It seems that my main fear has come to pass, the dumbing down of the interior. BC news-hound Saabken left this link in comments to an article from Autocar. The following photo is included:
The article is as follows:
With an all-new replacement not expected until 2008, Saab’s 9-5 will have to soldier on as flagship for the Swedish firm for some time yet. But to give it a chance, Saab has refreshed the eight year-old design with a new nose and tail and revised interior.
The most dramatic changes are at the front, which gets new headlamps, grille, bumper and modified bonnet. At the back, there are new tail lamps and a new bumper. Body-coloured door handles and new sill covers complete the look.
Inside the 9-5’s distinctive interior has been revamped with simplified climate controls, a new sat-nav system, new instrument faces, new door trims and a new steering wheel.
Details of the technical changes are being kept under wraps until the car’s debut at the Frankfurt motor show. However, Autocar understands that the suspension has been modified, including a wider track front and rear.
Power comes from the familiar turbocharged four-cylinder engines and a 150bhp 1.9-litre turbodiesel, the 9-3’s V6 turbo petrol won’t be fitted due to the extensive re-engineering that would be required.
The final touches are being put to the 9-5’s replacement, which will be based on GM’s Epsilon II platform and is likely to be built in Germany
There’s been a lot of negative comment still about the facelifted 9-5. I’ve warmed to the new exterior. I think it looks fairly aggressive in these photos and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it in my driveway.
I’m not too hot on the interior though. I’ve always thought that a well designed cabin was pretty much an essential as it’s where you spend most of your time with the car. This new interior is somewhat ‘dumbed down’ in my opinion – but that’s just me. The people that will have to be convinced are the often-sought ‘conquest sales’ – BMW and Audi owners. I’m not sure I see anything in the interior to woo them away.
Here’s a few more promo shots as well….