US Saab 9-5 SportCombi info

A poll has been added. US-centric engines only.

[poll id=”9″]

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Today is Saab 9-5 SportCombi day, no doubt about it. I didn’t want to write about anything else today, which is why I’ve been silent since the press release.

Unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling that I’m raining on the 9-5 SportCombi’s parade by having to quote this…..

From Inside Line:

Pricing has not been confirmed for the U.S., said Michele Tinson, Saab Cars North America spokesperson, in response to an e-mailed query from Inside Line on Wednesday morning. However, the SportCombi body style typically sells for about $1,000 more than the Saab 9-5. The current 9-5 is priced between $38,525 and $43,030.

“We may have only one powertrain in the U.S. and limited trim options,” Tinson said when asked to provide more details about the 9-5 SportCombi.

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One powertrain and limited trim options.

First of all, we don’t know what this means. The Saab 9-5 Sedan launched last year with just one powertrain and trim level – the highest. It’s possible that the 9-5 SportCombi will come with the V6 and quite loaded.

UPDATE: Automobile Magazine seem to be hedging their bets. They first claim that powertrain options will mimic the Sedan, with both engines available, and then in a lower paragraph from the same article, they say it’ll be just the top-shelf Aero model.

UPDATE II: Car and Driver say it’ll be just the 2.0T.

Conclusion – No-one’s got a freaking clue and they’re all poking holes in the sky with a stick. IMHO there should have been nothing said about ‘one engine option’ at all. Just point them to the press release and save all the guesswork.

BUT……

Now that we’re compelled to have a guess, I’d say it will be well equipped with a couple of trim levels to choose from, but that it will come with the higher volume engine – the 2.0T. Even though that engine is an absolute gem, I have a feeling that the comments section is going to fill up with people who say they want access to the V6.

Please, prove me wrong.

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NOTE – The quote above is from Saab Cars North America and doesn’t necessarily have any relevance to markets outside North America.

Thanks to Alan H and to Joe Best for the tips.

81 thoughts on “US Saab 9-5 SportCombi info”

  1. No complaints here!

    The 2.0T is what people want now, as long as it gets superior gas mileage while being able to pull its weight.

  2. 2.0T is fine – no squawks from me, either (a happy Dame Edna owner)! And SCNA says “We may have . . . .” That likely means SAAB has not made a final marketing decision. I was not aware of a conflict between Aero trim and suspension, for example, and the 2.0T engine. Actually sounds appealing.

    The last few years of the OG 9-5 were marketed much the same way in the US and Canada (with slightly different standard items) . . . single engine in all models (2.3T and Aero), relatively “loaded,” and a very short additional options list for either. This could also provide a point of distinction between the 9-5 and 9-4: Want a V6? Well look at this gorgeous cross-over right here . . . .

    B

    • There definitely isn’t any conflict between Aero trim and non-v6 engines. Other countries have Aeros with four-pots and diesels available. Restricting Aero trim to v6 only is purely a US marketing decision.

  3. As North America isnt really a big market for large wagons I could see just the 2.0T model being offered with XWD.

    • May be not in NA overall, but the ratio of 9-5 wagons to sedans in the Boston area is close to 1:1. The new 9-5SC has to stack up against the competition and I’m not sure a 220hp 2.0T will cut it. Further, a lot of people new to Saab will be turned off the second they hear ‘4-cylinder.’ Right or wrong, that’s just the way it is over here.

    • I think your gasoline prices will increase during the year. Therefor I think the 2,0T engine would be right for Saab and even manual as an option.

      I dont know how Americans think when they buying Saabs? Lets say that the 9-4X take the bigger more fuel-thirsty part and the 9-5SC stand for the more “less is more” thing!
      Thats what Saab is about and the spirit of the company. Otherwise they could go buying an Bimmer or any other German car.

      What do you think? Am I to “Swedish” in my thoughts?

  4. The logic of using the frugal 2.0T engine and then put XWD on it eludes me. With this engine FWD should be sufficient for most purposes. It also keeps the weight and price down.

    • Do you need 300hp becuase you add 4WD to a car? There are people who wants 4WD for other reasons than be the quickest guy at the red light. If you have driven the 2.0T engine with XWD in real winter conditions you would know why XWD is a good choice. And it doesn’t feel slow at all but of course it is not a Viggen but it is not supposed to be.

      • Sorry, should have been more explicit. For an average buyer looking for a utility vehicle the 2.0T engine with FWD is enough. I sympathize with those people which have to deal with real winter conditions for a big part of the year. I know the value of all wheel drive. When I first came to Boston it was the dead of winter and a college lent me his little boxy Honda with AWD to get around. Boy, that little thing went like stink through the highest snow and I’m sure it didn’t have more than 80hp.
        On the other hand, most of the driving by the average Joe is done on clean roads and AWD just adds to the weight and drive train losses.
        I don’t want this SC to be a Viggen (got one of those already, thank you very much). I’m just thinking what we would replace my wife’s old 9-5 with. A SC with 2.0T and FWD would suit her needs exactly.

