Powertrain Downsizing In Action – Saab’s Next 9-5

By Kevin Miller

08.14.2008


Replacement For Ancient 9-5 is Expected to Debut in March

Channel4.com has reported that the entry-level engine for the long-awaited next-generation Saab 9-5 will be a turbocharged 1.6 liter four. The 1.6 liter engine is in keeping with Saab’s philosophy of downsizing engines while utilizing their extensive turbocharging expertise.

The smaller base engine will have more car to move around, as the new 9-5 will be somewhat larger than the current car. The current 9-5 is powered in the US only by a 260 HP 2.3 liter four which is the latest derivation of a historic Saab powertrain. Other powertrains forecast for the new 9-5 include the 260 HP, 2.8 liter V6 from the Cadillac CTS, a 2 liter CDTi diesel, and Saab’s turbocharged 2 liter, ethanol-compatible Biopower engine.

Saab’s recently-introduced XWD all-wheel drive system will be offered on the new 9-5, and a raised-suspension “softroader” wagon in the same vein as the 9-3 SportCombi-based crossover expected to debut this October in Paris, will join the 9-5 sedan and SportCombi wagon.

As we reported last month, the 9-5 is expected to be introduced at the Geneva Auto Show next March. It will be built in GM’s Rüsselsheim, Germany, plant alongside its platform-mate Opel Insignia, with deliveries beginning next Autumn.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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1 Comment

  1. The trouble with Saab is not it’s engines, but it’s lackluster model range here in the States, and the fact that the cars straddle the luxury class and the average-joe class and they don’t get enough buyers from either side to be successful. They need to go up or down in features and price, and they need some models with some more visual flair, since their brand equity is almost all gone by now.

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