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Bold Saab 9-5 Performance Sedan Showcases Innovation

5 January 1998

Bold Saab 9-5 Performance Sedan Showcases Innovation

      Saab Introduces New Turbocharged Engines, Advanced Safety Features

    NORCROSS, Ga., Jan. 5 -- The all-new Saab 9-5 is not simply a
new car model; it is a showcase of innovation and intelligent engineering.
Combining the best elements of Saab heritage with advanced automotive and
aviation-inspired technology, the 1999 Saab 9-5 adds superb aerodynamics,
comfort, safety and performance for a new standard in the luxury sedan
    Saab has represented many things to many people over the automaker's 51-
year history, but Saabs have never been described as conventional. The Saab
9-5 proudly continues that tradition.  With Saab's distinctive styling cues
and character lines, as well as a drag coefficient of only 0.29, the Saab 9-5
blends modern design with highly responsive performance and superior man-
machine interaction.  The 9-5's sporty profile is supported by an
exceptionally strong body structure, featuring a broad range of new safety

    New All-Turbo Engine Choices
    Each of the engine choices for the Saab 9-5 has been developed under the
Saab Ecopower concept, which combines multiple valves with an advanced
turbocharger strategy, along with fast-reacting catalytic converters and
advanced Trionic engine management.  Either four or six cylinders, each Saab
engine provides a unique combination of responsive performance, low exhaust
emissions and high fuel efficiency.  To the driver, perhaps the most
noticeable effect of Ecopower technology is the high torque output achieved at
low engine speeds -- providing quick acceleration and strong off-the-line
response.  The engine is tuned to provide its range of power where it is most
usable for everyday driving, as well as providing exhilarating performance on
    The new Saab single-bank turbo 3.0L V6 is the world's first asymmetric
turbocharger design.  An integrated low-pressure turbocharger on the front
cylinder bank feeds compressed air to the entire transverse-mounted engine,
boosting low-end torque to 229 lb.-ft. at 2,100 rpm.  With four valves per
cylinder and dual overhead cams, the asymmetric Turbo V6 develops 200 hp, and
is matched exclusively with an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic
    The newly developed 2.3L four-cylinder engine shares few parts with the
engine it replaces.  Extensive refinements result in reduced weight and
significantly lower internal friction, improving fuel consumption by about 5
percent.  Fitted with an aluminum alloy, twin-cam head with four valves per
cylinder, twin balance shafts and a new smaller, more responsive Saab light
pressure intercooled turbo (LPT) system, the 2.3L Ecopower engine is available
with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.  This new engine
produces 170 hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque at a mere 1,800 rpm.
    Both engines feature new electronic "drive-by-wire" technology, controlled
by a new generation Saab Trionic engine management system.  High-speed data
bus communication integrates and shares all vital vehicle information with
other main electronic controllers almost instantaneously.

    New Chassis and Suspension Systems
    The new Saab 9-5 follows the Saab philosophy that responsive performance
and good handling are a major contribution to driving safety.  The 9-5's
platform is a new Saab design on a 106.4-inch wheelbase, developed by Saab
engineers solely for this model.  The Saab 9-5's chassis and fully independent
suspension balances the best possible directional stability with a
comfortable, well-controlled ride.
    Strut type front suspension is matched to a new split rear axle used for
the first time on a Saab.  The total chassis system has been extensively
developed to provide predictable and responsive control that is stable, well
balanced and extremely forgiving in difficult situations.  Isolated front and
rear subframes lessen disturbances more effectively and provide important
insulation from noise, vibration and harshness.
    All versions of the Saab 9-5 are equipped with a new generation of
electronically controlled ABS as standard, with large-diameter disc brakes
front and rear.  This system also incorporates electronic brake force
distribution that works under hard braking before the ABS is activated.  It
automatically maximizes the grip available at each wheel independently to
reduce stopping distances.  The V6 Turbo engine also includes an integrated
electronic traction control system that operates on the front brakes or
reduces engine torque automatically to prevent wheelspin on slippery surfaces.

