New Saab wagon debuts at Geneva

New Saab wagon debuts at Geneva

Saab will unveil its new 9-5 SportCombi - the wagon/estate car version of its recently redesigned 9-5 sedan at the Geneva show next March.

"Sleek and fun-to-drive, the SportCombi adds versatility to the widely acclaimed attributes of the 9-5 sedan and will bring a distinctive, alternative choice to the premium, large wagon segment," the automaker's US unit said in a statement.

"It shares the sedan's bold, Aero X-inspired looks and features an extended, falling roof-line which culminates in a steeply raked rear screen flanked by signature Saab 'wraparound' window glazing. The result is an imposing and sporty wagon with a low stance and a dynamic, visual appeal that concedes nothing to the requirements of load-carrying."

Features include an adaptable multi-fold floor, flexible U-rail load space configuration and under-floor stowage with a sealed wet storage compartment.  A programmable, powered tailgate will also be available.

All wheel drive, adaptive chassis control, adaptive cruise control, bi-xenon adaptive lighting, keyless entry and starting, tri-zone air conditioning and a BMW 5-series-like head-up display will also be on offer.

US sales begin in autumn 2011, Saab Cars North America added.

"It will significantly broaden the appeal of the new 9-5 range in a segment where Saab, with its tradition for designing versatile vehicles, has enjoyed wagon sales volumes on a par with sedan levels," the US unit said.

"The launch of the 9-5 SportCombi is a much-awaited next step in the roll-out of our new product offensive," said Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ake Jonsson in the statement. "It will take Saab back into the large wagon segment where we have established a strong presence in many key markets with our previous offering."

With the seatbacks lowered, the cargo deck is just over six feet long (77.2 in.) and offers an adaptable load capacity of up to 56 cubic feet (18.6 cu. ft., rear seats up). The side walls are flat and upright, creating a clean, open space without any hard to use corners or rear wheelarch intrusions. Compartments in the side walls offer convenient stowage for small items. Four tie-down loops and a 12-volt power outlet will also be standard.

An optional, U-shaped track around the outside of the floor provides flexible space configuration. As in the 9-5 sedan, it carries an adaptable, telescopic dividing rail which allows the cargo deck to be split as required so that different sized items can be separated and kept in place.

The optional remote controlled, electric power operated tailgate can be fully opened and closed via a rotary knob in the driver's door or a button on the car's key fob. A touch pad on the outside of the tailgate, above the number plate, and a button in the interior trim also trigger powered opening and closing.

A programmable mode can be used to raise the tailgate to a lower position if there is restricted clearance overhead, such as inside a garage. The opening height is pre-set via the rotary knob, which can also disable the powered function.

For ease of loading, the tailgate opens down to bumper level with a lift-over height of 25.5 in. The cargo deck floor is also flush with the tailgate opening to facilitate sliding heavy loads inside. A light in the tailgate and small sidewall lights provide night illumination.