Antiquarian and expensive. Saab 9-5 - a personal story.

Actually, the Saab 9-5 and not the 900 II was the first car that was constructed under the influence of GM. That is a realization when you read Anders Tunberg's books. In the book "Saab 900 - a Swedish story”Comes through a lot of rebellion and independence. At that time, a much needed platform was pulled from the GM shelf in Trollhättan. The rest of the time, however, is better done by yourself. With all known effects.

A personal story about the Saab 9-5

At 9-5 the GM influence was a bit bigger. You can guess when you read between the lines. A balancing act for the designers. They had to conjure up a good car from American wishes and at the same time a convincing Saab. Without a doubt, it succeeded.

What the book tells about the 9-5

The 9000 was getting old and was becoming a problem. He had a strong following in the Anglo-Saxon countries, but that wasn't enough. In the USA, the Japanese poached, the fearful opponent was called Lexus. GM was looking for the right solution to this challenge. Trollhättan should deliver.

The Saab 9-5 was built within around three years and the Swedes had finally established themselves in the upper middle class when it appeared in 1997. For project manager Olle Granlund, quality, safety and “all turbo” were at the top of the list. In addition, there was very good ergonomics and the most convincing car seats in the world. With the new 9-5, Saab introduced the first ventilated seats in cars, which with their active headrests were the best that could be bought for money. Operation succeeded.

The 9-5 with asymmetrical V6 was also a world first and remains unique to this day. While the “old” Saab fans never really got warm with the six-cylinder, this powerful comfort drive ensured many conquests in the first few years of sales. With the cancellation of the V6 several years later, Saab lost these customers again and when the 9-5 II appeared the basis for success was missing. But that's a very different thing.

What appeals to the personal story!

It's a lot about perfecting ergonomics, you can literally feel Toyota's breath on your neck. But it is also about the fact that a Saab chassis has to be the way it is. According to the self-image of the brand, the driver should be able to “feel” the condition of the road surface reliably and always receive feedback. You learn that the 9-5 is the first Saab ever to have a split rear axle. Another focus is quality. A promise that the first 9-5 copies, which are now over 20 years old, still keep.

In the book, for the first time in a Saab reading, this non-word appears which is called “Premium”. A word that Saab will put more and more in his mouth in the next few years. Also, and especially at a time when some things were no longer premium. You can hide this premium stuff and concentrate on the facts. Because the book can deliver a lot. It also learns to be amazed. Amazed at how a small company with a very manageable team puts a great car on the wheels that can compete with the big brands.

But not so personal?

Compared to Tunberg's first Saab work, “Saab 9-5 A Personal Story” breathes less spirit. Why is it? Not the actors in Trollhättan. It is the corporate culture that could have changed in the 4 years that lie between the two plants. Project 104, the Saab 902, took place in an open working atmosphere. The author seems to have enjoyed more freedom during this time.

The book on Project 640 reflects more influence through marketing and a lack of personal stories. The Saab 9-5 story is still a book for fans. It is a piece of history, which alone makes it seem worthy to collect. It is only available antiquarian and like many things around Saab has become expensive in recent years. Some second-hand bookshops charge up to € 100,00 for unread copies. Those who find a well-preserved piece cheaper should not hesitate.

Information about the book:

Title: Saab 9-5 A personal story

Author: Anders Tunberg

Publisher: Norden Publishing House Ltd.

Published: 1997

Cover: antique

8 thoughts too "Antiquarian and expensive. Saab 9-5 - a personal story."

  • Mistake

    The link should be: Saab 900 - a Swedish story ...

    Otherwise, thanks for the two literature tips.
    Always fascinating how intensely the trolls with GM fought for good cars ...

    And it's true, the 9-5 gives a lot of feeling for the road. The button against the assistant is also right next to the one for the night panel. That is already well done.

    Answer
  • The appearance of the 9-5I at the end of my studies has sustainably increased my emotions for SAAB. During my studies, I had to turn off my 900 EMS, there were too many repairs. In autumn 1997 I took one of the first UNI courses on web research. And there it was, the SAAB website with the magically flashing 9-5I. A great experience and also the following brochure materials, the first test drive convinced me then from 9-5. It should take 8 years before I got my first (company 9-5 SC). 3.0 Diesel, you know, the one with the bushings. Still an incredibly great car. Later I had one again as a limousine, always convincing. I'm still fascinated by the shape, Mr. Hareide found a perfect Saab style without looking retro. And the dashboard is still a treat today. Yes, the 9-5 was the first SAAB under GM. But for me it has a lot more SAAB attributes than the 9000 in terms of style. In my experience, the 9000 was of a very high quality. The 9-5 was able to convey that straight away. If I ever find a well-preserved specimen, I will probably become weak.

    Best regards from Eric

    15
    Answer
  • Oh yes, the 9-5. (sigh)
    Up until two years ago I drove 9-5 (EZ 1999, 150 PS). Actually a pure bread-and-butter car, nothing aero, nothing great - and I loved it. Such a wonderfully calm car, everything you need and always does what it's supposed to do. Finished. After more than 400.000 km and shortly before the TÜV, so many defects appeared within a short time that a repair would have exceeded the value many times over. Now he's in my garden and doesn't drive anymore.
    And now I have a non-SAAB for the rough and various 901/902 or 9000 CC / CD. And even though I am actually oversupplied by the automobile, the 9-5 won't let me go. Maybe one has to be included again .......

    10
    Answer
  • I have to get to the book somehow, because my 2 21 year old 9-5 limos deserve a literary “appreciation”!

    As noted several times, it is the 3.0 t petrol engine, one of which (which is still surprisingly rustproof) runs all year round and the second drives through the area after two anti-rust measures as a semi-annual approval. Despite the somewhat advanced age, I am still comfortable and to everyday life. My wife visits her elderly mother once a week with an overnight stay and rolls (1km each way) safely and comfortably there and back. Your route profile consists of 350% federal road and 60% AB. Ideal for this car and no fuel-guzzling route. Reasonable as it is, it keeps the car around 40l / 8,5km in consumption. I visited the other guy in his garage today. The engine started, the tire pressure increased a little, the fluids checked and then another 100 minutes of tapedeck with the sunroof open. From October it will be used as a replacement for the convertible. Everything works for him too, except for the air conditioning compressor, although he will certainly need new brakes in the foreseeable future. This is wear and tear and comes to pretty much every owner who uses their vehicles for longer. Both should definitely go back to the next HU and I think that will also be possible with reasonable effort.

    Now a question for Tom. In my place there is a second SAAB driver and I am thinking about starting what is probably the smallest SAAB club in Germany. In 2 you could think about a SAAB meeting in our little Hanseatic city. For this I might need a little advice / support.

    Answer
  • I feel like many here. I also think the first generation 95 I sedan is great. So great that I got another one. Built in 1999 with just 85000km on the speedometer and fully serviced at Saab. And that it is a 3.0t V6 is not fundamentally wrong, actually it is really brilliant.
    The 95 has such a good substance, so it is worth putting a few more dollars in it and bringing it up to a nice stand. So much can be said, it will soon shine in sky blue metallic!

    Answer
  • Hi Hans,

    yet become “weak” again? 🙂 Very understandable! And sky blue is such a brilliant color - I hope that the new beauty will be presented on the blog after completion? !!

    Best regards from the north!

    Answer

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