  5. I sure hope they sell the wagon with the 2.0T and the manual. I don’t care for the V6 from driving it and reading about it. Too heavy and thirsty for a Saab. With so many brands going mainstream or looking for the average buyer as opposed to the enthusiast(VW, BMW, Audi, etc etc IMO), I hope Saab can do the right thing.

    • A while ago I was looking for an old 9-5SC, the majority of what I found were automatic. My conclusion is that the majority of Saab station wagon buyers in the US prefer automatics.

  6. when Saab bring it down under a V6 may help though. Ford don’t make a Falcon wagon anymore so perhaps they could steal some buys from there.

  7. After the very unlucky introduction of the 9-5 in the United States – 2010 model just as 2.8l Aero, but no sunroof as an option, then for 2011 the additional 2,0l engine exclusively without xwd, no 1.6l at all – it would represent a major mistake to introduce the 9-5 sc in the USA with just one powertrain and limited trim options. Worse: It would make the chaos perfect to offer it just with the 2.0l 4-cylinder and just with xwd. Absolutely no logic compared to the sedan, if the Sedan will be offered, as it is right now. Either Saab North America and the top management have lost their mind, what I do not believe, or Saab is in troubles with respect to supplier issues, primarily with GM, or with factory versatility, or has changed its business plan prioritizing the US market, or a combination of all of it.
    The ideal or more honestly the absolute normal or standard state of affairs would be to offer the 9-5 as in other markets with all (gasoline) powertrain options combined with all trim levels possible. The customer then decides about his preferences, not the supplier as in a centralised command economy.
    I can see or accept, that for model year 2010 just one powertrain option was offered initially – unlucky to offer the top model without sunroof -, as the chaos after the factory shutdown and restart of the new company may have prohibited a more flexible offering. For model year 2012, and with the disastrous sales development for the 9-5 sedan in the United States, its main target market, up to now, to come up with just one powertrain option and with limited trim level offerings is a major setback for any business plan. People correctly will ask serious questions about the long-term health and viability of the company, given its apparent lack of basic flexibility. If the company has a strategy to favour the US market as one of the three major markets, it has to offer there the maximum flexible offering, and not a seriously limited one (Another interpretation would be, that the company has in fact changed strategy and does not favour any more the US market). Lot’s of questions. Very sad to hear this, as the first pictures show an appealing desgin and promise to foster sales.

    • Tha US market may be one of Saab’s largest markets but it only brings limited margins as we can see from the price comparison a couple of days ago. I thus can understand that Saab doesn’t want to homologate a whole range of vehicles if 80% of potential buyers will buy a car off the shelf: one specific model with automatic transmission which should have all the options for a price of next to nothing.
      Because of long delivery times and special offers on those cars 60 to 80% of all European cars in the US are taken from stock. In Europe it’s 10 to 20% because demand is so much more diverse and you can’t have all cars in stock (as long as you don’t have a large dealer network which shares inventory).
      Don’t get me wrong here, I think American buyers should have the same choice as the rest of the world but you can’t have that choice unless you pay a higher price in one way or the other, be it delivery times, be it sticker price.

      • The price comparison the other day highlights the differences in tax structure across Saabs markets. Tax is the number one difference between markets. Further, the price of the US spec cars is driven by competition in the market place – there are many options in the US. Raising the price on the 9-5 , a price that many already consider to be too high, would be the death knell of Saab in America. No Saab in America = No Saab at all.

  8. Sorry Swade, but I can’t “prove you wrong.” I love my Saab, I love its combination of performance, size, style, etc. I lust after the new 9-5SC (especially after the picture posted this afternoon), but I’m not going to drop 40k on a vehicle that will get it doors blown off by a Ford Flex. The fact of the matter is, IMO, a large sedan/estate with 220HP just doesn’t appeal the average American buyer, myself included. Talk about “balance” all you want, but as you’ve alluded to in prior posts, the cost of gasoline in the US isn’t enough to make me care about an extra 5 mi/gal. To me, this strategy (if correct) is indicative of many of Saab’s problems in the US. Sorry to be a downer, and maybe I’m alone on this, but I’m crushed if this is true, and won’t be in line to buy one unless it changes.

    • You got it Adam. Horsepower sells cars in America and 220hp in a “premium” midsize car isn’t going to cut it. V6’s are in all sorts of cheaper cars (Kia, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, etc). You have to have horsepower to play with the big boys. I hope it’s the V6 that comes to America. I think it’s safe to assume it’ll be an automatic, which, although I wouldn’t be in an auto, 93% of America drives autos, so that’s a smart move. I think it should be the V6 XWD Auto that comes to America first, just to get the appeal.

