The 9-5 SportCombi back end

I think no part of Saab has been discussed so often here as the two back ends of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi.

So maybe to say the last word about it or maybe to distract myself from Ms Eva Srejber, here are two equal pictures of the two back ends both published by Saab.

I like the EU-lights more, but I would buy the US tailgate. My problem is, the recess for the US license plate is two small for an EU-plate 🙁

So its good for me not having to take a decision, at least not now 🙂

Saab 9-5 SC dimensions

Saab has published the 9-5SC sketches with the main measurements. I’ve attached the sketch of the sedan for comparison purposes.

The SC is 2 mm longer and 18 mm higher. The head room is on the front seat 6mm larger and 15mm on the rear seats.

The rear track has also increased by 2 mm

Left: dimessions in mm; Right: dimessions in inch


Post-Geneva, plenty of work remains for Saab

As a Saab blogger, I have a regular daily routine that sees me scouring email, comments and a large number of RSS feeds on a daily basis.

Reading comments first thing in the morning lets me know what’s happened overnight. Emails, of course, are the way I stay in touch and see new material that people bring to my attention. When those are out of the way, I get to my RSS feeds, which summarise news stories on a variety of topics and from a large number of websites.

When I’m away at an event, as I was last week, the RSS feeds tend to slip by the wayside because there’s so much going on. When it comes to events like Geneva, I don’t necessarily need to read about the news, I’m right in the thick of it.

This morning, when I opened up Google Reader, I was confronted with an interesting situation. Having not touched the service for over a week, there were thousands of news stories waiting for my review. This collection of links provided much more than that, however. What I had at my disposal was a snapshot of Saab’s media coverage over the last week – and it revealed a few interesting things.

As you might expect, you couldn’t wave a stick around the internet last week without hitting half a dozen different stories about the Saab PhoeniX design concept. It was like a PhoeniX piñata out there. Any website that’s ever run a story featuring an engine seemed to have a picture of the car with the flying buttresses.

The other prominent stories were concerned with Saab’s new IQon technology.

I have to point out here that Saabs United’s own coverage followed a similar pattern. RedJ, Eggs and I did try to make sure we brought you all a well-rounded offering from Geneva, but the PhoeniX was still quite dominant, even here.

So, plenty of Saab coverage. Both IQon and PhoeniX were well received by the vast majority of news services and websites that featured them. That’s all well and good. But it does leave Saab with some significant work to do.

For example…… I had over 500 stories waiting on my Google News “Saab” feed this morning. How many of those news stories dealt with the Saab 9-5 SportCombi?


And how many of those stories were from Geneva, rather than just re-hashes from the press release?


Aside from the PhoeniX concept, Saab also had the Saab 9-4x, the Saab 9-5 SportCombi and the Saab 9-3 Griffin (with an emphasis on the sub-120g/km SportCombi) at debut or near-debut status at Geneva.

Such a huge media focus on PhoeniX is great for the Saab brand in terms of general awareness but doesn’t do nearly as much to help out with vehicles that are actually for sale, either now or very soon.

To add to the urgency, the only ‘major’ show in the next six months is the New York Auto Show, one where the significance of the 9-3 Griffin’s emissions status will be irrelevant. Wagons are welcomed by Saab fans, but the Saab 9-5 wagon won’t be as big a story in New York as it is in Europe.

20/20 hindsight would have me wonder if it might have been better to save PhoeniX for the New York show and focus the spotlight on Saabs production models in Geneva.

It’s a pointless question now, though, as the dice have been cast. All Saab can do now is roll with the outcome and make the best of their opportunities. I suspect that means a major promotional effort for the 9-3 Griffin and 9-5 SportCombi over the next six months in Europe, and the same for the 9-4x in the US.

Some sort of viral video or prominent event might be needed to push one or more of these cars into the public’s mind.

Monday Night Mega-Snippets – Happy/Sad edition

I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along a belated, but very happy 82nd birthday wish to Mr Saab, Erik Carlsson.

His birthday was last Saturday, March 5th.

50 years ago, Erik nearly took a placing in the Monte Carlo rally driving a station wagon. He finished fourth. Some brief video here.


I had a chat with Manfred from Hirsch, at the Geneva Motor Show. There are some new body kit items coming from the 9-5 soon. They look fantastic from the early imagery that I’ve seen, but they’re not ready to be shown yet.

What he could talk to me about was this new, lightweight wheel. How light? The wheel itself weight just 11 kilograms. When you put a tyre on it, the weight doubles to 22 kg.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of a wheel being the same weight as the tyre that’s placed on it is a bit of a mindblower.


A note from TTELA about the Saab factory:

Saab will be going to maximum production in the next few weeks thanks to strong orders towards the end of February.

Sounds like those Independence Day announcements have caused some interest.


A tiny bit of Djup Strupery….

Talk has come through that the Saab 9-5x has been signed off very recently, for release in MY2013.

We watch and see.


And speaking of the 9-5, if you’ve never seen Saab’s U-rail system in action, there’s some video here demonstrating it from Geneva on the new Saab 9-5 SportCombi.


