Gentlemen, start your engines: the Saab 9-5 SportCombi is here

UPDATE: I’ve changed the text with the official Press-release from Saab UK.
January 19, 2011

——

All-new Saab 9-5 SportWagon to Debut at Geneva

• Next step in Saab’s biggest-ever new product offensive
• Distinctive alternative choice in premium estate segment
• Styling carries forward 9-5 saloon’s bold design language
• Order book opens in Spring, first customer deliveries from September

Trollhättan, Sweden: Saab Automobile takes the next step in the biggest new product offensive in its history when the much-awaited 9-5 SportWagon is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

Sleek and fun-to-drive, the SportWagon adds versatility to the widely acclaimed attributes of the 9-5 saloon and will bring a distinctive, alternative choice to the premium large estate segment.

It shares the saloon’s bold, AeroX-inspired looks and features an extended, falling roof-line which culminates in a steeply raked rear screen flanked by signature Saab ‘wraparound’ window glazing. The result is an imposing body with a low stance and a dynamic, visual appeal that concedes nothing to the requirements of load-carrying.

Smart cargo handling features include an adaptable multi-fold floor, flexible U-rail load space configuration and under-floor stowage with a sealed wet storage compartment. A programmable, powered tailgate is also available.

Backed by the same all-turbo petrol and diesel powertrain line-up as the 9-5 saloon, the SportWagon includes Saab’s industry-leading XWD all-wheel-drive system and advanced features such as: Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis control, adaptive cruise control (late 2012), Bi-Xenon SmartBeam adaptive lighting, keyless entry and starting, tri-zone air conditioning and a Head-up Display which projects information, aircraft-style in the windshield.

The order book for the SportWagon opens in Spring, with first customer deliveries to follow from September. It will significantly broaden the appeal of the new 9-5 range in a segment where Saab, with its tradition for designing versatile vehicles, has enjoyed estate sales volumes on a par with saloon levels.


Red J here
The Swedish press release says that the order books will open from mid April, and the first deliveries will be in August. Difeerent markets will have different delivery dates.

“The launch of the 9-5 SportWagon is a much-awaited next step in the roll-out of our new product offensive,” says Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. “It will take Saab back into the large estate segment where we have established a strong presence in many key markets with our previous offering.”

Sporty character
Designed in parallel with the saloon, the 9-5 SportWagon shares the same bold frontal styling and adds a swept, ‘wraparound’ rear window graphic. This echoes the 9-5’s signature frontal theme and gives the SportWagon its own distinctive identity. The dramatic, sweeping roof-line is extended by a deep rear spoiler integrated into the top of the tailgate. Ultra-slim roof rails that blend into the car’s svelte silhoutte are fitted as standard.

Signature Saab themes, such as the strong C-pillar with its hockey stick extension of the belt-line, are combined with a prominent rear shoulder contour to give the SportWagon a muscular and dynamic stance.

The tailgate is raked forward to underline the car’s dynamic character. It features a full-width ‘ice-block’ rear light bar which wraps into light units at either side, continuing a new signature Saab styling theme first seen on the 9-5 saloon and 9-4X crossover.

Dynamic and functional
The deep cargo deck is fully carpeted and optimized for space and ease-of-use. The 60/40 split rear seatbacks fold down almost completely flat without having to reposition the seat squab or remove the head restraints. Careful attention to soundproofing in the rear bodywork attenuates noise, vibration and resonance so that occupants enjoy a level of interior refinement similar to that of the saloon.

With the seatbacks lowered, the cargo deck is almost two metres long (1,962 mm) and offers an adaptable load capacity of up to 1,600 liters (527 litres, rear seats up). The side walls are completely flat and upright, creating a clean, open space without any hard-to-use corners or rear wheel-arch intrusions. Compartments in the side walls offer convenient stowage for small items. Four tie-down loops and a 12-volt power outlet also come as standard.

An optional, U-shaped track around the outside of the floor provides flexible space configuration. As in the 9-5 saloon, it carries an adaptable, telescopic dividing rail which allows the cargo deck to be split as required so that different sized items can be separated and kept in place.

The floor, with a signature Saab aircraft-shaped handle, folds back in steps to access under-floor storage, with a sub-floor 65 mm below the main floor height – ideal for the separate stowage of flat or small items.

A pull-out support arm can be slotted in place to keep the folded floor in a fixed position. This provides further support for items stored in the under-floor recess, as a flexible alternative to using the entire cargo deck.

