debut for Saab’s all new premium sedan
  • Progressive Scandinavian design inspired by Aero X and Saab heritage
  • Engineered with driver in focus for segment leading sporty driving experience
  • Excels in responsible performance for safety and environmental concern
  • Most technically advanced Saab with an array of ‘high-tech’ features

Making its public debut at the IAA in Frankfurt, 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 in model year 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 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 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 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 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 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 the 2.0-liter gasoline, BioPower and 2.8V6 turbo engines. 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 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. All transmissions will be six-speed.

New era
Defined and equipped by Saab as its top-of-the-line contender in the premium 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.

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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All New Saab 9-5 Sedan: Scandinavian Design Simplicity Has Never Looked This Good

  • Saab unveils new era in expressive Scandinavian design
  • Delivers on signposts from Aero X concept car
  • ‘Organic sculpture’ presents Saab signature design themes
  • More spacious, driver-focused cabin

Born and bred in Scandinavia, the all new Saab 9-5 Sedan is a sleek expression of the power of simplicity and heralds the arrival of a new, more assertive design language for the brand.

Forward-looking design that doesn’t ignore where it’s coming from – that sums up the visual appeal of the car. “We are adopting a new vocabulary to tell the story of our brand,” explains Saab Brand Design Chief Simon Padian. “It gives a fresh, very modern expression to some of our classic design cues.”

The ‘words’ in the new vocabulary come from Saab’s award-winning Aero X concept car, revealed in 2006 as a signpost to the future of Saab design. Its bold front-end styling, ‘wraparound’ window graphic, clean body surfacing and ice-block lighting themes are key visual elements now translated into the powerful form of the new 9-5 Sedan. They reflect a brand inspired by Scandinavian design and a unique aircraft heritage.

“We pushed out the boundaries of Saab design with the Aero X concept,” says Simon, “and the new 9-5 shows how we are bringing this more assertive look to our products. It is the first step in a new era for Saab design.”

Organic sculpture
The face of the new 9-5 is defined by a deep grille flanked by curving, ‘ice-block’ headlamp units with signature LED light guides. The windshield and side windows are presented as a single wraparound graphic, the disguised front and side pillars giving the glasshouse of the cabin Saab’s signature cockpit look. The proportions of the windshield and roof are also reminiscent of the ‘peaked cap’ look of the classic 900 model. And that large Saab logo, embossed in the center of the grille, characterizes the more assertive, self-confident design language.

The ‘organic sculpture’ of the low-slung body blends clean convex and concave surfaces with natural, curvaceous forms. Seeming shaped by the wind, the bodywork has a smooth, fuselage-like quality inspired by Saab’s aircraft heritage. Fenders stretched to the outer edges of the wheels, 17 to 19-inches in size, energize the looks of the car and add to its dynamic, purposeful stance.

In Scandinavian tradition, the visual impact of the design is heightened by an absence of exterior trim or stylized detailing. All individual elements contribute to the appearance of the design as whole, without providing visual distraction or ‘clutter’. “With Scandinavian design, we are seeking to simplify forms,” says Simon. “Things don’t have to be complicated to be interesting. In visual terms, less is more.”

Such ‘passive’ design detail can be seen in the door mirrors. “The mirror casings are black, rather than body colored, because the mirror unit occupies the same visual space as the windows,” explains Simon. “We didn’t want any interruption to the wraparound window graphic which makes such a bold statement.”

Saab brand design cues can be seen in the ‘hockey stick’ belt-line, underlined by a simple matt aluminum trim, leading into the strong rear C-pillars.

The car’s dynamic character is underlined by a falling roof-line and those strong, sweeping rear pillars which buttress a slightly recessed rear screen. The flow of the roof and pillars culminates in a smooth, flat rear deck. A full-width ice-block rear light bar, echoing the front light theme, adds to the new 9-5’s Scandinavian character.

Saab’s design heritage is evident from that rear screen, a counterpoint to wraparound windshield at the front. “We have inverted the shape of the rear screen of the classic 900 sedan,” explains Simon. “In fact, we’ve probably been even bolder with the design at the back than the front. We haven’t had a consistent Saab identity in this area before. You can expect to see the light bar, and the way the rear lights wrap into it, as a signature feature in future products.”

Viewed from any angle, the all new 9-5 has a distinctive character. “We deliberately wanted to avoid the cliché of the coupé look for sedans. We’ve stretched the traditional three-box sedan proportions but kept a defined trunk line – this is a sports sedan which makes a powerful visual statement. It doesn’t need to look like a coupé or a hatchback.”

The sleek shape also contributes to excellent aerodynamic properties. An impressive 0.28 Cd (coefficient of drag) contributes to reduced fuel consumption and low wind noise. Good high speed stability is also ensured by near zero lift forces at the front axle and the achievement negative, downforce values at the rear, assisted by airflow from the slightly concave surface of the trunk lid.