      I personally would get a V6 FWD Manual, because after driving a Saab for many years, I just don’t see the point in AWD for daily driving. I live in an area that gets lots of snow too 🙂

      • I have to agree. In Europe where emmitions are taxed a 4 cylinder makes sence but otherwise the V6 has the edge.

  9. As long as we are jumping to conclusions, let me just put it out there that Cadillac’s decision to discontinue the 2.8t in the SRX may mean certain doom for the engine in any application, including the 9-4X and 9-5.

    Which leads me to direct any people that may bitch and/or moan in the future to immediately go and purchase a ’10 or ’11 9-5 Aero or pre-order a 9-4X Aero.

    Personally, I think that the Turbo4 in the 9-5 SportCombi will be perfect. My dealership got our first stickshift 2011 9-5 Turbo4 Sedan this week, and the window sticker (U.S. Market) reads 20 city and 33 freeway! That is better than the 500 pound lighter 9-3. Today I proceeded to try it out on a 10-mile loop of expressway and freeway driving, and 36 mpg was the result (according to the SID). If the SportCombi can be near that number, and Saab Cars North America can communicate the fact to potential buyers, then the car will not have a competitor, period.

  10. I imagine the cost of certifying assorted combinations of body style and drivetrain in the US must be quite expensive, and that Saab wants to hemorrhage as little cash as possible until profitability returns. Obviously more choice is better, but the truth is the sedan is the big seller in the US, not the wagon. One drivetrain for the wagon in the US may be as much as Saab can afford to provide at the moment.

    If there can only be one drive train for the US, it should be the 2.0T, automatic, preferably with XWD. Although it needs to be priced aggressively, a 2.0T wagon in the high 40s will be a tough sell. I’m not sure only one trim level makes sense though, I’d have a Premium one with some of the goodies – but not all of them to keep the price down – and a base option with (dare I admit it after my previous rants) the green radio display.

    I love the V6 – I drive one every day in my 2010 – but psychologically the US consumer is not ready to consider a 300 hp Saab which is the equal of the Germans. Neither the marketing nor the automotive press have laid sufficient groundwork for that comparison. (Yet) Regardless of what motor Saab puts in the 9-5, the transaction price in the US has a ceiling. So use the 2.0T if it improves the margin on the car. Plus the gas mileage is better, a selling point for Saab.

    Saab badly needs a halo car – for example, a 500hp 9-5 Viggen that will simply blow away the consumers assumptions about what Saabs are capable of. Or a pure electric 9-3 convertible with better range than the Leaf. Something to get Saab out of the lukewarm “oh, that’s nice” reaction, which truthfully is about as positive a reaction as Saab can expect in the US right now. A 300 hp V6 in this marketplace just isn’t distinctive enough for consumers or journalists to get excited about.

    • +1. Read his comment, he’s smart. ‘Nuff said.

      What other halo ideas can Saab implement on the cheap? Is it possible to offer the Hirsch package as a factory option as opposed to dealer? Like a checkbox on the options list that would include sportier wheels, akin to a “sport package” that ups the HP for the 4 cyl to 260HP? Seems easy.

      • Halo models on the cheap are not an option, I’m afraid. Both the Viggen and the Turbo-X, although we love them dearly, have hardly made an impression on the general public. The Aero-X, however, made a huge impression, this car should have been build.
        Last year Jason Castriota made a sketch of what he thinks a new Sonnett should look like:

        http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2010/11/ams-win-an-original-castriota-design-sketch.html

        This sketch still adorns one of the walls of my office. My humble opinion is that this should be Saab’s new halo car. Spyker could supply the know how (probably in conjunction with Lotus) for building it. I know that Saab doesn’t have much cash to do a halo car. One way around this would be to electrify this car somehow, in that way the EIB loan could be used for its development and possibly the production of a prototype. Electric motor on each wheel, real and easy torque vectoring, small turbo engine charging the innovative smart batteries Saab was already testing………it’s nice to dream once in while….

    • I would assume that you know the US market sufficiently, also with respect to costs of model certification and are right, that certification might be a costly thing. I also agree, that fuel economy is very very important, and might become more important down the road. I see the point, that the 2.8l in GM’s planning apparently does not have a longer term future.
      Nevertheless, this does not explain some other points:
      – when Saab offers the 9-5 sc just with xwd, xwd should at least be added as an option in the sedan asap, maybe depending on certification.
      – unfortunately, the difference in fuel economy between the 2l 220hp and the 2.8l V6 300hp is not that big, if same features (xwd, automatic) are taken. It is roughly 0.7l/100km for the 9-5 sedan according to the EUR cycle posted in the European website. Personal experience and comments from others confirm that size of the difference.
      – The engine with much lower consumption is the new 1.6l 180hp fwd, which offers 2.1l/100km better fuel economy than the 220hp for the sedan. That engine at some point might be hirsched up to over 200 hp as well. If fuel economy and gas prices above 4$/gallon is the argument, that is the right engine.
      The only reasonable explanation if your argument is correct, would be that Saab soon can offer a different 6-cylinder turbo engine with better performance/economy characteristics than the current 2.8l. If not, it would be a big mistake not to offer the 6-cylinder. For true premium buyers, the 220hp is simply insufficient, particularly for a sc, that is supposed to transport load. And with the hirsched 333hp version, acceleration is really getting competitive.

