Some design fun (part 2) – Saab 9-5

These three cgi’s are impressions of a possible new Saab 9-5.

Let me stress this point in big bold letters – THESE ARE NOT OFFICIAL AND ARE ONLY A FAN’S IMPRESSIONS.

I’ll keep the artist’s identity anonymous as he is connected with GM, but not in a design capacity. He is, however, a real Saab fan as well as an employee. Just the kind of guy you’d want to have on your team.

So, for what it’s worth, here’s his impressions on a possible 9-5. I’ve also included his thoughts on possible powertrains as he’s got a good insight into what the market may be feeling.

Click on any of these to enlarge.



And a blue version…..


And now for his drivetrain thoughts. I’ll let his words explain what might be some unexpected configurations. I like all of what I see here, as I too believe that Saab do need to take a more offensive stance.

With AWD opening the performance gate this will allow Saab to start competing directly with Audi.

I do expect to see the 9-5 with a V8 at some point. You are always going to get certain people saying that Saab is about I-4s and that even a V6 is out of sync with Saab. If Porsche remained hard lined there would be no Cayenne and Porsche would
be losing customers. Which is exactly what Saab is doing right now.

But what I believe is that Saab can have a V8 that has the power of a V10
and the economy of a V6. That combination would certainly fall in line with the Saab philosophy.

My thoughts on power-train:
Naturally this will change for certain markets because for example the US won’t understand small engines with low power output.

But for what it’s worth

2.0lpt I-4 – Direct Injection (147kw/200hp) – FWD
2.0Turbo I-4 – Direct Injection (161kw/220hp) – FWD
2.8Turbo V-6 – Direct Ignition (190kw/260hp) – AWD
2.8Turbo V-6 – Direct Ignition (220kw/300hp) – AWD

3.6Bi-Turbo V-6 – Direct Injection (256kw/350hp)[Aero] – AWD – 6-Gear Auto
4.6Bi-Turbo V-8 – Direct Injection (337kw/460hp)[Griffin] – AWD – 7-Gear Sequential

1.9TiD I-4 – Multi-Jet (110kw/150hp) – FWD
2.4TID I-4 – Multi-Jet (129kw/175hp) – FWD
3.0TiD V-6 – Multi-Jet Bi-turbo (168kw/230hp) – AWD

So there you go.

The thoughts and efforts of a fan, but a fan with some inside insight into the marketplace.

Some very interesting stuff.

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  1. I would buy this car, but I think that the front end is a bit exaggerated for a sedan, and I think that the mid-ships is a bit bland. The rear is great — a perfect reproduction of the AeroX style.

  2. I think the rear is horrible. There is now easy flow of lines, ho harmony. It’s divided into thre vetical parts, ans it’s just clumsy. Not sporty, not powerful, not luxury.

    Front end is ok, maybe a little bit too much, as eggsngrits points out.

    Side is not Saab. No Saab-like windshield, no hockey-stick window line. I you saw it straight from the side, it would be har to tell it’s a Saab.

    I think it’s a PS-job based on a Volvo S80. The new 9-5 has to be more Saab, more dynamic, more timeless in lines. This looks good today, but the new car has feel fresh five years from now.

    As Steve Job’s said when he quoted Wayne Gretzky: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

  3. It must be an American that has done those pictures; no other human being would be dumb enough to put the rear number plate in the middle of the bumper like that.

  4. An obvious nod to the 9000 at the back end. But do we really want a Saab 9-5 that looks like the last generation Chrysler 300…….I don’t think so.

  5. > I think it’s a PS-job based on a Volvo S80

    Nice one, ctm. I knew that profile looked familiar! This car definitely does not say hockey stick or born from jets to me. The AeroX influence has to be more than just in the grill and the black out rear to make it a Saab.

    Is it just me or does the front make the car look like it is smiling? In a cartoonish ‘Cars’ kinda way?

  6. Another thought related to this thing… Where are the LED lights? Not having LED light on a new car will make it look old from the beginning… Led lights are typically Saab. It’s smart and it’s safe and it’s forward thinking – at the same time.

  7. And I thought it was kinda difficult to see out my 9000 Aero’s rear window when parallel parking. That rear window looks more like an extended moonroof.

    It’s a nice rendering, but it’s missing any hockey stick signature, and is lacking in emotive presence. (Does that make sense?) The chrome window profile looks too Acura to me.


  8. There should ALWAYS be label on the picture telling that its not real because majority of the people cannot distinguish these things.
    Remember what confusion/wrong idea disaster GMI cgi caused lately….

  9. Ted Y you are correct, it is definently based on Chevy Malibu. What did I say? Only an American can do that ugly ass…

  10. Now, that’s hideous. Just slapping the Aero-X facias onto what looks to be an anonymous Lexus GS-ish body isn’t going to save this company. The thoughts about a V8 are heresy. Saab needs to pursue ecological frontiers like biodiesel, ethanol, hybrid powertrains, and such to get its base back and build on it. We don’t need to build a car for Cadillac fans. I’d love to see the 3.6, but what I really don’t like here is the chrome around the doors. Too flashy, too fussy, not enough Saab. Most importantly, this car looks too regal and stiff, not plucky and slinky like a Saab should look. The 9-3 has that chunky, happy wedge-shape thing down, and this car should focus on looking lithe and sexy, not on imitating the S80.