Top-of-the-line Aero variants are visually distinguished by unique front and rear bumper moldings, 19-inch ‘turbine’ alloy wheels, front fog lamps, a lowered sport chassis, bi-xenon headlamps and twin exhaust tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper fascia.

Driver Focused
The new 9-5’s spacious cabin is characterized by simple forms that echo the clean lines of the exterior. The choice of materials, the fit and finish and the tactile quality of the controls all reflect the new 9-5’s premium appeal.

A wheelbase 134 mm longer than that of its predecessor has enabled a substantial 58 mm increase in rear legroom, which exceeds that offered by all main competitors. Front legroom is also up by 11 mm.

The driver-focused cockpit is traditional Saab, while its execution is all new. A deep center console sweeps up around the driver into the main instrument display. It is a new expression of Saab’s signature cockpit layout, first introduced on the Saab 9000 model and continued with the current 9-5. The console is now inclined at a much shallower angle, improving driver ergonomics in the operation of its functions and in viewing the display screen.

Simplicity of form is evident from a ventilation zone, with signature Saab ‘joystick’ controls, which extends across the top of the main instrument display. “This helps clean up the look of the front fascia area,” explains Simon. “We have eliminated separate vents in the center and on the driver’s side, which would break up the fluid, integrated forms we wanted.”

The deeply recessed main dials include a driver-selectable, rolling ‘altimeter’ speed read-out, a reference to Saab’s aviation heritage from the Aero X concept. The needles of the dials, the main display screen and the optional HUD in the windshield, are all illuminated in signature Saab green. The ‘Night Panel’ button, another unique Saab feature, allows the driver to minimize distraction during night driving by switching off all the main instrument illumination, except the speedometer.

In Saab tradition, the car’s ignition – now a start/stop button – remains between the front seats, next to the gear shift and an electric park brake, which is fitted as standard for all variants. The matt aluminum trim surrounding the gear shift and start/stop button has an ‘organic’ shape with a varying width and thickness to match the curvature of the surface. “This is in harmony with ‘free form’ that we’ve applied to the exterior,” says Simon. “It’s a detail that looks very natural, adding to the crafted, quality appeal of the cabin.”

Another subtle detail are the small channels in the center stack fascia that link the main infotainment and climate controls. They resemble the shape of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, a hint at the combination of human design and scientific precision deployed in the layout of the cabin. It’s part of the logical, zonal groupings used for the location of the car’s interior, chassis and lighting controls.

The removal of a mechanical handbrake linkage frees up space for a large, two compartment center console, with twin cup-holders and the potential to connect several portable devices through USB and AUX connections alongside a 12V power outlet. A useful pull-out storage drawer next to the driver’s door is big enough to take a number of personal items, such as a wallet, PDA and glasses.

The rear of the cabin provides comfortable accommodation for three adults. Apart from more leg room, it now offers the option of rear seat entertainment via fold-out screens in the front seatbacks and separate rear climate control. The 60/40 split, folding seatback includes an arm-rest with twin cup-holders, a storage compartment and a load-through ‘ski hatch’.

Interior Decor and Equipment
Linear, Vector and Aero variants are each distinguished by a unique cabin ambience, including decor trim applied to the main instrument panel, center console and behind the door grab handles.

In Linear specification, the upper/lower instrument panel, door cappings and decor trim are in Jet Black, with a choice of Jet Black or Parchment fabric seat upholstery, complemented by door inserts and armrests in a light or dark color.

Vector adds a choice of Dark Pewter with Jet Black, or Dark Cocoa with Parchment for the instrument panel and doors, and the decor trim has a brushed metal look. The seats are upholstered with leather bolsters and fabric inserts in Jet Black, Parchment or Shark Grey.

Top-of-the-line Aero adds a sporty, all-leather interior with a unique Clear Zone finish inserted in the wraparound instrument panel. The rest of the front fascia and door trims are in Jet Black with dark, bushed metal decor trim. The sculptured, perforated leather sports seats are offered in the same colors as Vector.

Standard equipment for Linear includes: a keyless start/stop button, electric park brake, six-way adjustable driver and four-way adjustable passenger seat, dual zone climate control, a seven speaker audio system with an AUX socket, a leather steering wheel and a text information display

Vector adds front seat squab storage pouches, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, an adjustable front arm-rest, cruise control, ambient interior lighting and a nine-speaker audio system with a USB connection and a graphic information display.

Aero adds powered and heated front seats, with an extending under-thigh support. The interior is further distinguished by a full color information display and an ‘Aero’ embossed, flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with a perforated leather grip.

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There are around 40 images here in all and you can download the large versions of these images at the GM Media website.

Click to enlarge.

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