Official: 2010 Saab 9-5

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

Marking a new era for Swedish firm Saab is the official launching of its new flagship 9-5 saloon, which the company claims will be the most technologically advanced car it has ever produced. Set to go on sale next year, the car also boasts to have "progressive Scandinavian design, sporty driving and responsible performance."

Inspiration for the car's styling comes from the Aero X concept car as well as from its aviation heritage. The car has a low, muscular stance and a dramatically styled wraparound glasshouse. The windshield and roof were inspired by its classic 900 model.

Simon Padian, Saab brand design chief, said the company is opting for a "fresh, very modern expression" to some of its classic brand design cues. It has visual themes found in recent concept cars, such as the Aero X, which are inspired by Scandinavian design and the brand's aircraft heritage.

"High-tech" features on the new 9-5 include an aviation-inspired head up information display, Bi-Xenon high beam adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry and starting.

Also featured is Saab's DriveSense adaptive chassis, which has real-time damping control. All engines in the range are turbocharged.

Three fuel types are offered -- petrol, diesel and E85 bio ethanol. It's speculated that the biggest seller is likely to be the 2.0 TiD, which produces 158bhp and 258lb ft of torque and has combined fuel economy of 53.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km. It allows the car to go from 0-62mph in 10.1 secs while top speed is 134mph.

The 1.6T petrol unit produces 178bhp and 170lb ft of torque and has CO2 emissions of 179g/km and combined fuel economy of 37.1mpg. While the 2.0T unit is available in both petrol and bio ethanol form, Saab has only released figures for when it runs on petrol. It produces 217bhp, 258lb ft of torque, has CO2 emissions of 198g/km and combined fuel economy of 33.6mpg.

The top of the range 2.8T petrol unit produces 296bhp and 295lb ft of torque, with CO2 emissions of 269g/km and combined fuel economy of 24.8mpg. Jan-Ake Jonsson, Saab's managing director, said that this car is the "start of a new era" for the brand. He added that Saab has created an "advanced and very distinctive product by leveraging the power of [its] roots in key areas."

Press Release

All-new Saab 9-5 Sedan

Sleek, sophisticated and unmistakably Saab, the all-new Saab 9-5 Sedan signals the dawn of a new era for the Saab brand. With progressive, confident styling and advanced technology, Saab's distinctive new flagship will bring a fresh, alternative choice to the premium saloon segment when it goes on sale in 2010.

The clean, sculpted shape embraces the purity of Scandinavian design, and its dramatic wraparound window graphic echoes Saab's aviation heritage. With styling inspired by the award-winning Saab Aero X Concept car and a muscular, low-slung stance, the new Saab 9-5 heralds the introduction of a bold and expressive design language.

The array of high-tech features on offer includes: an aircraft-inspired head-up information display (HUD); adaptive headlights (Bi-Xenon Smart Beam); adaptive cruise control; Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis with real-time damping control; keyless entry and starting; dual-zone climate control; dynamic parking assistance, and Saab XWD with eLSD: the industry-leading all-wheel-drive system.

The all-turbo powertrain line-up is the broadest ever offered by Saab, carrying forward Saab's rightsizing engine strategy focusing on responsible performance through the development of highly efficient four cylinder turbo engines. There is a choice of three fuels - petrol, diesel and E85 bioethanol - and with diesel power, the new 9-5 offers CO2 emissions as low as 139 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 Saab 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,' 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 visual themes found 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 Saab 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. In this interplay of proportions, the windshield and roof are reminiscent of the classic Saab 900 model.

Viewed from any angle, the all-new Saab 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 centre of the grille characterises the assertive, self-confident design language.

The car's dynamic character is emphasized by a falling roof-line that culminates in sweeping rear pillars that buttress a slightly recessed rear screen. Front wings that are subtly flared to blend into the wheels convey latent energy. 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 saloon silhouette, while avoiding the fastback cliché of a four-door coupé look.

Driver-focused cabin

Inside the spacious cabin, simple forms define the architecture and echo the design purity of the exterior. Compared to its predecessor, legroom and shoulder width are increased both front and rear, with class-leading rear legroom. The choice of materials, the fit and finish and the tactile quality of the controls all reflect the new Saab 9-5's premium character.

The driver-focused cockpit is traditional Saab, but its execution is pioneering. The deep centre 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 (HUD) in the windscreen, are 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 5.1 channel surround sound audio system and an 8-inch colour touch screen navigation system with hard disk storage for map data and 10GB for MP3 music files. A large centre console provides storage and connections for several portable devices through USB and 3.5mm AUX ports alongside a 12V power outlet.

Rear passengers can even access their own audio or watch a DVD. The rear seat entertainment unit in the back of the centre console accommodates audio controls and folding viewing screens are installed in the backs of the front seats. Wireless headphones are provided for listening and viewing.

