Struggling Saab flies the flagship
A sleek 9-5 emerges in Saab’s brave new world, writes NEIL McDONALD
THIS is the car that could help put the Saab back on track. With the ink drying on the General Motors sale of the carmaker to Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg, images of a sleek new flagship 9-5 have surfaced ahead of its official unveiling at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
The sedan shows off design cues that will pave the way for a new-look Saab and are expected to spread to other models.
Apart from the 9-5 sedan and wagon, a re-invigorated Saab has bold expansion plans in the pipeline.
These include a crossover offroader called the 9-4X, the nextgeneration 9-3 sedan and wagon, and possibly a smaller entry 9-1 hatch.
The 9-5 gains a progressive new look, sharp styling and some styling cues from past Saabs, such as the blacked-out A-pillar and sweeping rear end that flows into the boot like the old pre-General Motors 900s.
The front is dominated by streamlined Audi-style family grille, its deep-set chrome frame integrated into the bumper and high-intensity eyebrow headlights sweeping around the sides of the car.
There are LED tail-lights and a reflector strip across the boot.
Despite Koenigsegg’s ownership, Saab will continue to use GM engines and mechanicals for its cars.
The newcomer will be built in Sweden on a bigger shared platform with the Opel Insignia.
A range of twin-turbo
diesels, 2.0-litre petrol and 3.6-litre V6 petrol engines are expected.
The big sedan cannot come soon enough for the battle-scarred Swedish brand. It will be the first all-new 9-5 since the current shape was introduced more than 10 years ago.
Saab Australia has taken a big hit this year with only 25 examples of the current 9-5 sold nationally.
In total, 404 Saabs have been sold, a 54 per cent slump on last year.
The Swedish parent has not been profitable for the past five years.
Future plans: the 9-5 has a progressive new look, sharp styling and some styling cues from past Saabs.