    Real-Life Safety Structure
    The new Saab 9-5 has been designed using 25 years of real-life safety data
accumulated by Saab experts in studies of more than 5,000 actual road
accidents.  As a result, the front structure incorporates three robust load
paths that optimize and distribute crash loads more effectively.  Combined
with energy absorbing systems that collapse progressively in proportion to the
impact speed, the 9-5's crash behavior is predictable and consistent,
virtually regardless of what obstacle the car encounters.  The Saab-patented
front-end structure is a new horseshoe shape, designed to absorb and spread
energy from off-set collisions away from the passenger compartment as much as
    The Saab safety cage around the passenger compartment is made from an
extremely rigid system of high-tensile steel members.  Its reinforcement is so
innovative, that it is covered by eight patent applications.  Biomechanical
studies of side impact injuries have resulted in a special side structure that
Saab calls a "collision deflector," where most of the crash forces are
deflected away from the upper parts of the human body, which are more
susceptible to injury.
    The Saab Active Head Restraint, SAHR, is a unique new safety system that
reduces the risk of whiplash injuries.  This world-first safety feature
effectively limits the front-seat occupants' head movement during a rear-end
collision.  All five seating positions incorporate three-point inertia reel
seat belts with semi-automatic height adjustments and anti-submarining ramps
to prevent the wearer sliding under the belt in a severe frontal collision.
Front seats also feature seat belt pretensioners and two side-impact airbags,
integrated into the side of the front seatbacks.  Dual front airbags are
standard as well, and a rear integrated child seat is available as an option.

    Saab Tradition of Technical Innovation Continues
    The new Saab 9-5 continues Saab's tradition of intelligent engineering
with a number of new technical innovations.  In addition to the new asymmetric
V6 low-pressure turbocharged engine, new data bus electrical system, rigid
safety cage, triple-path five-stage front-end crash structure, Saab Active
Head Restraints, side airbags and "collision deflector" side impact protection
concepts, there is a gas and odor double-filtration system, an independent
"temperature zone" for the driver, unique new double sunvisors, and optional
ventilated front seats that provides the same body cooling as if the driver or
front passenger were standing up.  An engine-immobilizing alarm system, with
free-wheeling lock mechanism, is among the best anti-theft protection in the
world.  The Swedish Consumer Agency conducted a recent anti-theft test of 30
new cars, including the Saab 9-5.  Some of the cars were broken into after
only four or five seconds.  Only eight of the cars could withstand a break-in
for at least a minute.  And only one car -- the Saab 9-5 -- had theft-
resistant door locks that could withstand a break-in attempt for the full two-
minute time limit.
    At night, an advanced instrument/control panel -- Saab Night Panel --
displays information on a need-to-know basis, with a choice of illumination
modes and variable brightness.  Other technical highlights include six high-
pressure jet washer nozzles for windshield cleaning, an air-conditioned
glovebox, and even a "smart" automatic audio volume control that compensates
for background noise according to the chosen setting, not just the vehicle
    The Saab 9-5's interior and ergonomic cockpit design group is led by an
aeronautical engineer.  Various controls are logically grouped and designed
for ease of use.  The ignition switch is located where Saab engineers feel is
most visible and safest: on the center console between the seats.  It takes
one smooth and natural motion to fasten the seatbelt, start the engine,
disengage the handbrake and select a gear -- all on the center console.

    "Nines" -- Part of Saab's Heritage and Future
    The new Saab 9-5 (pronounced "nine five") is manufactured in Trollhattan,
Sweden, where Saab has been building cars for 50 years.  It extends the Saab
range of passenger cars into the premium sedan segment, and replaces the Saab
9000 in the North American market.  The Saab 9-5 launches the most product-
rich period in Saab's history, complementing the significantly refined and
updated Saab 900, introduced as the new Saab 9-3, in five-door, three-door
Coupe and Convertible body styles.  Both model lines -- Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3
-- go on sale in April, 1998.
    Saab's new model designation carries on a tradition of "nines" that has
strong roots in Saab's aeronautical history.  Saab's first passenger car, the
Saab 92, unveiled in 1947, took its name from the number series used for
Saab's then primary product -- aircraft.  After the Saab 90 and 91 aircraft,
the 92 designation was awarded to the company's first passenger car.
Subsequent models were numbered sequentially, up to the Saab 99.  The Saab 900
and 9000 model designations were chosen to emphasize the launch of a new
larger series of cars.  By keeping the number "nine" as an important part of
the Saab 9-5 and 9-3's names, Saab continues to honor its rich heritage.