Jan 31 2010 Maurice Glover
Rescued Saab ready to roll
A DRAMATIC return to the showrooms is being planned for Saab, the Swedish brand rescued by Spyker, the Dutch sports car firm.
The company's reprieve from closure means its all-new 9-5 model will go on sale alongside the familiar 9-3 model range later this year.
Developed to compete in the premium sector, the luxury executive saloon will be launched with a choice of turbocharged petrol power units sized between two-litres and 2.8-litres.
A 160bhp, two-litre diesel boasting 139g/km - competitive for a car in this class - will be offered to corporate drivers before higher-output heavy-oil motors are introduced.
But revitalised Saab plans to return to its roots with a new 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine powering the 9-5 in the near future. Despite its modest size, the small and lightweight motor develops a healthy 190bhp.
'We're convinced private buyers will be interested in this version, which maintains our heritage with small turbo units. Our first one was launched back in 1977 in the Saab 99 and we've stayed with this method of boosting power ever since,' says Saab GB sales and marketing strategy general manager David Pugh.
Prices of the 9-5 will be announced closer to the launch date, but are expected to start at £25,000.