All New Saab 9-5 Sedan: State-of-the-Art Technology From Scandinavia
• Most technically advanced Saab ever
• Conceived, built and chiefly developed in Sweden
• Equipped to compete head-to-head with leading premium class competitors
The all new 9-5 is the most advanced Saab ever, introducing an array of high-tech features and benefits that bring the car and driver closer together, while also enhancing the travel experience for all occupants.
Defined by Saab as the company’s top-of-the-line contender in the premium segment, the new 9-5 has been chiefly engineered in Sweden, where its development has been guided. It is being built at Saab’s home plant in Trollhättan.
In terms of functionality and the quality of the driving experience alone, the new 9-5 sedan is configured to challenge premium class standards. It will offer a fresh and distinctive alternative choice to established market leaders.
State-of-the-art technologies are harnessed to offer the features customers most want. Smart functions range from an aircraft-style, head-up information display (Pilot HUD) to Advanced Park Assist (APA), and from hard disk onboard music storage to rear seat climate control and flexible trunk storage
“This is the most sophisticated and technically advanced car we have ever produced,” says Mats Fägerhag, Head of Technical Development at Saab. “It is enabled to meet the needs of modern day motoring and brings together all the functions and features customers would expect in a car of this class.”
On The Road
Chassis systems and technologies are focused on delivering a sporty driving experience. The mechanical suspension layouts, for example, are tailored to match the differing performance characteristics of engines and drivelines. These can be overlaid by the optional Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis system, which includes real time damping control among other features.
HiPerStrut and Linked H-arm suspension
Three suspension combinations are fitted. Front-wheel drive variants with the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline and the 160 hp diesel engines have a MacPherson strut front and 4-link rear arrangement. The 190 hp diesel engine comes with a Linked H-arm rear suspension, together with HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front suspension in a front-wheel drive format and MacPherson front struts when Saab XWD is fitted. All variants with Saab XWD have a Linked H-arm rear suspension, while the top-of-the-line 2.8V6 turbo, available exclusively with XWD in Aero specification, also has HiPerStrut front suspension.
The advanced HiPerStrut offers driving benefits similar to those of a double wishbone layout. The inclination, length and offset of the kingpin is reduced and the caster angle of the steering increased. The result: improved steering quality with a more ‘planted’ feel, as well as enhanced handling and braking characteristics.
At the rear, the sophisticated H-arm layout, with double isolated sub-frame mountings, gives still greater ride comfort, reduces vibration entering the cabin and improves roadholding. For both H-arm and 4-link rear suspensions, shear bushings are used in the damper mountings to the body structure. These effectively dissipate vibrations from the road, improving ride comfort and noise isolation.
The new 9-5 is the first Saab to offer real time damping control through Saab DriveSense, which includes a range of adjustments that helps the car adapt to the way it is being driven. In addition to the default ‘Intelligent’ mode, two further settings, ‘Sport’ and ‘Comfort’, can be selected via a rotary knob next to the gear shift.
In real time, ‘Intelligent’ mode adjusts the car’s handling characteristics in response to driving style. It continually varies the stiffness rates of the electronically-controlled dampers, the action of the electronic throttle and the degree of power steering assistance. For example, when the car is being driven in a sporty style, the action of the dampers is automatically stiffened to improve body control and roadholding; the throttle pedal movement is shortened for a faster response and steering assistance is reduced for a more direct feel. At reduced speeds, the dampers are softened for greater ride comfort, the action of the throttle pedal becomes less aggressive and the steering feels lighter.
The ‘Sport’ setting introduces a firmer range of adjustment for the dampers, offering even greater body control. In addition to sharpening the throttle pedal response and reducing the level of power steering assistance, ‘Sport’ mode also raises the gear shifting points with automatic transmission and sends more drive torque to the rear wheels when Saab XWD is fitted.
By contrast, ‘Comfort’ mode, optimizes ride refinement by enabling a softer range of adjustment for the dampers and a smoother throttle pedal action. It provides enhanced compliance over rough road surfaces and is the most appropriate setting for optimum fuel economy.
Saab DriveSense is offered as an option with all engines and equipment specifications, except the 160 hp turbo diesel and 1.6 turbo gasoline engines.
Saab XWD with eLSD
Saab’s industry-leading all-wheel-drive system is optional for 2.0-liter Turbo and 2.0-liter TTiD variants, and standard with the 2.8V6 Turbo engine. It offers a more rewarding driving experience and greater control in all road conditions. This on-demand, active system – integrated and optimized by Saab chassis engineers – uses a multi-plate Haldex clutch unit to infinitely vary drive torque between the front and rear axles. Careful programming enables the application of rear drive to balance oversteer and understeer characteristics. The ESC system is also tuned to optimize the chassis’s sporty potential without reducing safety margins.
