About those 9-5 pics….

Auto Express have run with another bunch of 9-5 pictures, which look to be the same ones as those that were used at Teknikens Varld. Here’s all three of them together. Click to enlarge….

new9-5ae1.jpg . new9-5ae2.jpg . new9-5ae3.jpg

Now, there’s a lot of theories about these pictures. Junk, speculation, guesswork, pointless etc etc. That may well be true, but it’s interesting that they look quite a bit like the Auto Motor and Sport picture from a while ago…..

AMScover 9-5x.jpg

……and there’s some genetic similarities between these and the illustration backdropping Brian Nesbitt, one of GM Europe’s head honchos:

yagobal-BryanNesbitt9-5.jpg

Of course, it could just be speculation by the magazines. Auto Express is somewhat less than a trustworthy source in my experience. It’s almost tabloid motoring journalism sometimes and one wouldn’t be surprised to see a ‘page 3′ girl every other click.

But keep in mind that if they have been let slip from Saab, then this isn’t necessarily a bad start to what are obviously preliminary CG illustrations. The first Aero-X illustrations we saw were more advanced than this, but were still lacking in detail compared to the real thing.

The pictures are getting some reasonable reactions too.

Whatever these pictures end up being, I think there’s some life there. I’m more partial to the deeper grille on the AMS image.

I guess time will tell.

Features they’re speculating on:

- a dashboard featuring digital, three-dimensional displays projected on to layered glass-effect panels.
- available in both front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive form
- normally aspirated 2.2-litre petrol for entry-level models.
- a 170bhp 2.0-litre (turbo?) unit
- a flagship 250bhp 2.8-litre V6 twin-turbo.
- a 150bhp 1.9-litre four-cylinder diesel and 3.0-litre V6 CDTI motors.
- five and six-speed manual transmissions plus an automatic,
- the possibility of a DSG-style twin-clutch sequential system – as debuted by the Aero X.

Both Auto Express and Auto Motor and Sport predict a late 2007 debut for the next-gen 9-5. AMS’s article was written straight after a visit to both Pixbo and Russelsheim.

20 thoughts on “About those 9-5 pics….

  1. *Homer Simpson drooling sound*

    Should the next 9-5 be anything close to what they’re predicting, I will rob a bank, sell myself to the streets, do whatever it takes to scrape up the money to put one of those in my driveway. I am staunchly opposed to buying brand new cars due to the inherent depreciation hit, but man, I think an exception could be made. The rear end has hints of early Saab 99 notchback, and I think that’s hot. It’ll be hard to look at my “vintage 9-5″ the same way again.

  2. Have to agree, that fron tends needs teh deeper grille of the aero-x. More importantly it needs some sculpturing of the bonnet – simply too flat in those pics – lacks any sense of motion or power under the bonnet. Side profile is cool, wagon similar to 9-3
    =very nice.

  3. Ryan,

    I covered the AMS article on June 19, so you’d assume they were there some time earlier, probably in May. As I understand it, Pixbo was just closing doors around that time or just after.

  4. Steven,

    Those renderings are starting to make me believe that there is some truth to them.

    Given that there are many that are now coming out that are beginning to all look the same, this may be what is possibly coming out.

    That Saab better have AWD at the minimum.

    - R

  5. It’s a promising start. I’m a little worried about the bulbous rear end.

    Form follows function, and e.g., the 9000 had pretty clean lines as a result. What I don’t want are stylized or Bangle-ized bumps just for the sake of visual effect. Or too high a waistline that interferes with visibility (i.e, form interfering with function).

    With those caveats, I think the basic shape is appealing.

  6. So, is all design being done in Russelheim, Germany now for Saab with Anthony Lo and Alex Daniel?

    If you look at the designers that were part of the new 9-5, their interviews are in 2006, on http://www.saabvideos.com

    Are they also in Russelheim, Germany?

  7. It still looks like an Aero-X with four doors, but that may be the point. I’m really liking the back with that thin light strip across. Overall, it looks very Alfa Romeo, but still nice. The front still needs to grow on me a bit more, however.

  8. I would add that I am also partial to the deeper grille in the AMS picture, the white one.

    People will sure notice it on the street. Unlike the current 9-5, as attractive as it is, which does not stand out from the crowd.

  9. Some thoughts regarding the speculated specs:

    Didn’t SAAB decide to go with turbos across their entire product line years ago? I mean, I know that the non-Aero 9-2X didn’t have one and the 9-7X doesn’t have one, but the 9-3 and 9-5 have only been able to be purchased with a turbo for years now. Why would they go backward and offer a NA model?

    I would be VERY surprised to see a HUD as standard. Even as an option, I’d be surprised. They have NO experience with this technology. It’d be a nice bridge to the company’s aerospace roots, but the only other GM cars to have offered a HUD as an option were the high-end Cadillac (XLR) in ’04 (http://www2.dupont.com/Automotive/en_US/applications/caseStudies/case178.html) and the 2000/’01 Cadillacs with the night vision option (http://www.vxm.com/Impact.cadillac.nitevision.html).