  11. From the front view it looks like an Accord with a SAAB nose grafted on. The rear looks more like the Aero X but viewing the front from the rear angle, it looks like a volvo. I don’t see much SAAB in this other than the front grill.

  12. “Ted Y you are correct, it is definently based on Chevy Malibu. What did I say? Only an American can do that ugly ass…”
    Okay Psycho Dave, I officially withdraw my nomination for this guy being put on the design team;-) I hope his feelings aren’t easily hurt.

  13. Wow. Its fair to say this exercise hasn’t been particularly encouraging.

    There’s some quite valid comments here and possibly some quite unnecessary ones, too.

    Remember, this guy’s a Saab fan who thought he’d try and have a go at some design stuff out of his interest in the cars. I’d encourage you all to stick to some objective critiques or appreciations and leave the assumptions at the door.

    e.g. Assumption about nationality – I don’t don’t know where he was born, but he’s based in Europe and as far as I know has been for some time.

    e.g II – anyone’s opinion of the paint color is quite irrelevant and adding the word heinous really isn’t helping anyone. Sorry, but that sort of thing is just discouraging to the guy who’s put the effort in and benefits no-one.

    i really do appreciate the interest people have shown, but let’s try and keep it constructive if we can.

    Don’t like it? That’s fine to say so, but be objective.

    Personally, I found the drivetrain thoughts to be more interesting than the pics as it’s where the rubber hits the road, but I know the visual medium is more instantly attractive.

  14. Now I must defend my self. Who would base the look of a Saab from an American car (in this case Chevrolet Malibu)? Well I would assume an American or someone with bad taste, excuse me but that is how I feel about that rear end. Just have a look at that rear end and just show me one European car with the number plate slotted in the rear bumper, please anybody just one. I can show plenty of America cars that have that and in my mind that is butt ugly. So is it so strange to assume that it is an American that has done this PhotoShop job when he chooses an American car as base?

  15. I merely suggested that the assumption was a bit out of place, Dave, and you feel a need to defend yourself. Can you imagine then, how the guy who did these images is feeling after the comments they’ve received?

    The suggestion that it was based on an American body and that you don’t like it is fine. The extended inference that all Americans are somehow deficient, along with this guy, is a bit inappropriate in my mind.

    One is a comment about the car (i.e. the picture) and the other is a generalisation about the person. That’s the distinction I’m trying to draw here.

  16. Psycho Dave,

    As an AMERICAN, I can understand that you don’t like our styling in cars. But, and I do say but, you need to keep in mind that there are different cultural aspects that go into designing an American car then does a European Car… I love both styles of design, and though I despise Oriental styling, with few exceptions, I would not begin to speak of their taste being horrible.

    Different cultures like different design cues… As much as I hate being PC myself, it is highly appreciated.

  17. Nice try, but I found it more looks like a car from Asia or America, not one from Scandinavia. Nothing much from SAAB there except maybe from the front. The rear proportions is strange……..

  18. I too feel it necessary to defend myself; at the risk of getting on Swade’s bad side, I’ll say that this:
    Someone goes to all the trouble of creating a new 9-5. Great; thanks man. That’s more than I could have done, and probably more than I would have. Very appreciated and interesting. But if you do a second photo of the rear wherein you change NOTHING except the color, a picture whose title specifically draws attention to its color, I’m going to assume that some commentary – brutally honest or otherwise – on the color is not only appropriate but welcome, and certainly not “irrelevant”.
    And as far as the powertrain goes, it’s still heresy in my book.

  19. Fascinating.
    FWIW I like the front but not the back. Somehow its more like a Renault Laguna/Lexus GS/Nissan Maxima than a Saab.

    Swade – This is kind of what I had in mind with my suggestion last month. It didn’t catch fire then but this is interesting now that we’ve got something to look at. Any chance of compiling in a specific archive ( Dream Line-Up) and continuing with a work through all the models? Be interesting to see how all the CGI looks when lined up together.

  20. MJL,

    I’m not getting angry at anyone here. I just thought your comment about the colour was a bit strong and given that this is one enthusiast’s efforts with a lot going into it I just don’t see how it could be constructive. I note your appreciation above but there was none of that in your previous posts and I’m just feeling cautious about a regular contributor to the site being pretty harshly critiqued if some of that critique is a bit pointless.

    Don’t like the colour? Sure, say so, but is the word ‘heinous’ overdoing it given the effort that’s been put in? I don’t think the colour’s particularly important (and I’m not that fond of it myself) – I think it was just done for a bit of variation.

    Honestly, no-one’s on anyone’s bad side here and TS isn’t Saabnet so there’s no banning if you disagree with me.

    Pete – Given that I have no photoshop skills whatsoever I’m feeling a bit nervous about the prospect. The one thing I’d hate to do is knock someone’s image back because it didn’t look right to me. Given that I have no p-shop skills I don’t think I have the authority to make that call, yet I’d also feel responsible for doing so if the exercise were to be a positive reflection on the brand and, admittedly, on the website too.

    I love the idea, but without the skills to execute it or at least actively participate I’d find it hard to host. Am I a control freak?

  21. SW – concerns & proprietry noted but I really don’t think its that big a deal. Relaaaaaaaaxx.

    No need to reject anything – just post it all in one place and see what it looks like. Call it curiosity. Certainly don’t pretend its part of reality.

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