Strug­gling Saab flies the flag­ship

A sleek 9-5 emerges in Saab’s brave new world, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News -

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.

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