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Saab 9-5 sedan epsilon 2 sedan releases redesign with clear look

Thu, 27 Aug 2009

Saab has released details of its new 9-5 flagship, a car crucial to the brand's success as an independent automaker under new ownership.

Earlier this month, General Motors Co. reached a deal to sell Saab to Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium of private investors that includes Koenigsegg Automotive AB, a tiny Swedish maker of $1 million supercars.

The new 9-5 will play an important role in a product offensive that Koenigsegg plans to announce once its purchase of the brand from GM is finalized.

"This car is the start of a new era for our brand," Saab Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson said in a statement.

Saab says the new 9-5 is the most technically advanced car it has made to date, with an array of high-tech features including an aircraft-inspired head-up information display, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance and all-wheel drive.

The car will be offered with gasoline, diesel or E85 bioethanol four-cylinder turbocharged engines in Europe.

The new 9-5 shares GM's Epsilon 2 platform with the Buick LaCrosse and Opel Insignia, but the Saab version has a longer wheelbase and its own unique muscular, low-slung exterior styling and unique interior.

The current 9-5 has been on sale for 12 years and its sales have declined as the car has gotten older.

In the first six months, Saab built 9,061 units of the 9-5, down 72.4 percent from the year before, according to J.D Power Automotive Forecasting.

Saab sold 93,000 cars worldwide in 2008.

By Paul McVeigh- Automotive News Europe