    • Agree with most of it. And a 300hp V6 isn’t a big deal today in a large sedan. I have driven it and it is absolutly a great car and to me that power is more than enough. Right now I think one of the biggest problem with the US market is the currency which hits the margins pretty tough. The dollar is valued very low compared to Euro and SEK. It is good for companies that resides in US or have production there and that may be the reason that US wants to keep the dollar low. Maybe the 9-4x will have better margins when built in Mexico but we don’t know how much of the cake that GM keeps.

    • Agreed, but perhaps Halo Saab 9-5 should be something different? High output car will strictly compete against the best Germans. I think it is the game where Saab cannot win. Think of Turbo X. It did not sell well and it didn´t get really good reviews. So it was mainly for Saab enthusiasts who appreciate what it offers. Maybe they can come up with something else, like some options that no one else has?
      What about 9-5X? Audi (A6) Allroad is very expensive…

  11. I say offer only the 4 cyl but pump it up to 260 HP, that should make everyone happy. They should be free to make these decisions now and the engine easily has that kinda HP available.

    • The last-gen 9-5’s in the US all had the brilliant B235R 2.3L HOT that made 260HP. I really don’t see why they can’t just bring that incredible little monster back, or why they got rid of it in the first place. I love the way it drives in my Viggen. Give it direct injection and a new ECU map and I’d bet it’d make 300hp with easy-to-live-with fuel economy easily.
      Saab, bring back the wonderful H-Engine family!

  12. I should add that gas prices in the US will likely return to the $4 per gallon level (or higher), as soon as the economy recovers more. Or sooner – gas prices in Minneapolis just jumped 15 cents a gallon in one day (this morning), up to $3.25 or so a gallon.

    Going with the 2.0T with fuel economy as a unique selling point is a pretty reasonable hedge again the likelihood of another gas price spike.

  13. Greg:
    As normal you are right on the mark. The 4 banger will make a lot of sense in the U.S. and anywhere that has a pro-gasoline retail supply system in place. I think some folks have forgotten about the new CAFE requirements, if the government doesn’t back off of them. Which is not likely with gas at $3.25 and north. Halo car, sure there all always a few customers who want the hotrod, they may not drive it much, but they like to own it all the same. I think times, they are a changin, even out here in pickup land. Just going by what I see with new car temps on the rear window; a lot more small cars.
    Chris

  14. Didn’t want to spoil the party yesterday,but really hope the SC is not only 146cm high like the sedan or the A6 Avant -which it would be an exact copy of- with this height, cargo space and hopefully interior materials.

    For ease of loading, the tailgate opens down to bumper level with a lift-over height of only 648 mm (25.5″).

    If they only had left the ‘only‘ out, I could have kept quiet. Hope this trend will end with the JC car or we have to forget about big dogs and Saabs…

  15. I would start off by marketing the set-up with largest possible market demand to get volumes up and make it attractive to sell Saabs, so something is done about souring sales figures. Which combination that may be is probably well known by Saab through experience and sales data. In case it’s not the Aero V6 XWD Auto, it’s fine. The halo effect of the top of the line Aero Sedan will still cast its light on the SC. My layman guess is 9-5 SC Turbo4 FWD Aut with satnav, sunroof, 18″ rims and an attractive price point + lease contract. Hope they do the right thing this time and don’t stick with $50k for a long time just to show how premium priced they can be. Volumes up! (US)

    • That is my guess as well, a loaded 9-5 SC FWD Aut with a good lease deal would sell more than V6 XWD’s.

  16. This car is very likely my next, my biggest worry is a lack of an Aero model for the SC, that would kill it for me. I am more concerned with the styling part and XWD, I could be sold on a 2.0 if the power is more than just adequate.

  17. What happend? This should have been a fun/great day and almost everyone is complaining even Swade!! Please stop now!! Its a great car and they have focused on the right things! You almost always have to compromise when you build a car! I love the new 9-5 SC!

    • Welcome to my world, Henke.

      The only thing I’m complaining about is the element of uncertainty that SCNA have introduced today by saying “one engine” and not specifying which one it is.

      • My best guess is that they will pick the 2.0T for now. It makes sense for CAFE (better fuel economy), and signs point to the possibility of the 2.8T being replaced soon. If that’s the case, there’s no point in certifying that body/engine combo, and then doing the same thing again when a replacement engine is introduced.

        I really hope that Saab offers a manual version. It’s a small but strong niche market. Perhaps they can use this opportunity to start offering “bespoke” cars, meaning that the manual is special order only, but available with any combination of body/interior/suspension options.