TreeHugger is the Anti-NTP.

It’s great that Saab is thinking about hybrids and stop-start systems and all that, and it’s not nothing that a car this sporty can get in the mid-40 MPG range, but for a concept car that is supposed to be forward-looking, it’s not enough. It just doesn’t cut it these days.

It’s a CONCEPT you bunch of double-rainbow dreadlocked moonbeams.


An image from comments…….. by Jeff the resident photoshopper


Last, but by no means least….

Vale David Calabrese

Many Saab fans and club members in the US are mourning the loss of David Calabrese last week. David was tragically struck down in car accident in Chicago.

My correspondence with Dave was minimal, but it was very obvious that he was a passionate Saab fan. He wrote to me several times earlier this year telling me about observations he made at Saab dealers and auto shows that left him very concerned for the brand, some of which I passed on to Saab in North America.

I’ve had a number of people write to me about his passing and it’s quite obvious that he was held in very high esteem by all. It saddens me that I never had an opportunity to meet this old-school Saaber.

David Calabrese was 70 years of age.

Saab 9-5SC MY 12 – a closer look

I think in the last two days I’ve spent too much time in and around the 9-5 SC. 😉

It is a real good looking car, inside and outside. It has loots of room in the trunk with upright rear seats, and even more if the backrests are lowered, but it really has one drawback.

I think it is the only Wagon with a strong C and D pillar, which means that you look into a long tunnel while looking into the interior rear-view mirror. But they offer a solution to that.

UPDATE: I’ve found a last photo.

Read moreSaab 9-5SC MY 12 – a closer look

More photos and video from Geneva 2011

Well, let’s start with the fun stuff, shall we?

From Swisstroll, we have our inimitable host, Swade, along with Jason Castriota and Golfhunter.  Looks like they’re having a good time!!



I laughed out loud at the photo from Golfhunter. It’s certainly not the Saab 9-5, which I may add, looks absolutely magnificent in this color — Java Brown. Can you guess why I laughed?

That’s right! I chuckled at this picture because one can clearly see the Opel and the Subaru logo and banner, respectively. They both had a shot at being closely related to Saab, and neither was able to make it work. There, right in front of them, is this gleaming 9-5, full of potential and energy. I guess that you could call it schadenfreude. (Of course, Subaru is on a roll of their own, but it’s still an odd juxtaposition.)

In another bit of fun at someone else’s expense, check out the write up over at Autoblog on the Chris Bangle/Jason Castriota confrontation as noted in these pages yesterday. Hint: one of the designers was called out for “hassling” the other. I’ll let you be the judge.

We’ll wrap up with a one-minute long review of the new Saab 9-5 as posted by MotorsTV France.   Good capture.

Well, it turned out that it was all fun stuff. Who knew? 😉

More Saab ink from the Geneva Auto Show 2011

Once again, to augment the very capable and welcome coverage from Geneva by our own Swade and RedJ, I bring you the following links and information from around the internet.  Enjoy!


Via MusicforaNurse on Twitter:  I think the Saab PhoeniX hit the mark!


Take a look at the excellent photos from our good friend Golfhunter.  Well done, Jeff!


I am glad to see a little love for the new 9-5 SportCombi from Autoblog.  They call it “one sharp cargo-hauler”, and I tend to agree:

Autoblog photo of 9-5 SportCombi in Geneva

More 9-5 SportCombi photos from Autoblog may be found here.


Venerable auto media giant Motor Trend weighs in with a reminder that Phoenix was a Pontiac compact in the ’70’s and ’80’s, but certainly gives credit where it is due, saying, “The car may be a bit busy, but it is gorgeous…”


Wired magazine has a great post entitled “Saab’s Surprisingly Slick PhoeniX Hybrid” that, not surprisingly, details as much about the Google-Android-based IQon system as does about the car overall.  I love this bit:

Saab floored a lot of people at the Geneva auto show with the Phoenix, a slick gas-electric concept that provides a glimpse of the automaker’s future now that Spyker’s taken over from General Motors.


James Bell, correspondent for USA Today, says this in a very short article:

Just 12 months ago, Saab was on the verge of liquidation. Today, they are a perfect example of the spirit and energy seen in people and companies poised for growth in the post-meltdown era.

USA Today also takes issue with the fanciful prose from the Saab press kit.  I might agree….


Britain’s What Car? goes under the skin to explore the underpinnings of the Saab PhoeniX with our Jan-Åke Jonsson.

Jonsson insists that the new architecture is essential to Saab’s independence (it was sold by General Motors just over a year ago) and, although expensive, will ultimately save money.

‘We will be able to use the same powertrains in all our vehicles and build them in the same plant (Trollhattan in Sweden), so there are lots of benefits,’ he said. likes the Saab PhoeniX overall, but they dislike the winglets on either side of the roof.  WARNING: “Q” word in use!


Swade, RedJ, Golfhunter, Robin, et al: enjoy Switzerland, keep sending information!

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