Saab 9-5 sedan design

The new Saab 9-5: ideal embodiment of Scandinavian-purist design language

Expressive premium sedan takes Saab into a new era

  • "Organic Sculpture" features the Saab design language
  • Progressive, Scandinavian design is based on the Aero X study
  • Spacious passenger compartment with driver-oriented cockpit

A true Scandinavian, the Saab 9-5 impresses with an elegant yet puristic style. The newly developed saloon articulates a fresh, even more expressive design language of the brand.

Advanced design in harmony with the origins and origins of Saab - that is the short form for the visual appearance of the 9-5. Saab Design boss Simon Padian puts it this way: "We used a new vocabulary to tell the story of our brand. Our classic design features appear in a very modern light. "

Saab 9-5 headlights in Saab Iceblock design
Saab 9-5 headlights in Saab Iceblock design

This new vocabulary comes from the award-winning Aero X study, which clearly signaled to 2006 where the Saab design is going. Powerful front, all-round disc graphics, clean bodywork and "ice block" lights: these key features, which are incorporated in an impressive shape in the new 9-5, combine a combination of typical Scandinavian style with the brand's unique aviation heritage.

"With the Aero X study, we explored the limitations of the Saab design," says Padian. "With the new 9-5 we show how this look can be translated into an expressive series form. In that sense, this model heralds a new Saab design era. "

Organic sculpture

The "face" of the new 9-5 is dominated by the lowered radiator grille framed by signature signature ice block LED headlamps. The window front draws like a closed band around the entire vehicle and looks like a piece. The discreet, dark A and B pillars reinforce the cockpit look of the passenger compartment. In addition, the proportions of windshield and roof evoke memories of the classic Saab 900. The large Saab emblem stands proudly in the center of the radiator grille and sets the i-point in the new, brand-conscious design language.

The "organic sculpture" of the low-lying body combines clear, flowing lines with a naturally curved, curvy profile. The car body has the appearance of a windschlüpfigen fuselage fitting to the aviation heritage of the brand. The smoothly flared wheel arches are flush with the 17 to 19 inch wheels and thus contribute to the energetic appearance of the car.

Light strip in Iceblock design, rear lights
Light strip in Iceblock design, rear lights

In a good Scandinavian design tradition, the creative people of the 9-5 have done without sensationalism. All the details blend harmoniously into the clear line and do not distract from the big picture. "The great strength of Scandinavian design is its simplicity," explains Simon Padian. "Things do not always have to be complicated to be stimulating. Less is often more."

The exterior mirrors are an example of such "passive" design features. Padian comments: "While the mirror housings are usually painted in the body color, they are black on the 9-5. So they do not stand out when looking at the silhouette, but are a visually integral part of the powerful, black window band. "

One of the brand-name elements already introduced by the 9-5 is the "Hockey Stick" waistband, which, underlined by a matt aluminum lens surround, leads into the wide C-pillar.

The dynamic character of the new sedan highlights the sloping roofline. It continues over the pronounced C-pillars that frame the indented rear window. This line opens gently into the tailgate level with an integrated spoiler on the flank. Underneath, a continuous, red light strip connects the rear lights, which pick up the theme of the headlights' Ice Block theme and emphasize the Scandinavian character of the 9-5.

The rear window offset with a clear reference to earlier Saab typical design solutions contrasts with the surrounding front window strip. "In principle, we took the window of the 900 and turned it around," reveals Padian. "All in all, the rear end of the 9-5 looks almost more powerful than the front. And that, although there was nothing really Saab typical in this area so far. Things will be different with regard to future models - the light bar and this transition to the taillights will certainly make a career. "

The new 9-5 makes a powerful impression from every perspective. Padian: "We really wanted to avoid the currently cheap coupé sedan look. Instead, we stretched the traditional, three-piece sedan silhouette without blurring the trunk line. So this is a sports sedan that is neither coupe nor normal hatchback. "

The slim appearance of the 9-5 also benefits the aerodynamics. The impressive drag coefficient cw 0,28 has a positive effect on fuel consumption and noise comfort. Additional driving stability is ensured by the fact that there is hardly any lift at the front axle, while at the rear - thanks in part to the favorable air flow over the slightly concave rear surface - even downforce acts. The taillights are framed by subtle "spoilers", which improve the declining stability.

Features of the Aero top variant include special bumper panels, 19 inch large-sized alloy wheels in the turbine look, fog lights, lowered body with sports suspension, bi-xenon headlights and two integrated in the rear bumper exhaust tailpipes.

