Car Magazine with Saab model news

Saab 9-5 muleCAR Magazine out of the UK has published an article with a whole bucketload of news, reportedly about the next Saab 9-5. They even have a photo there of a supposed 9-5 mule. I hope it is just a mule as it looks quite plain.

OK, to the news. This is all to be confirmed, but quite exciting if true.

Saab 9-5 and Performance Assist.

CAR are saying that the 9-5 will feature a system called Performance Assist (PA), which is perhaps the first application of some of the technology developed on the Saab BioPower Convertible Hybrid. The PA system (OK, bad acronym) comprises electric motors that will eliminate any turbo lag and even allow for short-term electric propulsion.

The 9-5 will be sitting on an extended Epsilon platform, which gets a whole section of the article on it’s own. The platform will allow for extensions to both width and length so that models can be adequately differentiated. The Saab variants will get double wishbone suspension in front, for example, but it’ll be equally capable of taking Macpherson strut suspension as well. The rear will also cope with multiple axle setups.

Saab 9-4x

Apparently the 9-4x will also have the PA system as an option.

In a claim that makes me worry about the entire story’s accuracy, however, they also claim that there’ll be a fold-down 3rd row of seating in the 9-4x. Saab people from all around the world have been looking at the 9-4x in the last month or so in Sweden and my sources tell me that a 3rd row was not going to happen.

It’ll be a part-time 4WD vehicle styled like a 4-door coupe, according to CAR. Djup Strupe’s sightings indicate that various illustrations so far have been fairly accurate on this.

Saab 9-2S

In what could be the most exciting news if true, Saab are looking to get out their Sonett badge again for a small-ish roadster type thing that will be called a 9-2S (for Sonett).

This is the first we’ve heard of this, but one source has mentioned to me that Saab (or GM Europe) have a patent that covers a total reinvention of the Convertible concept. Could this be that car?


There’s a lot of news here.

One would assume that if the 9-4x is going to have this Performance Assist system as an option then it would actually be debuting the system as that vehicle is expected for release before the 9-5. Unless, of course, they add it later as an enhancement in the 2nd or 3rd year.

The job now rests with Djup Strupe. This stuff is all quite new and as yet, unconfirmed. If you can confirm on deny any of this info from CAR Magazine, then here’s how to get in touch with me.

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  1. 9-5 mule – don’t panic, that is clearly a GM Vectra so this mule must be purely testing mechanicals, not glasshouse or panels.

    9-4x – go Saab go!! If the 9-4x does include the 3rd row (as common sense and the market dictates) then we will have (at last) a truly competitive exciting AND practical family car from Saab – that’ll give those of us with families a real Saab option instead of having to go with boring mainstream or expensive upstream cars. Great news, I hope it’s true!!!!

  2. Wow, this is great news for us Americans who scared to death about the price of fuel today. I hope tis story is true about the Hybrid concept, this is exactly what Saab needs here in the US. I imagine this is going to be the Plug-In Hybrid that we have heard about on this Blog, so I hope GM doesn’t pull the plug sort of speak on this one.

  3. S1, you’ve caused me to introduce some qualifiers here. The addition of electric drive to the wheels seemed to me to be a natural progression from the Hybrid concept vehicle. It’s my assumption that this is the case, so I’ve alterest the text to better reflect that.

    The plugin nature of that concept was included in the recalled initial press release. But this doesn’t seem to have an emphasis on hybrid technology so I’d be surprised if that capability made it to this car.

  4. Was it just me who noticed the words hatch and new 93 in the same sentence? Plus a 91 to take on the A3 & 1 Series….could be all talk though.

    INMO The 94X & the new 95 both need to have a 7 seat option, even if just a pull-up for kids.

    7 seats, diesel, 4wd. I know these are not classic Saab attributes but they will win a lot of sales and help finance the groovy stuff. Plus it would be great to see some Saabs like this a create some choice.

    Exhibit A: The Cayenne bankrolling the 911.

    My faviourite part of the story was actually in the comments section at the bottom:

    “PS why do people get snobby about Saabs having some GM DNA, yet when Volvo’s are Fords in bodykits it never gets a mention ;)”

  5. I have bought car for 17 years (and keep them all for hand reference too – I must get out more). They don’t always get it right so lets not do a Black Turbo and get our hopes up until we actually see the colour of Saabs money.

