Saab To Unveil Entire New Model Line At North American International Auto Show

Dec 15, 1997, 00:00 ET from Saab

    NORCROSS, Ga., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Saab launches an entire new range
 of cars at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, Jan. 10-19, 1998
 -- featuring the world premiere of the new 1999 Saab 9-3 (pronounced "nine
 three") Convertible, Coupe and five-door, and the North American debut of the
 new 1999 Saab 9-5 premium performance sedan.  Scheduled to go on sale in
 spring of 1998, the new Saab cars are powered exclusively by turbocharged
 engines, and feature a host of new safety innovations such as the Saab Active
 Head Restraint (SAHR), a world-first safety system that reduces the risk of
 whiplash injuries.
     The new Saab 9-3 is the result of extensive refinement and re-engineering
 of the popular Saab 900, including a subtle restyling of the 900's sporty and
 distinctive exterior, and more than 1,000 technical improvements and interior
 design changes.  The 1999 Saab 9-3 goes on sale in the North American market
 during April, 1998.
     For the new Saab 9-3, chassis engineers have significantly refined the
 handling, steering precision and ride comfort of the car.  New front seats and
 revisions to the instrument panel improve driver ergonomics and emphasize the
 interior's cockpit feel, while an upgraded climate system improves the
 interior comfort for the occupants.  The already high standard of
 crashworthiness has been improved further by the Saab Active Head Restraint
 and side-impact airbags included as standard on all Saab 9-3 cars.  The car's
 appearance has been enhanced by a restyled rear section, new bumpers and a new
 grille featuring a sleek, wing-shaped center bar.  A 185-hp 2.OL Turbo four-
 cylinder engine powers all variants of the Saab 9-3, while the Convertible
 receives a newly designed hydraulically powered soft top that is even faster
 and quieter than the previous generation top.
     The all-new Saab 9-5 sedan is not simply a new car model; it is a showcase
 of innovation and intelligent engineering.  Combining the best elements of
 Saab heritage with advanced automotive and aviation-inspired technology, the
 1999 Saab 9-5 includes superb aerodynamics, comfort, safety and performance
 for a new standard in the luxury sedan segment.  With Saab's distinctive
 styling cues and character lines, as well as a drag coefficient of only 0.29,
 the 9-5's sporty profile is supported by an all-new chassis with four-wheel
 independent suspension and two turbocharged powertrain choices.
     The new Saab single-bank turbo 3.0L V6 is the world's first asymmetric
 turbocharger design.  An integrated low-pressure turbocharger on the front
 cylinder bank feeds compressed air to the entire transverse-mounted engine,
 boosting low-end torque to 229 lb.-ft. at only 2,100 rpm.  With four valves
 per cylinder, the asymmetric Turbo V6 develops 200 hp, and is matched
 exclusively with an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission.
     The newly developed 2.3L Turbo four-cylinder engine shares few parts with
 the engine it replaces in the Saab 9000.  Extensive refinements result in
 reduced weight and significantly lower internal friction, improving fuel
 consumption by about 5 percent.  This new 170-hp engine produces 207 lb.-ft.
 of torque at a mere 1,800 rpm.  Both engines feature new electronic "drive-by-
 wire" technology, controlled by a new generation Saab Trionic engine
 management system.
     Saab 9-5 safety systems include an exceptionally rigid safety cage,
 triple-path five-stage front-end crash structure, Saab Active Head Restraint,
 four airbags (front and side), front-seat belt pretensioners and a "collision
 deflector" side-impact protection concept.  At night, an advanced
 instrument/control panel -- Saab Night Panel -- displays information on a
 need-to-know basis, with a choice of illumination modes and variable
 brightness.  Other technical highlights include a cabin double-filtration
 system, an independent "temperature zone" for the driver, an air-conditioned
 glovebox, and optional ventilated front seats that pull trapped warm air away
 from the driver or front passenger through perforated leather upholstery.  An
 engine-immobilizing alarm system, with free-wheeling lock mechanism, is among
 the best anti-theft protection in the world.
     Saab's excellent warranty protection includes a four-year/50,000-mile
 bumper-to-bumper coverage with 24-hour roadside assistance, and six-year
 coverage for perforation, with no mileage limit.