        The old GM sales mentality was based upon the idea that US customers want something off the rack, preferably walking into a dealership with a suitcase full of cash and walking out with a brand new car, never mind that it’s not the car they wanted. That’s been a failure at most levels, so perhaps a more customer-focused approach is called for?

    • Doesn’t sound like any of the “compaints” are about the 9-5SC (except the comment about load height) – but about _possible_ marketing/range-import decisions by the US importer.

      There’s not going to be any _production_ reason why 9-5SCs can’t be built with the full range of engine, drivetrain and trim options that are available in 9-5 saloons.

  18. There is a legend in the automobile industry that buyers can be categorized into two groups; those that are stylish (they get a sedan), and those that want utility (wagon/SUV); and that there is no overlap between the two groups. Incidently, this led to the demise of the hatchback that imho has only been resurrected to meet consumption regulations.

    Applying this legend, it makes sense to offer the 9-5 SC with the 2.0T, since that is a “reasonable” engine with high utility, since those in the stylish category wanting a stylish V6 will buy a sedan anyway.

    • It’s a legend, far from a fact and very incorrect. I’m in the stylish catagory and I want the wagon, infact it’s a deal breaker for me if the wagon doesn’t come with at least the Aero styling package. There are plenty of people, esp here in the states that go stylish but buy SUVs and sports wagons. You really think Escalade or Range Rover buyers are looking for utility? The Audi A3 has seen a huge sales increase here as well, I know some of those people and they are very concerned with style, that’s why they bought and Audi. Point being there are a growing group of people who want both.

    • Jeff,
      yesterday I first posted the press release of SCNA, but it is not available at the SAAB media site. 🙁
      But I still have the link on my History, so I can compare the SCNA text with the global text.
      On the Global press release you can read this about the engines.

      Backed by the same all-turbo gasoline, bioethanol and diesel powertrain line-up as the 9-5 sedan, the SportCombi includes Saab’s industry-leading XWD all-wheel-drive system and advanced features such as: Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis control, adaptive cruise control, Bi-Xenon Smart Beam adaptive lighting, keyless entry and starting, tri-zone air conditioning and a Pilot Head-up Display which projects information, aircraft-style in the windshield.

      And this is the SCNA version of that paragraph.

      Backed by a turbo engine, the SportCombi includes Saab’s industry-leading XWD all-wheel-drive system and advanced features such as: Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis control, adaptive cruise control, Bi-Xenon adaptive lighting, keyless entry and starting, tri-zone air conditioning and a Pilot Head-up Display which projects information, aircraft-style on the windshield.

      It really looks like the USA will have only 1 engine available on the 9-5SC.

      Is this a problem ??

      I can’t tell, but why aren’t people complaining about the 9-3?
      The hole 9-3 range (SS,SC,X,Conv) is offered with only 1 engine !!!!

      I think it would be a mistake to only offer the Turbo6, but offering the Turbo4 with the option of upgrading it to 260 HP is not a bad option.

      • I’m not complaining about you Red J, you did a fantastic job getting all the info there was to give right away, nice work actually :). I’m saying something seems fishy with this release…when they say, “Backed by a turbo engine,” they could mean “backed by a 2.0T or a 2.8T, not and. It just seems odd that they wouldn’t specify engines yet, right? I mean that’s pretty basic stuff for a press release that goes so far as to explain what sort of doodads are operating the electronic liftgate. I can’t imagine why they would leave that information out of a press release like that if the info is going to be out shortly anyway.

        The other glaring detail I was upset was left out was the availability of a sunroof. It was annoying that they left it off the ’10 sedans, but the wagon? That thing needs it or it’s going to get claustrophobic pretty quickly. At least mention it will be an option on the next model year or something, is that too much to ask? I agree with you on the 9-3 engine range and going with the 4 instead of the 6, and I understand the cost concern as a motivation to keep it that way. It makes sense, not just for production but warranty coverage as well I’d think down the road to have the 2.0T as the primary engine to stock parts/service for. Seems like just a cost move.

        And I’m sure we all join together holding our collective breath to see what that interior dash panel is made of….