    That said it all sounds both positive and plausible. I had heard before that Epsilon II was a very flexible paltform and simsilar in concept the the new platform under the upcoming A4,5 and 6 so I think the info should be pretty good there.
    The electric motor may be a system I heard about – fornt wheels are driven by the engine and then there is an electric motor between the rear wheels that “assists” when needed ie: slippery roads, accelerating etc. It makes the car AWD to a degree.

    I would take the Sonnett with a pinch of salt espescially it is will be RWD. Even I would find an RWD Saab to accept.

  6. Performance Assist sounds like Viagra to me, but a little Performance Assist never hurt anybody. I am hoping SAAB nails the design of the 9-5 just like they did with the new 2008 9-3.

  7. Let’s hope at least some of this is true – I mean, with the 9-5, 9-4, new 9-3, 9-1 and 9-2Sonett this would mean 5 new cars in 5 years (from 2009 on)? That would be to good to be true… I guess it all depends on how well the new 9-5 and 9-4 will sell.

    On the 3rd row: I wonder how safe these seats are. I recently was in the 3rd row of a Ford S-Max and I have doubts about it. But I might be wrong.

  8. If you look up the plates in the swedish car register it clearly shows it’s some kind of mule, it is owned by Saab automobile. The engine is the 210bhp found in 9-3 SS.

  9. I agree with PT. Though I don’t know anything about 9-4x, I think 9-5 would be a better candidate for a 7 seater assuming it has more room than 9-4x.

  10. I’m not sure this PA is something new. Isn’t that what already exists on the GM mild hybrids like the Saturn VUE Green Line?

    So would they pair it with a start/stop system? Would that be what they mean by “short range zero-emissions mobility”?

  11. PT, I couldn’t resist the jibe at Volvo!

    But it is true isn’t it? There was some mud attached to the Jaguar X-type for being a Mondeo clone (not actually a terrible thing as the Mondeo is a good motor), but by-and-large Ovlov seem to get away with it.

    Having seen several S80s and V70s on the road, I have to say Ovlov designs have gone from being mould-breaking (at least from the cube mould!) to being same-again iterative and boring. The new V70 is plain ugly!

    If that is what the 9-5 is up against, I feel confident. Audi will produce a same again A6, BMW’s new 5 looks like a pumped 3 (a backward design step IMHO) and Merc C-class looks more Korean than ever.

    Roll on the Aero school of design!!

  12. Yay Sonett! If it’s being badged as a 9-2, that means cheap(ish) convertible and that means happy Jeff.

    Some Saab people have said that a new Sonett would be most likely based on Delta (and not Kappa), according to Wikipedia. That means FWD, I think. Personally, I think they should figure out how to shoehorn the XWD system in as an option, because that would be awesome. Even if they don’t, though, FWD is fine for 200hp, which is fine for a smallish car like a new Sonett would be.

    Though an AWD 500 horse torque-monster Saab superconvertible would be cool too :p

  13. Did anyone else notice that the new 9-3 is supposed to come in hatch, wagon and ‘vert form come 2010? I doubt very much that Saab will ditch the sedan as the market has spoken when it comes to big hatchbacks – nobody wants them!

    i think the game-changer for Saab is going to be that new Haldex XWD system. I have just received the Sept 07 issue and they rave about the handling on the 9-3 XWD.

  14. I wonder if that Vectra is a mule for the new 9-5: I don’t see the extended Epsilon II having the same wheelbase as the old small Epsilon…

  15. Did anyone see that story about low power turbo cars being banned for preliminary drivers in Oz (or parts of Oz, I couldn’t tell)? No Saabs, no Merc turbos, but the Porsche GT3 is just fine because it’s low powered, apparently. Teehee.

  16. Jeff,

    Yeah, Swade reported on that a month or two ago. Saab and particularly MB are fighting it vigorously. In real terms it means no P-plater in Vic can drive any post 1996 Oz delivered Saab. Let’s face it, if Bracks’ son can prang a N/A 900, what hope have we got.

    The irony is that the most inexperienced drivers no longer have access to the safest cars on the road.

    The flip-side is that any force-fed car is readily and invisibly modifiable, BSR tune on a base 9-3 or swapping an Aero-spec ECU into a LPT 9000 can make otherwise sedate cars quite potent and 9000’s are very affordable now.

  17. I remember Swade mentioning that legislation, but I didn’t think it had gone through at that point. I figured it finally had, and that’s why Autoblog reported it. Wonder why it took them so long.

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