On the road

An array of chassis technology is focused on delivering a sporty, rewarding driving experience that belies the Saab 9-5's size. Saab XWD, the industry-leading all-wheel-drive system already available on the Saab 9-3, is offered at launch with the 2.0-litre turbo and 2.8V6 turbo engines with further applications due in the future. Available throughout the range are: adaptive chassis control, with driver settings selected through Saab DriveSense; Bi-Xenon Smart Beam adaptive headlights and adaptive cruise control. Three different suspension layouts are fitted according to engine power and all 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 Saab 9-5 further develops its rightsizing engine strategy. At launch, the four-cylinder diesel comprises a 160 hp, 2.0-litre turbo engine with CO2 emissions of just 139g/km and the 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine develops 220bhp. A top-of-the-line 2.8 V6 turbo, generating 300hp and 400Nm of torque, is offered exclusively with Saab XWD.

Shortly after launch, a 1.6-litre petrol turbo with 180hp will be introduced, together with a 2.0-litre BioPower E85 engine. All transmissions will be six-speed.

A new era

Defined and equipped by Saab as its top-of-the-line contender in the premium saloon segment, the all-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.

The all-new Saab 9-5 makes its public debut at the 2009 Frankfurt International Motor Show. Combining head-turning good looks with cutting-edge driving technology, it's the start of a new era for Saab.


The new Saab 9-5's all-turbo powertrain line-up brings together Saab expertise in turbocharging with state-of-the-art engine technologies. With Petrol and BioPower (E85 compatible) engines developing more than 100 hp per litre, the new Saab 9-5 Sedan advances Saab's rightsizing powertrain strategy. Efficient turbocharged engines as small as 1.6 litres make a fitting start for the engine line-up for Saab's new premium saloon. CO2 emissions as low as 139g/km are also on offer from Saab's 2.0 turbo diesel engine.

Petrol (1.6T, 2.0T and 2.8V6)

All petrol engines feature electronic management, electronic throttle control, direct ignition and four valves per cylinder operated by overhead, maintenance-free chain-driven camshafts. For longevity and reliability, turbochargers are water-cooled and use air-to-air intercooling to increase intake charge density.

To give minimal piston friction and wear characteristics, while also benefiting fuel and oil consumption, the cylinder walls of the engines are laser-etched for an extremely smooth finish. Under-skirt piston oil cooling and sodium-filled exhaust valves are further efficiency measures.

1.6 Turbo

The engine line-up starts with this powerful four-cylinder motor giving 180 hp/132 kW and excellent torque of 230 Nm all the way from 2,200 rpm to 5,500 rpm. It includes an 'over boost' function, which raises torque to 266 Nm for up to five seconds on a wide open throttle.

Rated among the most powerful series production engines in its displacement class, this 'right sized' powertrain gives the new Saab 9-5 strong performance: zero to 62mph in 9.5 seconds, and impressive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions projected to be 37.1mpg and 179 g/km.

For strength and reduced noise, the cylinder block is in cast iron. A die cast, structural aluminum oil pan adds further stiffness and noise suppression. Additional refinements include the use of hollow camshafts, for reduced weight and lower reciprocating mass, and a dual-mass flywheel for improved running refinement. A map-based thermostat control raises the coolant temperature at low engine speeds, or under light loads, to help reduce internal lubricant friction and also improve fuel consumption.

2.0 Turbo - Petrol and BioPower

The performance stakes are raised with this all-aluminium engine, which is also available as a BioPower variant enabling it to run on Petrol and/or E85 fuel (85% bioethanol, 15% Petrol) in any blends. In both configurations, it delivers peak power of 220 hp/ 162 kW and plentiful torque of 350 Nm from just 2,500 rpm.

This engine is offered with front wheel drive or XWD, the industry-leading all-wheel-drive system. It features variable valve timing and direct injection to further improve fuel consumption, emissions and performance. The camshafts have hydraulically operated vane-type cam phasers which allow both the inlet and exhaust valve timing to be adjusted independently, according to varying engine speed and load. The many benefits include; a broader spread of torque, higher maximum power and improved fuel consumption.

Direct injection delivers fuel under high pressure directly into the combustion chamber during the compression stroke. This enables the separation of air and fuel delivery, allowing improved scavenging of the combustion chamber to give substantially more low-end torque and reduced engine knocking.

A twin-scroll turbocharger is also used, which virtually eliminates turbo lag at low engine speeds and delivers a throttle response comparable to that of a naturally-aspirated engine. Each of the two scrolls on the turbine is fed by a separate exhaust passage - one from cylinders one and four, the other from cylinders two and three. Other features include: twin counter-rotating balance shafts for smooth running; a forged steel crankshaft for added strength and aluminium pistons to reduce reciprocating mass.

With front wheel drive, this engine propels the new Saab 9-5 from zero to 62mph in 7.9 seconds, giving projected combined fuel economy of 33.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 199 g/km.

2.8V6 Turbo

Available exclusively in Aero specification with XWD and 6-speed automatic transmission, this engine has a classic 60° angle between the cylinder banks to give optimum balance for vibration-free running to match its silky power delivery. It delivers 300 hp/ 221 kW and an impressive 400 Nm of torque between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm, giving zero to 62mph acceleration in just 6.9 seconds.

Variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust sides ensures a near linear delivery of torque, irrespective of engine speed and load. The single, twin-scroll turbocharger is mounted centrally above the transmission and fed by both banks of cylinders. The use of two inlet tracts, one for each cylinder bank, separates the exhaust gas pulses, improving gas flow, reducing energy losses and raising turbocharger efficiency.

The exhaust manifolds are double-skinned with hydroformed stainless steel liners to improve cold start emissions by minimizing heat absorption to the manifold. Air injection into each exhaust manifold for up to 30 seconds after a cold start also helps the central pre-catalyst, positioned upstream of the main catalytic converter, achieve its effective working temperature as early as possible.

The strong, forged-steel crankshaft runs in four main bearings and the steel connecting rods are sinter forged for extra strength and durability. The polymer-coated, aluminium pistons and the floating wrist-pins are cooled and further lubricated by triple under-skirt oil jets.

2.0 Turbo Diesel

The 16-valve, 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine develops 160 hp (118 kW) and 350 Nm of torque and offers projected CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km, together with impressive fuel economy of 53.3mpg over the combined cycle.

It has a cast-iron cylinder block with laser-etched cylinder walls and an aluminium alloy cylinder head. The twin overhead camshafts are chain driven and maintenance-free.

Electronic management controls the common rail, direct and multiple fuel injection system and a variable geometry turbocharger is fitted to give an excellent low-end throttle response.

Other refinements include a weight-saving plastic intake manifold and a dual-mass flywheel for greater running refinement. A maintenance-free exhaust particulate filter is fitted as standard.

Exterior and Interior Design

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.

"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 Saab 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 Saab 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. The large Saab logo, embossed in the centre of the grille, characterises 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. With an appearance of being shaped by the wind, the bodywork has a smooth, fuselage-like quality inspired by Saab's aircraft heritage. Wings 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 coloured, 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 aluminium 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 culminate in a smooth, flat rear deck. A full-width ice-block rear light bar, echoing the front light theme, adds to the new Saab 9-5's Scandinavian character.

Saab's design heritage is evident from that rear screen, a counterpoint to the wrap around windshield at the front. "We have inverted the shape of the rear screen of the classic 900 Saloon," 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 Saab 9-5 has a distinctive character. "We deliberately wanted to avoid the cliché of the coupé look for Saloons. We've stretched the traditional three-box Saloon proportions but kept a defined trunk line - this is a sports saloon 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 of down force 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 mouldings, 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 Saab 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 increased by 11 mm.

The driver-focused cockpit is traditional Saab, while its execution is all new. A deep centre 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 Saab 9-5. The console is now inclined at a much shallower angle, improving driver ergonomics in the operation of its functions and view of 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 wanted to eliminate separate vents in the centre 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 speedometer.

In Saab tradition, the car's ignition - now a start/stop button - remains between the front seats, next to the gear shift and the electric park brake, fitted as standard for all variants. The matt aluminium 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."

Other subtle details include; the small channels in the centre 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 centre console features two storage compartments 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. In addition to more leg and shoulder room, it now offers the option of rear seat entertainment via fold-out screens in the front seat-backs 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 and Equipment

Each model variant is distinguished by a unique cabin ambience, including decor trim applied to the main instrument panel, centre console and behind the door grab handles.

The upper and lower instrument panel, door cappings and decor trim are available with colour combinations including Jet black, Dark Pewter, Cocoa and Parchment with brushed metal look décor trim. The seats are upholstered with leather bolsters and fabric inserts available 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.

Standard equipment includes: a keyless start/stop button, electric park brake, six-way adjustable driver and passenger seats, dual zone climate control, leather steering wheel, information display, front seat squab storage pouches, steering wheel audio controls, adjustable front arm-rest, cruise control, ambient interior lighting and a nine-speaker audio system with a USB and 3.5mm AUX connection and a graphic information display.

Aero adds an electric drivers seat, heated front seats, extendable under-thigh support. The interior is further distinguished by a full colour information display and an 'Aero' embossed, flat bottomed sports steering wheel with a perforated leather grip.

Technical Highlights

The all-new Saab 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 Saab 9-5 has been chiefly engineered in Sweden, where its development has been guided and where it will be 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 inspired, head-up information display (HUD); dynamic parking assistance; hard disk music storage and flexible boot 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 its engines and drivelines. These can be overlaid by the optional Saab DriveSense adaptive chassis system which includes real time damping control.

HiPer Strut and Linked H-arm suspension

Three different suspension combinations are fitted to the Saab 9-5. Variants with the 1.6-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines have a McPherson strut front and 4-link rear arrangement, while a Linked H-arm rear suspension is fitted with the 2.0-litre petrol turbo, and XWD variants. Aero variants with the 2.8V6 Turbo have a HiPer Strut (High Performance Strut) front suspension and the Linked H-arm rear layout.

The advanced HiPer Strut offers driving benefits similar to those of a double wishbone layout, but without any weight penalty. The inclination and length of the kingpin is reduced and the caster angle of the steering increased. The result: improved steering quality with a more secure driving feel, as well as enhanced handling and braking characteristics.

At the rear, the sophisticated H-arm layout, with 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.

Topics: saab, saab 9-5, sedan

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