The underside of the floor has two fittings for flat stowage of the U-rail divider. They also carry hooks that can be used to organize bags, for example. A waterproof plastic liner, available as an option, can be dropped into the recess to provide a separate wet storage area for sports equipment, outdoor clothing or muddy boots.

Smart tailgate
For additional convenience, the tailgate is available with a remotely-controlled, electric power operation. It can be fully opened and closed via a rotary knob in the driver’s door or a button on the car’s key fob. A touch pad on the outside of the tailgate, above the number plate, also triggers powered opening and closing.

A programmable mode can be used to raise the tailgate to a lower position if there is restricted clearance overhead, such as inside a garage. The opening height is pre-set via the rotary knob, which can also disable the powered function.

For ease of loading, the tailgate opens down to bumper level with a lift-over height of only 648 mm. The cargo deck floor is also flush with the tailgate opening to facilitate sliding heavy loads inside. A down-lighter in the tailgate and small sidewall lights provide excellent illumination of the load space at night.

A retracting cargo cover can also be slotted into lugs in the sidewalls immediately behind the rear seats. It keeps items out of sight and includes a convenient one-touch action which allows the ends of the locating bar to slide up channels on the inside of the D-pillars for convenient access to the cargo deck.

Red J

9-5 Diesel under 120 g/km CO2 (?)

Magnus Hansson seems to like to keep people interested in Saab by spreading rumours about new Saab cars.

On march 2010 he spoke about the 9-3 emitting less than 120 g/km CO2. A couple of months later those cars were on sale.

Well it seems like Mr. Hansson is spreading some rumours once again. In an interview about Saab hunting for Volvo and Audi in the company car market in Sweden he indicates that Saab has still some card to put on the table.

Original text:

Dragloket i dag är den mindre 9-3:an, som också har kämpat sig under den magiska miljöbilsgränsen på 120 gram koldioxid per kilometer, något som är viktigt inte minst för företagsförsäljningen. Frågan är om det kan vara något som även 9-5:an kommer under?

– Det får vi se, säger Magnus Hansson och ler.

Google-trans:

Main engine is now less of 9-3: an, who also has struggled over the magic green car limit of 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, which is important, especially for corporate sales.The question is whether there might be something that even 9-5 is over?

– We’ll see, “said Magnus Hansson and smiles.

So, will we see a 9-5 emitting less than 120 g/km CO2?

I say yes. And although I have no Djup Strupe to back up my affirmation, I see different hints out there that point in that direction.

2011 will be a very interesting Year for Saab !!!!!

Thanks to Gaijp and TurboLover for the hint.


Addendum

BMW will present in March its 320d Efficient dynamics Touring with 161hp and 114 g/km CO2.

This is in my eyes the only competitor for the Saab, because BMW is also trying to combine good performance with low CO2 values.

SAAB at the Brussels Motor show

Saab will be hosting a press conference at 10:30 am(GMT+1) at the Brussels Motor show. So if anybody gets some info about that press conference, feel free to post it here.

Saab will be there with the 9-4X, being Brussels the official European presentation of the car, and the 9-3 ePower.

It seems that this is the first really post-GM Motor-show as Saab will be surrounded by BMW, Alfa Romeo and LandRover.

AutoExpress compares the Saab 9-5 vs. the E-Class

Our friend and TurboX driver, NorthTorontoPunter, has found what I think is the first comparo 9-5 vs. Teutonian 3, at least one of them.

In this case the Saab Aero Turbo6 XWD has been compared with the Mercedes E350 Sport. (link)

To make things short, the Merc has won the battle.

Saab’s new 9-5 flagship provides incredible value for money, with an advanced four-wheel-drive system, more power and torque than the Mercedes, plus a distinctive and roomy cabin. The bad news for the firm’s bosses is that it narrowly fails to make the grade against its illustrious rival….

It doesn’t seem that the big pieces of black plastic, read IP-fascia, have been the problem here, but if we continue reading,

……– and its poor resale values and thirsty engine are the main culprits.

we see that the main Problems of the car are a “unknown” resale value and the auto transmission used in that car.

I can’t say nothing about resale values, I think nobody knows how much a used Saab 9-5 in 3 or 4 years will cost, but if you lease such a car, the lease companies will try to use a very low resale value, just in case. I hope Saab tries to remediate this, but I don’t know if they even can.

And what about the consume values, or as Europeans say, the CO2 values?
The Saab emits 244 g/km of CO2 in the combined European cycle, the RWD Merc only emits 205 g/km CO2, but even the E350 4matic emits 15 g/km CO2 less than the Saab.

And what is the problem here, why can’t Saab get similar values as the Merc with an automatic transmission if they seem to be able to do miracles with the 9-3 diesel?

