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.
The face of the new 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 900 model.
Viewed from any angle, the all-new 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. Bumpers 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.
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 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 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.
An array of chassis technology is focused on delivering a sporty, rewarding driving experience that belies the 9-5's size. Saab XWD, 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.
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.