Driver-oriented cockpit

The no-frills shapes in the generously proportioned 9-5 passenger compartment reflect the clarity of the body design. Material selection, fits, appearance and the feel of the controls are evidence of the premium claim of the 9-5.

58 millimeters more rear legroom is a result of the extended compared to the predecessor wheelbase. There is no competitor to offer more rear-end comfort. For the passenger, additional 11 millimeters increase the sense of well-being.

Saab is typical and yet completely new is the consistently driver-oriented 9 5 cockpit. The low center console tilts at an angle to the driver. This is a new interpretation of the classic cockpit design, which has already proven itself in the Saab 9000 and up to the current Saab 9-5. The now significantly flattened console improves ergonomics and optimizes the view of the large display of navigation.

Clear design language also in the ventilation area, which extends with the typical Saab "joysticks", above the instruments over the entire dashboard. "This opens up a tidy landscape in front of the driver's eye," explains Simon Padian. "Scattered, disconnected air vents were out of the question for us. For that we were far too much at the flowing, obliging cockpit atmosphere. "The customer review has been automatically translated from German.

At the center of the retracted main displays is the tachometer in altimeter optics. This instrument design, taken from the Aero X study, is a reminder of Saab's aviation heritage. The tacho needles are as well as the background of the navigation monitor and the head-up display Saab typically green illuminated. Another Saab specialty, the so-called "Night Panel" function, allows the driver to focus on the traffic during strenuous night driving by dimming all but the speedometer.

Instead of the ignition lock, a start / stop button can be found on all variants of the new 9-5 - in the best Saab tradition between the front seats next to the gear knob and the electric parking brake. Circuit and start / stop button grow together thanks to matte aluminum bezel to form an optical unit. "By varying the thickness and width of the material here to achieve flat surfaces, we feel the quality of the body design inside," enthuses Padian. "With such details, we create a quality-embossed interior appearance."

Among the small but fine features include the indicated optical connection channels between the controls of the infotainment and the air conditioning system in the center console. The lines are based on the Vitruvian man, the famous proportion study of the master Leonardo da Vinci. With this, the Saab designers subtly insist that the technology is ideally geared towards human anatomy - as in the cockpit of the 9-5. The strictly logical, group-wise arrangement of the control elements makes it possible to intuitively control the various controls in the interior, chassis control and lighting functions.

The center tunnel console accommodates two spacious stowage compartments with double cup holders after eliminating the handbrake lever. With USB, AUX and 12-Volt connectivity options, all popular portable electronic devices in the car can be used and housed. Also, the pull-out drawer near the driver's door is suitable for stowing personal belongings from the wallet to the PDA to the glasses case.

Saab 9-5 interior details
Saab 9-5 interior details

There is enough space in the back for three adult traveling companions. Feel-good comfort is enhanced not only by the leg and shoulder room which has grown over its predecessor, but also by the optional independent climate control and the fold-out screens in the front seat backrests. The 60: 40 split-folding rear backrest includes an armrest with double cup holders, a storage compartment and a through-loading opening.

In the trunk there are practical hooks on both sides for bags, a shield attachment and additional storage space in the side walls. The optional U-shaped guide rail recessed into the floor contains an extendable load compartment divider that can secure items of various sizes.

Decor and equipment

The equipment variants Linear, Vector and Aero each have their very own visual appearance. Different decorations are declined from the dashboard to the center console and the door handle shells.

In the linear trim, the dashboard trim at the top and bottom, as well as the lens surrounds and decor are jet black. The same applies to the seat covers, which are alternatively available in a parchment color. The light or dark door panels and armrests, which are either light or dark, fit in this way.

In the Vector level, combinations of jet black and a dark pewter tone, as well as dark brown and parchment for dashboard trim and doors are available. Here are brushed metal decors assigned. The textile rugs on the partial leather seats are available in jet black, parchment and shark gray.

The top version Aero sports a sporty full leather interior. Noble-black surfaces correspond with dark-touched brush-metal decorations reminiscent of titanium. As with the Vector, there are the contoured perforated leather seats in three color finishes.

The extensive linear basic equipment includes: keyless engine start via start / stop button, electric parking brake, six- or four-way adjustable driver and front passenger seats, two-zone climate control, audio system with nine speakers and auxiliary AUX connection, leather steering wheel and text -Info Display.

The Vector version also offers: speed control and audio system with nine speakers and USB interface with steering wheel remote control, pockets in the front seat backrests, adjustable front armrest, ambient lighting, graphic information display.

The Aero electrically adjustable and heated front seats with seat extension standard. In addition to the standard color monitor in the top model and the bottom flattened sports steering wheel with Aero emblem makes for a very special touch.

Source / Pictures: Saab Automobile AB

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