2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: 2011 Saab 9-5 SportWagon shows its rear end

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 19, 2011

Saab revealed today the all-new 2011 9-5 SportWagon and announced that the new car will make its official debut in March at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. According to the manufacturer, the new car will feature an adaptable multi-fold floor, flexible U-rail load space configuration and under-floor stowage with a sealed wet storage compartment, while a programmable powered tailgate is available. As expected, the new model will offer the same engines as the sedan.

Moreover, the vehicle will offer Saab’s industry-leading XWD all-wheel-drive system and advanced features like 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.

Regarding the design, the 9-5 SportWagon shares the same front styling with the sedan model, but the rear end is extended by a deep rear spoiler integrated into the top of the tailgate. Furthermore, the new ultra-slim roof rails blend into the car’s svelte silhouette.

Exterior Design

While the 9-5 SportWagon has the same bold style on the front like the saloon, it adds in a 'wraparound' and swept rear window graphic. Though this mirrors the signature frontal theme of the 9-5, it gives the SportWagon a unique identity. The look of the roof-line is both sweeping and dramatic and is extended through the deep rear spoiler that has been incorporated to the top portion of the tailgate.

The standard ultra-slim roof rails also manages to blend to the svelte silhouette. A prominent rear shoulder contour merges with the Signature Saab themes like the C-pillar and the hockey stick extension of the belt-line. This gives the SportWagon a more dynamic and muscular stance. Highlighting the dynamic character of the SportWagon is the tailgate that has been raked forward. There is also the full-width rear light 'ice-block' bar that covers the lights at each of its sides.

This manages to continue the signature Saab styling theme that was first observed on the 9-4X crossover and 9-5 saloon. Aside from being fully carpeted, the deep cargo deck has been optimized for ease-of-use and space. While many vehicles offer the rear seats with a 60/40 split, the one in the SportWagon can be folded flat even if the head restraints are not removed or the seat squab are not repositioned.

Extra attention was also done with the soundproofing on its rear bodywork to lower the resonance, vibration, and noise. Occupants in the cabin are thus able to enjoy a level of refinement like that of the saloon’s. Once the seatbacks are lowered, the cargo deck results in a length of around two meters, around 1,962 mm. Maximum load capacity is higher at 1,600 liters compared to when the rear seats are up which only offers 527 liters.

Since the side walls are upright and wholly flat, it results in an open and clean space that does not have any of the hard-to-use corners or even the rear wheel-arch intrusions. The side walls also have compartments that allow small items to be stowed.

Offered as standard equipment are the 12-volt power outlet and four tie-down loops. Available as an option is the U-shaped track that is just on the outside of the floor. This helps to have a more flexible space configuration. Like the 9-5 saloon, it also has a telescopic dividing rail that ensures the cargo deck to be split as needed to ensure that different sized-items are separated and even kept in place.

With the signature Saab aircraft-shaped handle, the floor can be folded back in order to get access to the storage under the under-floor. There is also a sub-floor 65 mm below the main floor height.

This makes it perfect for small or flat items. It is even possible to slot the pull-out support arm to ensure that the folded floor has been placed in a permanent position. This allows additional items to be stored on the under-floor recess, which is offered as an alternative rather than having to use the whole cargo deck.

The floor’s underside offers two fittings in order to enable flat stowage of its U-rail divider. They can even carry hooks that can be used as a way to organize bags, among others. An option that’s very useful is the waterproof plastic liner that can be placed to the recess so as to allow separate wet storage area for muddy boots, outdoor clothing, and even sports equipment.

Press Release


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.

"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. Itfeatures 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.

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