    I keep reading “twin turbo” in apparent relation to the Holden-sourced engine in the 9-3 Aero. I could be wrong, but it’s not really a “twin-turbo” with two turbocharger units (each one feeding three of the cylinders on one side of the “V”), is it? It’s actually a “twin-scroll” turbocharger system designed to reduce turbo lag, right? They mention “250bhp 2.8-litre V6 twin-turbo” and I’m guessing it’s the same powerplant found in the 9-3 Aero now, but mis-identified. That would be just weird if the “flagship” V6 engine in the new 9-5 actually has 10 bhp LESS than the current 2.3 liter I4.

    As for the supposed late-07 release (assumedly as a MY2008) of the next-gen 9-5, again, I’d be very surprised. You’d think halfway through 2006 we’d at least have seen real artists’ renderings or something at this point, if not a mockup at a car show.

  10. Gripen:
    Not sure you’re right about the HUD. Our 2001 Pontiac Aztek has the head-up display on the windshield. I don’t think there’s actually much high-tech involved at all, but I find it a waste of money–I always look at the dash first anyway.

  11. Thanks for the heads-up (pun intended), Ted.

    After looking into it I see that the ’01 was GM’s first implimentation of the HUD and it continued on through ’05.

    I think this is a good feature to put in a SAAB. Maybe it’s gimmicky, but in a car with an aeronautics heritage and safety being a core feature, it seems logical to put in a system designed so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to see how fast you’re going!

  12. Yeah, I agree with Ted. GM’s had the technology since the C5 Corvette in 1997. I’m surprised it didn’t show up in the 9-3.

    And it’s only been in North America that Saab had an all-turbo lineup. In other parts the 9-3 is offered with a 1.8 NA. And I doubt the NA engine would be offered in the 9-5 across the Atlantic.

    Speaking of engines, I thought there was work happening on a turbo version of the 3.6 V6. I can see the base 9-5 in the US having the 2.8 turbo as standard, but the Aero would need something like the 3.6 with a turbo and 350 hp and AWD to be in the running. The new E550 has way over 300 hp now anyway.

  13. just make the one in the drawing and add the aero-x’s, “ski slope” headlights. it’s more rakish than the ones on the magazine covers, and we get a better design for the back windows.

  14. Saab equivalent of a Pontiac Aztec – fugly! In fact, its almost as fugly as a 1990 Ford Scorpio they used to sell in Europe and that thing had a face on it like a slapped arse.

    I honestly hope someone is trying to divert attention from the real thing. No, in fact I am sure someone it trying to divert our attention away. Remember all those supposed spyshots of the 9-3SS and how horrible some of them were, and how awed I was when I actually saw one. I think my intitial reaction was “that is f****** gorgeous!!”.

  15. PS the back even looks like the aforementioned Ford Scorpio! Someone is seriously extracting the urine here and some have taken the bait!

  16. The other thing makes these drawings incorrect and way to premature is that this model should be rolling out as a 2008 model, so those will be rolling out 1 year from now.

    If the new 9-5, not the current “updated” one is rolling out next fall, we would see SOMETHING by now, don’t you think?

    No Spy shots either, then again maybe all the great Swedish contacts are present near the GM Design Center in Russelheim to take the photos for us???

    The 3rd generation 9-5 I suppose it would be called, would be rolling out of the Russelheim factory anyways.

    - R

  17. I’m liking the three quarter rear view of the saloon, but the SportsEstate looks wrong and the original 5-door hatch looks more out of proportion the more I look at it.

    The more I look at all of them, the more I see the dodgy Photoshop work. I have a sneaking suspicion someone’s just gotten creative with existing Aero-X pics and coloured the thing red. Hmm.

    I certainly wouldn’t complain if future models had Aero X DNA in their designs though.

    As for HUDs… most manufacturer’s attempts have been kind lame (or at least, toyish). Why can’t Saab go to their aeronautical namesakes and licence/jointly develop some serious HUD technology. We’ve had reflective HUDs since the early 90s – how about transparent OLED overlays that not only display speed and warnings, but also your GPS navigation map? Now that would be cool!

  18. This is where SAAB, the Aircraft manufacturer could help Saab Automobile with something actually built well for their equal in the Automotive industry.

    I want to see a Saab built as well as the Gripen that I got a chance to see being built last summer in SAAB’s secure facility where SAABs URSAAB and the model 92 were originally built.

    Linköping, Sverige.

    - R

  19. Saab needs to build this car and build it fast. It should fight its GM overlords by any means necessary to get a no-excuses, full-on sporty luxurious flagship, one that (as was said before) stands out in the crowd but also one which doesn’t impinge on the 9-3′s stomping grounds (which would allow the 9-3 to be as good as possible, instead of being held within certain limits.) As for the current mockup, I’m a fan, though the wagon could be a bit more shapely. Does the rear of the sedan look like they’re bringing back the hatch? In today’s world, that might actually (pun intended) fly.

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