An optional, electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential (eLSD) transfers up to 50% of rear torque between the rear wheels, to whichever has more grip. Under hard cornering, or when completing a high speed maneuver, such as a lane change, the brief application of more or less torque to either wheel helps the rear of the car more closely follow the direction of the front wheels.
Standard with Saab XWD and optional with front-wheel drive, the Sport chassis set-up offers improved handling and body control. It includes a 10 mm lower ride height, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, and stiffer springs and dampers all-round.
Adaptive Cruise Control
A smart function that not only enables the driver to select a constant cruising speed, but also automatically alters the chosen speed to maintain a safe gap to the vehicle on the road ahead. The driver can select one of three distance options. .
A radar sensor in the grille emits a beam to measure the distance to the vehicle in front. If this gap reduces below the required setting, the throttle opening is adjusted and/or engine braking is applied. Once the appropriate distance is restored, the car will accelerate back up to the pre-set speed. Should heavy braking be required, a visual warning is flashed in the HUD and a gong sounds to alert the driver to take action. A conventional, ‘passive’ cruise control function is also offered.
Automatic cruise control will be available later in Model Year 2011, in combination with automatic transmission and the Pilot HUD.
Variable Effort Steering (VES)
When maneuvering, parking or driving at low speeds, VES increases the level of power assistance in order to reduce steering effort. At higher speeds, hydraulic assistance is automatically reduced to ensure a high degree of steering ‘feel‘ for the driver.
VES uses an electro-magnetic motor on the steering rack, controlled by a coil, to boost or reduce the level of hydraulic assistance. VES also adapts to the speed at which the steering wheel is turned, providing progressively increased assistance the faster the wheel is rotated. The system makes a small contribution to reduced fuel consumption by giving hydraulic assistance only when needed. VES is fitted as standard with Saab XWD and Saab DriveSense.
Behind the wheel
The view from the cosseting driver’s seat of the new 9-5 sedan can be configured through optional features including an aircraft-style information display, adaptive headlamp lighting and a traffic sign recognition function. These reflect Saab’s commitment to responsible performance by increasing driving safety.
Head-Up Display (Pilot HUD)
Projecting essential data in the windshield through the HUD, such as vehicle speed, warning messages, turn indicators and navigation instructions, offers real-life safety benefits as the driver does not need to look away from the road. Inspired by similar technology in fighter jets, the 9-5’s Pilot HUD is shown as a virtual image, seemingly about two meters ahead, within the driver’s natural eye focus. The display is controlled and adjusted via two switches in the main fascia adjacent to the driver’s door. It is illuminated in signature Saab green, as used in aircraft cockpits.
Bi-Xenon Smart Beam
This is one of the most sophisticated, adaptive lighting systems on the market. It uses bi-xenon headlamps that swivel to better illuminate bends ahead and automatically optimizes light beam patterns to suit the prevailing speed, road and driving conditions. Bi-Xenon Smart Beam also engages and disengages high beam automatically, relieving the driver of a repetitive chore.
At speeds below 50 km/h, Town Light provides a wide, flat beam so that pedestrians or potential hazards at the roadside can be better seen. At speeds up to 100 km/h, Country Light projects a longer beam, while still giving good roadside illumination. Motorway Light increases the beam length still further, to 140 meters, and is activated only above 100 km/h on straight, level roads.
When rain or snow is detected by the windshield wipers’ rain sensor, Adverse Weather Light provides a wide, asymmetric light pattern which allows the driver to see lane markings better. In all light modes, Dynamic Bend Light provides illumination into oncoming bends by swiveling the headlamps up to 15° to the right or left, according to the vehicle speed and steering angle.
Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
This driving safety function uses a camera in the back of the interior mirror which ‘looks’ through the windshield. For use in left-hand drive EU markets, it is programmed to recognize speed limit and ‘no overtaking’ signs, the appropriate symbol being illuminated as a driver reminder in the main display. It’s a useful feature that can even help avoid getting a speeding ticket!
At speeds above 60 km/h, the same system can also initiate a warning alarm if the vehicle begins to veer out of lane when the indicators are not engaged, such as could happen with the onset of drowsiness or during moments of inattention.
