How long have I not driven chrome glasses? It's been a few years and I think it was 2012 when we sold our 9-5. Now I'm standing there in the yard of Saab Service Frankfurt, a 9-5 Aero station wagon is parked in front of me - as chrome glasses the last evolutionary stage of the old 9-5, and very tasty in the 260 PS Aero expansion stage.
Only 80.000 kilometers on the counter, manual transmission, the few kilometers to Bavaria will be fun. Werkstattersatzauto then scolds the Gerard Ratzmann. I like that. How is it, after many years again in the old 9-5 drive? The Paul project is about to be completed, the chrome glasses are the much more modern counterpart.
Whereby modern is not modern. The navigation system is so pixelated that it could become a hit again as a vintage device. And the 5-speed gearshift ... let's not talk about it. Key in, reverse gear out, handbrake released and off you go towards the motorway. The streets around the former Saab Germany branch are comparable to streets in Zwickau, Cottbus or other places around 1989. Except that nothing changes in Frankfurt, but in the other cities.
The 9-5 Aero is tightly sprung, but he masters the Rüttelstrecke sovereign. He does not rattle, which is not the case with all chrome goggles. Past the Tesla base it goes towards the highway. A Tesla S comes promptly, but I do not want to trade today. On the feeder accelerates the Saab on Tempo 100, emphatically, sovereign, with the sound carpet of the great 2.3 liter engine. That's not the most brilliant electric car in the world, and suddenly you're back in the year 2006, when the chrome goggles appeared on the market.
The motorway in the direction of Hanau is three lanes and almost empty. The Aero growls and accelerates into the left lane, yes that flies and is fun. The difference between the 9-5 NG and the old Saab is enormous. Everything is much more direct, more original - and I'm straining the word analog again. The interior has an aluminum look, as is the sports steering wheel. You really have to think it's good, it was always too sterile for me. Today it doesn't matter, the Saab is the way it is, and it's a lot of fun to drive an old friend.
We fly on to Bavaria, confidently and quickly. The aero relaxes. Gear number 5 is suitable for all driving situations on this day. If a transporter blocks the lane and then releases it, the Saab draws enough power from the depths of the engine to accelerate without changing gear. Cubic capacity plus turbo generate steam, no comparison with today's miniature engines.
The journey is only short, appointments call and the Saab Service Frankfurt driver will pick up the 9-5 Aero from my office later. Top-class service, as it can also be provided by brands without a manufacturer, but with a lot of passion and customer orientation in the background. Do I like them, good old chrome glasses? During production times, I was always annoyed by lack of love and GM's mania for savings. Today is the past.
What remains is a car with character, with an engine that is a real combustion and not a castrato. Out of time, sure. To be honest, it was 10 years ago. But also for this reason a vehicle where it is difficult to judge otherwise. So: thumbs up for the Saab 9-5 Aero!