The problem here, imho, is the transmission. I’ll bet 1$ that changing the current transmission with the new9 speed automatic transmission from ZF the 9-5 would get their values under those of the Merc.

Saab should ask ZF if they are interested in a low volume test series 😉

Swedish sales evolution 2010

I wanted to talk a bit about the Saab sales numbers in Sweden for December. But the pace of the comments here at SaabsUnited is so high, it is almost impossible to keep with that. Well I think this is the price for being at this sde of the fence. 🙂

Nevertheless, I’ve made some colourful graphs showing the sales evolution of Saab in Sweden.

Lets begin with the performance of the marque.

Saab sales performance Sweden 2010

As you see Saab has performed twice as good as the Swedish market, but it has been driven mostly by the 9-3. The big in July-August show the model year change.

Read moreSwedish sales evolution 2010

Do Singaporeans get new interiors?

I’ve found a really interesting article on AsiaOne.

Saab sold in Singapore in the first 11 months of 2010 only 13 Saab cars, which seems to be very very low even for Singapore. But those Saab cars were only 9-3’s.

The 9-5 has been presented today in Singapore. It will only be available in two versions, a Turbo4 in Vector trim and the Turbo6 XWD in Aero trim. Maybe Saab can double the figures in Singapore this year with the introduction of the 9-5 Sedan. The 9-4X and the 9-5 SC will also follow this year.

But more interesting than the introduction of the 9-5 in a new market are the pictures in the article of the interior of the car . What at the first glance, looking at the thumbnails, looks like a dirty IP panel, is in reality a new material for the dull mate-black IP fascia.

The pictures seem to be from the Vector trim, and the new material looks like a grey wood structure. It is not easy to define, because those are no studio pictures, but it is definitely a different interior finish.

🙂

Update:
After reading all your comments, I would like to share some more thoughts about it.

The Geneva Motor show is almost there, and most rumours say that the 9-5 SC will be presented there. Other rumours also say that the 9-5 will be updated in combination with the introduction of the Wagon. If I were Saab, and I had some prototype IP panels, or even production-quality ones, I would show them in Singapore.
This was the introduction of the car in that market, so people maybe doesn’t even know about the IP fascia “problem”.

We see in the pictures at least 2 different cars, a silver one in Vector trim and a white one in Aero trim. The one in Aero trim does even have the sunroof, so I expect it also has the colour Infotainment screen installed.
Unfortunately we don’t have no pictures of the interior of that 9-5 Aero.

I’ve already said, that it is difficult to define the material used for that IP fascia, but it could be some grey wood, like used in the E-Class or 5-Series, or maybe some acrylic material with a colour structure.

Talking about wood, how would this finish fit with the cocoa interior and the amarello wood panels? I don’t know, but if they decide to put wood as the IP fascia, which is the place where I would expect it,the amarello wood should disappear.

BTW, I’m still thinking that those panels should be offered in the K’egg white carbon fibre used on the Trevita cars. At least as an option.

Anti-glare sunglases and LC-Displays

Our friend Arild has a nice post in his own blog about the effects of using polarized sunglasses in combination with the HUD display of his 9-5.

As I also love my sunshades with polarized glasses, I would have loved if the HUD of the new 9-5 would behave the same way as the SID of my OG 9-5. Why am I comparing those different displays? Well they are both based on the same technology, namely LCD.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I don’t have to explain what the Malus’ law is. Nonetheless and in short, if the axes of two polarizing filters are orthogonal, the polarisers are crossed and in theory no light is transmitted.

Well a LCD screen uses the Malus’ law to let more or less background light pass through and show brighter and darker spots. And if the polarizing axe of our sunshades is orthogonal to the polarizing axe of the LCD, we will only see a black screen.

Coming back to the LCD’s in Saabs and other cars. I had a Citroen C2, in that car the information and radio Display was always pitch black when I had my shades on, I had to put my head almost horizontally to see something on that display. On the Peugeot of my wife it is almost perfect. If my head is vertical I see a darker display, but at least I see something. If I incline the head to one side the display gets darker, and if i incline the head to the other side the display gets brighter. But the best result is still the SID of my OG 9-5. Full brightness with my head in vertical position and dark display putting my head in a horizontal position, but I don’t usually drive in that position 😉

And what about the HUD? It seems like the polarizing axe of the display hasn’t been well chosen. Is somebody to blame? Not really, because the inclination of the windscreen might be the reason, but it is a problem that could have been corrected during the development of the HUD.

At the end of the day, new Saab should take care of such details, and I think they will.

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