LA 2009: Saab 9-5 North American Debut Obscured by Brand’s Instability

LA 2009: Saab 9-5 North American Debut Obscured by Brand’s Instability

At the LA Auto Show, Swedish automaker Saab had on display for the first time on U.S. soil, its new 9-5 sedan, which was touted by many to be the struggling automaker’s savior. The only problem is, with Saab current instability, this baby might just be stillborn. Recently the leading candidate to buy Saab, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg, pulled out of the deal, putting not just the car’s future, but the entire automaker’s future in jeopardy.

GM has announced, however, that it will continue to look for a new buyer for the brand.

As for the car, well, it will be offered with five different engines in total, although few of them are likely to make it to the U.S.  All five engines are turbocharged and relatively small, meaning fuel-economy should be quite good. Also helping in the fuel-economy department is the fact that all five engines will be paired with six-speed transmissions.

When the car first goes on sale in Europe three of the five engines will be available: a 160hp 2.0-liter turbo diesel, a 220hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a range-topping 300hp turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 – the same engine found in the Cadillac SRX. Both front-drive and AWD models will be avaialble.

Later on, Saab will also offer a 180hp 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine as well as an E85-capable 2.0-liter motor.

The car’s proportions are somewhat awkward, but the interior is definitely luxurious and original. Notable features on the new 9-5 include a heads-up display driver information system, adaptive lighting, adaptive cruise control, Saab DriveSense adaptive suspension, keyless entry and starting, tri-zone air conditioning, dynamic parking assistance and the option of AWD with Saab’s impressive eLSD system.

Saab has yet to set pricing and while a specific on-sale date has not been set, the car will be release some time in 2010.

GALLERY: 2011 Saab 9-5 Debut in LA

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