Advanced Park Assist (APA)
A smart feature enabling the driver to parallel park the 9-5 in tight spaces only one meter longer than its own length. APA uses ultrasonic sensors in the front, rear and side of the vehicle. The system detects a suitable parking spot and then plots a perfect reverse parking trajectory. The driver is instructed how to turn the steering wheel via icons in the main instrument display and audible chimes.
Comfort and Convenience
These features are focused on ease-of-use and making the cabin of the new 9-5 sedan an enjoyable place to be. State-of-the- art infotainment systems include an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and rear seat audio and viewing options.
Start/Stop Button and Keyless Entry/Exit
Standard throughout the range, a start/stop button replaces the conventional ignition switch. In Saab tradition, it is located between the seats next to the gearshift. The engine control unit detects and authenticates a coded signal from driver’s fob and the engine can be started or stopped by simply pressing the start/stop button.
For even greater convenience, a keyless entry/exit system is offered, which allows the car to be automatically unlocked when the door handle is pulled while the fob is still in the driver’s pocket or handbag. The car can also be automatically locked when the driver leaves it by simply touching the lock area of the door handle. This ease-of-use feature removes the need to press the unlock/lock buttons on the standard fob.
Tri-zone Air Conditioning
In addition to the standard dual zone climate control for the driver and front passenger, the tri-zone option offers independent temperature control for rear seat occupants. Extended ducting feeds air from the main air conditioning unit to an outlet module in the rear face of the center console. The module includes a small fan to accelerate the airflow and two adjustable distribution vents. It is offered in combination with rear seat entertainment and available only with left-hand drive vehicles.
Advanced Infotainment Systems
The extensive infotainment choice breaks new ground for Saab, offering a wide range of state-of-the-art features and two audio options, including a top-of-the-line harman/kardon system with true 5.1 surround sound reproduction. The 8-inch touchscreen navigation system includes a bird’s eye map view and hard disk drive storage for map data.
Audio source selection has never been more versatile. In addition to the AM/FM and DAB radio, the driver can play music directly from a CD, insert an MP3 player or memory stick into the USB connector, or even store 10 GB of favorite tracks on a built-in hard drive – all with full control via the faceplate and steering wheel. The USB connector – standard on most models – is located conveniently alongside an AUX connector and 12V power outlet in the center console. The USB ‘wires’ the device to the car and offers instant control through the audio system, the in-car display showing the song title, artist and album information.
In the rear, passengers can enjoy their own onboard entertainment through a dedicated unit in the back of the center console and two 8-inch screens which fold out, laptop style, from the front seatbacks. Passengers can select an alternative audio source to that being played up front, watch a DVD or enjoy entertainment from a stand-alone player, such as a games console or digital camera, connected to the AUX input. Sound is provided by wireless headphones.
Communication while on the move is supported by an integrated Bluetooth hands-free phone system, which functions via voice command and steering wheel controls.
Innovative trunk storage
An optional, U-shaped track in the floor carries an adaptable, telescopic cargo divider. The concept is an evolution of the cargo tracks offered on the current 9-5 wagon. This fast and flexible storage solution can keep a wide range of different sized items in place. The trunk is also fitted as standard with bag carrying hooks and an umbrella holder.
Vehicle safety in the new 9-5 builds on Saab’s successful real-life safety philosophy. Crash testing and computer simulations are based on what happens in real collisions on real roads, using the findings of a database covering more than 6,100 real-life accidents involving Saab cars on Swedish roads. In this way, the development of the new 9-5 has drawn on all Saab’s experience with real-life safety accumulated over more than 50 years. Saab safety engineers are always aware that their ultimate goal is protecting real people, not only dummies in laboratory crash tests.
Real-life safety means the structural design of the car, and the operation of its safety systems, are evaluated through a large number of in-house crash tests which are additional to those legally required or carried out by consumer test organizations.
The success of this work is reflected In surveys of real-life collisions by the US Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and the Swedish Folksam insurance company, where Saab cars have consistently scored well, several times being ranked best in their segment. In common with the Saab 9-3 and 9-3 Convertible, the new 9-5 has achieved a maximum five-star EuroNCAP rating.
In addition to the full complement of occupant safety systems already installed in Saab cars, the new 9-5 includes upgraded third generation Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR 3) as standard for the front seats and adds rear side airbags, together with pre-tensioning of the outer rear seatbelts, as an optional package.
Driving, or active, safety – the ability to avoid becoming involved in an accident – is also improved by functions such as Bi-Xenon Smart Beam, TSR/LDW, Pilot HUD and adaptive cruise control, as described earlier. ESC is fitted as standard across the range and rear LED brake lights flash under heavy braking to warn following drivers.