      • The 9-3 range shall (in US) only be offered with 1 engine, the 2.0T, because that is, as is pointed out elsewhere, the trademark of SAAB’s is the four-cylinder with turbo. With the 9-5 range, it is a different question. I shall be offered with the four-cylinder, but should be offered with the six-cylinder as well in order to cover for most potential buyers.
        Concerning the AWD and the FWD, SAAB has just recently been starting offering the (superb) AWD system, BUT, it brings on weight and is not usually necessary unless you drive in winter landscape. I think the base offering should be the FWD with AWD offered at specific locations, see discussion below. Note, Subaru – which might be one of SAAB’s target brands have AWD on all their cars. Concerning Subaru, of their sales of 264 000 cars during 2010, about 30 % or 83 000 cars were from the Impreze / Legacy range (9-3 / 9-5) competitors. The price range of these cars are 18 – 27 000 US$, where the top of the line is with the 3.6l six-cylinder boxer motor (no turbo). Thus, almost 70 % comes from SUV’s (Forester (20 – 28 k$, Outback (23 – 30 k$) and Tribeca (30 – 36 k$) which might give an indication on the sales possibilities of the 9-4X. With too high price of the 9-4X, there is a risk that SAAB will price out themselves from this(growing) market of SUV’s.
        If you want a manual stick, please make it possible to order one and take the hit with long delivery time. If the figure of 93% auto-cars in US is correct, this should be the move.
        Also, consider – in co-operation with the dealers – different range of vehicles in different areas of US and CA. After all, it is possible for the dealers to transport the cars between locations as long as the car is in the country.

  19. people, people, people,

    why get so upset…the 9-5 SC will have one engine, just like the 9-5 saloon.

    the only Saab I recall with 2 engines is ‘The Monster’ of 1956

  20. Lovely. I’d like the 9-5 SC 2.0T manual please. XWD would be nice but FWD is OK as long as the manual is available in the US. I suspect the 2.0T and XWD combination may not be available, much less with a manual transmission.

  21. Most likely more options will come later on, with Hirch, there’s no power problem with 2 liter engine.

  22. Regarding the trunk space. I think its big enough but I wonder how it could be smaller then the insignia? Insigna 540l and 9-5 sc 524l. Strange!?

    • The only thing I can think here is they were somehow measuring volume not to the ceiling but some midway point for visibility? I know it makes no sense, but the trunk space of the sedan and the space behind the seats of the wagon is nearly identical. Only logical explanation I can think of unless they seriously tapered the rear.

    • 3% difference is easily explainable by the slightly different glass shape, or slight different trim shape/structure

  23. The 2.0T is the right size of engine and there will be more downsizing approach in the future. The Holden 2.8 T is not economical enough.
    Otherwise Saab has to buy the 2.0T, the 2.8T and the two different versions of the FIAT 1.9T(T)iD. So you can’t get a good price at this low level of sales we see currently. Integration and homologation costs are an other point to look at. Customer will look on fuel consumption / CO2 g/km because of tax issues and greener thinking.
    Saab stands for 4 cylinder with turbo. The Holden V6 has a good standing, the V6 OPEL engines never had before. I think a 2.0T with Hirsch tuning is OK for a really nice ride on the german Autobahn.

    RIP V6 @ Saab. Back to the roots (Saab DNA 😉 )

  24. Adrian, But the SAAB 9-5 Sc is 2% longer and the new Saab 9-5 sc is only 3% bigger then the new SAAB 9-5 ss hmmm

    SAAB 9-5 Sc 527l
    SAAB 9-5 Ss 513l
    Opel Insignia 540l

    I think its strange numbers 🙂

  25. Come on now kids…look at it this way…the 9-5 SC is a REALITY! OK? 😀

    Until there are OFFICIAL specs…everything is on the table.

    It will come with an engine…it will have AT LEAST two wheels driven (FWD as a minimum), and most likely will have a transmission. I’d hate to have to push it around town…but if I have to…then I will. I just want the car!

    And remember folks…Hirsch is now in the mix in the US…so for those who cringe at the thought of the 2.0T…let Hirsch breathe on it…and there will be all smiles. 🙂

    • WARNING…cheeky response continuing here!! Sarcasm meter is pegged!

      Oh…and by the way…there is a “small” car manufacturer in Germany, who is downsizing engines across their line as we speak. Replacing V6s with 2.0Ts…and replacing V8s with supercharged V6s.

      I think their name is Audi…and they seem to be doing “OK” right now in selling cars.

      So the lesson here is…don’t get your shorts in a wad until you know the entire story.

      • I agree that manufacturers are going to smaller more Sophisticated motors BUT for a 50k performance sedan 300hp is expected. Anything less won’t sell here in the states. The new Ford F150 is an example of this. The flagship motor is a twin turbo V6. People can get over the numner of cylinders but they won’t except less HP. By putting in the 220hp they will have less HP than cars costing 20k less. HUGE mistake.

        • You already have a 300hp performance sedan in the line up. If you start to compare how many horsepower you can get for the money the discusion will be difficult. There are plenty of small sports car with more power that costs a lot less then the 9-5 and all other cars in that segment.

        • Your are right…but SAAB have already proven you can get close to 300bhp from a 4 cyl engine with the Turbo X. And I’m sure getting it to 300bhp is no problem at all.

          Horsepower isn’t the issue here I don’t think…it seems to be the number of cylinders putting that horsepower out that is causing angst amongst the flock. And it shouldn’t be.

