The new Saab 9-5 is here; it looks good, it’s very high-tech, and in diesel guise its emissions are as low as 139 g/km CO2.
The all-turbo powertrain line-up starts at 1.6 litres and reflects Saab’s ‘rightsizing’ engine strategy, which focuses on ‘responsible performance’ through the development of efficient and relatively small four-cylinder turbo engines – petrol and diesel.
At launch, the four-cylinder choice comprises a 160 hp, 2.0-litre turbo diesel with CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km and a 2.0-litre petrol turbo developing 220 hp. A 2.8-litre V6 turbo, generating 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque, is offered exclusively with XWD and automatic transmission.
Shortly after launch, a 1.6-litre petrol turbo with 180 hp will be introduced. A powerful 190 hp, 2.0-litre twin turbo diesel, generating 400 Nm of torque, will complete the powertrain line-up. All transmissions are six-speed.
The 1.6 Turbo petrol engine develops 180 hp with torque of 230 Nm available from 2,200 rpm to 5,500 rpm. It includes an ‘overboost’ function, which raises torque to 266 Nm for up to five seconds on a wide open throttle. CO2 emissions are projected to be 179 g/km with fuel consumption of 37.2 mpg, while the 0-62 mph time is 9.5 seconds.
The 2.0 Turbo develops 220 hp with 350 Nm torque from just 2,500 rpm. This engine is offered with front wheel drive or the XWD all-wheel-drive system. A twin-scroll turbocharger is also used, which virtually eliminates turbo lag at low engine speeds and delivers a throttle response comparable to that of a naturally-aspirated engine. With front wheel drive, the 0-62 mph time is 7.9 seconds, with combined fuel economy of 33.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of 194 g/km.
A 2.8 V6 Turbo engine comes with XWD and a 6-speed automatic transmission.
There are two 16-valve, 2.0 litre turbo diesel engines. The 2.0 TiD is a16-valve, 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine which develops 160 hp and 350 Nm of torque and offers CO2 emissions of 139 g/km, together with fuel economy of 53.3 mpg.
The more powerful twin turbo 2.0 TTiD version delivers 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque from just 1,750 rpm. It gives 0 – 62 mph acceleration in 8.8 seconds, and will be available with both front wheel drive and Saab XWD.
The twin turbo system uses two turbochargers of different sizes with by-pass valves that direct the exhaust gas stream between the two turbines. At low engine speeds, the small turbocharger supplies boost pressure independent of engine load. At intermediate engine speeds under higher loads, both the small and large turbochargers provide boost pressure; while at high engine speed and load, only the large turbocharger is engaged. This arrangement provides good, instant torque at low engine speeds – via the low-inertia small turbo – and strong, top-end power at higher engine speeds when the large turbo is engaged.
Saab XWD, the all-wheel-drive system already available on the Saab 9-3, is offered with all engines except the 1.6-litre petrol and 2.0TiD 160 hp turbo diesel.
Saab’s all-wheel-drive system is optional for 2.0T petrol and 2.0TTiD diesel variants, and standard with the 2.8T engine. This on-demand, active system uses a multi-plate Haldex clutch unit to infinitely vary drive torque between the front and rear axles and enables the application of rear drive to balance oversteer and understeer characteristics.
An optional, electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential (eLSD) transfers up to 50% of rear torque between the rear wheels, to whichever has more grip. Under hard cornering, or when completing a high speed manoeuvre, such as a lane change, the brief application of more or less torque to either wheel helps the rear of the car more closely follow the direction of the front wheels.
Prices start from £26,495 for the 2.0TiD 160PS.
See our road test of the Saab 9-5 Saloon 2.0 TiD – a diesel version with fuel economy combined of 53.2 mpg