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Saab's Sport(y) new 9-5 Combi

2011-01-20 09:51

ELEGANT UTILITY: One of the world’s most iconic estate cars is back – this is Saab’s latest incarnation of the 9-5 SportCombi nameplate.

Saab may be struggling, but its new 9-5 Sportwagon certainly plays to the brand’s traditional strengths.

Due for its public debut at the Geneva auto show in March, this most capacious version of the new 9-5 should appeal strongly to Saab's established customer base. The previous 9-5 estate accounted for nearly half of all 9-5 sales.

Nearly 5m bumper-to-bumper, the new 9-5 SportCombi retains its four-door siblings rear doors whilst adding a typically unique Saab styling twist to the rear third of the car.

The company’s signature ‘ice hockey stick’ sweeping C-pillar and large glass area conceal a luggage area of 527-litres, expandable to 1 600-litres with the rear seats folded.

True to its utility billing, the new 9-5 SportCombi’s load area is completely flat (without having to remove seat headrests before stowing them) and its sides are moulded with optimal uniformity, to ensure the most flush cargo section imaginable.

For outdoor enthusiasts there is a special 65mm deep ‘sealed wet storage’ compartment courtesy of trap door in the loadbay floor, perfect for muddied mountain biking/hiking gear or wetsuits.

Mechncially the SportCombi will feature a similar range of engines to the 9-5 sedan (ranging from 1.6- to 2.8-litres), harnessed by Saab’s fourth-generation Haldex driven all-wheel drive system – able to apportion up to 85% of available torque to a single wheel on demand.

Saab's suspended its new model business interests in South Africa, although considering it will soon need every possible sale it can get - don't bet against a return.

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