          Case in point…

          http://www.worldcarfans.com/110042625865/f1-teams-close-to-agreeing-new-2013-engine-formula—4

          Me thinks that F1 engines will have a tad MORE than 300bhp when they hit the tarmac. 😉

          And remember these 1300-1500bhp 4 clyinder engines from F1 of years gone by?

          http://racingotaku.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/best-f1-engine/

          So let’s not get too wrapped up in cylinder counts…it’s how the car ultimately performs that really matters, afterall.

          • The Turbo X was not a 4-cylinder. It was the very first time the 300HP turbocharged 2.8L V6 Holden engine made its appearance in a Saab. The old 2.3L 4-cyl B235R from the last-generation 9-5 was making 260HP before they retired the H-Engine family, and I think it could have done much better. Tuners have no trouble at all getting it to 300HP and beyond; I’d imagine that 300HP would be a pretty modest, street-able tune. I bet it would still make better than 27 on the highway, too, if they gave it direct-injection.

  26. Just something I was thinking about! What will you use all the HP for? There is mostly bad roads or traffic jams! 🙂

  27. 2.0T with 260 HP – make it Hirsch if need be (i.e. a standard price + Hirsch upgrade, with no non-Hirsch cars available). One equipment version called “LOADED”. If Saab needs to earn $45K per car sold, just make it an $45K car, and not offer a bunch of models with different prices all of whom have to be discounted in the end because each one misses something.

  28. I’m worried for the 9-5 here in the States because of the low EPA mpg rating, even for the 2.0T. I was at my Saab/Cadillac dealer yesterday and looked at the 2.0T auto 9-5. It lists 220 HP and 18/28 (city/highway) mpg. Then I looked at a 2011 Cadillac CTS coupe, 304 HP, and AWD which showed 18/27 mpg, only one less mpg. I know the Caddy is a bit smaller, 8 inches, but it weighs about the same, has 304 HP, and is AWD. Maybe the Saab does better in actual use but the potential customer doesn’t know that. I think many potential US buyers will just take one look at those numbers and walk away.
    And, whee is the 20.T made? I thought Germany, but the sticker said USA.

  29. Regarding Audi and BMW ‘down-sizing’ of engines…they are also ‘up-sizing’ the performance (in the conventional sense…never mind lowering CO2 and improving MPG…a juggling act Saab seems incapable of at the moment).

    @Saabdude: Where are the Saab supercharged 6’s? Where are the 8 speed Automatics?

    Saab is caught in no-man’s land right now.

    Their 4 cylinders (even expensively Hirsched) are hooked to previous generation automatics (and Folks, like or not, the vast majority of automobiles in North America are sold as such–Audis, BMWs, Mercs, Porsches even). And with latest generation ones from the Germans they shift faster than manuals anyways.

    That said…A Hirsched 2.8 XWD 9-5 Combi will not sell in North America. It’s not Halo enough…it will be priced stratospherically…and it will be caught in the tide of rising fuel prices.

    A 4ycl 9-5SC (never mind sedan) will be similarly challenged (and in 2011/12…in Canada…I can’t imagine a single BMW, E class Mercedes buyer who’s going to suffer with a 5 speed automatic and 220 HP FWD).

    We’re stuck competing on price again…and how low can we go?

    And though I wait to see real pics in side view…the Carscoop renderings did the car no favour. While I think the sedan is a beauty…the wagon end looks tacked on, ungainly.

    I’ll end on a (more) provocative note (bit off the cuff after reading Ted Y’s post above):

    CO2 seems to be the compelling variable in Europe right now and all Saab’s engineering resources seem singularly focused on that…and doing well too (Sales in Sweden are good, no? UK getting better…) . For the time being, that environmental factor is not relevant in the purchase decision of the vast majority of car buyers ( nor Saab owners, I would argue) in North America. Stop the hemmorhaging and withdraw from the North American market until you have the other stuff sorted out.

    • “A juggling act Saab seems incapable of at the moment”?

      They’re doing stormingly well. 119g/km from 190bhp? But that’s the diesels, of course – and what they’re not doing so hot on is the petrol engines, though, and of course they’re the only ones you’re seeing that side of the pond.

      Could it be because they’re buy-ins from GM, rather than from Fiat? Does that give them less scope to fiddle and tickle?

      As for the multi-multi-multi speed autoboxes – seriously, what’s the point other than bragging rights? If there’s any kind of half-sensible torque curve, then 5 ratios is plenty for seamless push all the way up to thoroughly illegal speeds. Yeh, I know, it’s all about the war-of-the-brochures/road-tests, because that’s what gets backsides into showrooms… Depressing, isn’t it?

      (And, no, I can’t imagine many 5/E buyers “struggling” with FWD, either…)

    • “Stop the hemmorhaging and withdraw from the North American market until you have the other stuff sorted out.”

      Totally unrealistic.

      Being that the US is SAAB’s largest market…and adding in Canada as well…pulling out of North America is pure suicide…and will force Swade to start up ALFAsUnited.com.

      “In the United States, which is Saab’s single largest market, Saab has reached several key objectives since its February 23 purchase by Dutch sports car maker Spyker,…”

      http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2010/05/afp-report-on-saab.html

      Do you really want SAAB to close its doors for good? Not likely.

      • @ Saabdude: With all due respect you’ve linked to a document from May 2010…

        “In the United States, which is Saab’s single largest market, Saab has reached several key objectives since its February 23 purchase by Dutch sports car maker Spyker, noted Michael Colleran, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America.
        SAAB USA has built a staff, re-filled the pipeline to its 207 dealers and signed an agreement with what was then GMAC but is now Ally Bank, which is providing financing to Saab dealers and customers….

        The styling for the 9-3 hasn’t been frozen yet but it will be more sporty and aggressive than the current sedan model. “Think aircraft,” said Mueller, who said Saab has to be more distinctive to set itself off from other manufacturers.”

        How much of that has come to fruition? Honestly. The Pipline is full alright…to the point of having (according to Wulf on an earlier post) 260-odd days of stock (twice as many as the next worst !). To say nothing of the fact that Mike Colleran is gone and “born from jets” has been ejected…
        Moreover, there are no competitive leasing arrangements in Canada currently.

        As a two Saab ‘family’ (’08 Turbo X and ’09 9-3 2.0T) the last thing I want is for Saab to disappear (in North America, selfishly Canada). But I’m beginning to question my Religion…

  30. Stop the hemmorhaging and withdraw from the North American market until you have the other stuff sorted out.

    Really? You feel Saab would be better off pulling out of NA and just concentrating on Europe and other smaller markets?

    • Last figures I seem to recall from before it all went pear-shaped had a total of about 20-25% of 9-3 and 9-5 sales being in the US.

      The remainder of the US’s 30-odd% total share of Saab production was the US-only -X (pre 9-3x) models.

  31. True SAABs should only be equipped with small turbo charged four bangers. For me, that is one of the corner stones in the “SAAB way”.

  32. @Sting: In parallel threds today, I’m reading glowing reviews and satisfaction with < 200 HP diesels (and understanding such given their fuel pricing) from our European Brothers and Sisters …and about congestion charges and insurance premiums based on low CO2 levels….and those realities are alien to my purchase decision here in the Wilds of North Toronto (and to anybody else I know, locally…).

    Things may change when (?) gas goes to $ 6.00 a gallon in US/Canada (well…we are a bit more expensive up here) but that's probably 2 years away …and if our governments bring in sanctions against CO2 etc. But I'm not qualified as Soothsayer.

    There must be romance in our message…CO2 and safety is not enough here (and I don't think it's enough anywhere…we're not doing THAT WELL in Sweden even). Somehow we have to capture the imagination and spirit of Carlsson…Eklund…Blomqvist…and I see none of that in the official marketing nor product. The 9-4x is going to be caught in the same betwixt-between . I read often that any sales of the 9-4x will be 'gravy in the US. But that gravy needs to have some steak attached to it and the procurement of those vehicles and their selling will extract huge resources too. You don't get nothin' for nothin'.

    My GF said to me the other night…."It seems Saab doesn't really now what it is"….it's not competitive for the most part with BMW (and "we're not going BMW hunting" apparently…). But we're sure as hell not priced like a Subaru either. Hopefully we're bring the best of both worlds to the table and not double compromise. Soon.

    • “It seems Saab doesn’t really now what it is”

      Smart Girl! But maybe Saab should capitalize on the fact that they fill the niche between Subaru and BMW &Co. I’ve read some comment today saying that there are 2 Saab buyers; those looking for a utility vehicle and those looking for a luxury car. I don’t agree, in the past this distinction didn’t exist, Saab was the smart choice because it combined both traits to some extent.

  33. This will be the true test of whether Saab/Spyker is a truly different thinker or just another mindless automaker. The mindless thing would be to say that wagons make a small % of sales and that manuals also make a small % of sales, therefore the wagons should be automatics. If Saab really wants to sell to evangelical enthusiasts who would anchor the company’s stability, they’ll offer manuals on all trims of all of their cars.

  34. Saab needs a focus group. Not one made entirely of soulless, unimaginative bureaucrats, but of the enthusiasts and loyalists who have stuck with the Saab name for the past 30+ years. Saab used to be something nobody else could be. Now’s it’s something nobody else wants to be.

    Back to the roots. Back to sensible, manual-transmission HOT hatchbacks with a splash of Scandinavian luxury, but not too much. Bring the features people want with good quality materials to lower price-points without going toe-to-toe with the Japanese and Koreans. Back to the middle, where it was a nice enough car to be desirable while being cheap enough to be attainable.

    Of course, it would be really cool if Saab made a return to motorsport, though they’re in no financial condition to do support anything of the sort. But if they offered models that could be adapted by privateers…*fades off into a daydream*

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