Given the current state of Saab, this car may never see production, but the 2011 Saab 9-5 represents a new direction in design for the company, and features some new technologies. Saab brought the car to the 2009 LA auto show.
Although facing an uncertain future, Saab designers came up with a new design direction for the 9-5 sedan, borrowing elements from the Aero-X concept. Evoking Saab's aircraft-building heritage, the 9-5 gets a rounded windshield that is supposed to mimic that of an airplane's. The front of the car still retains Saab's traditional look.
The strong C pillar is in line with both modern sedans and Saab tradition, while the blackened B pillar gives the car's roof a lidlike look. In the U.S., the 9-5 gets a turbo-charged 2.8-liter V-6 making 300 horsepower, along with all-wheel-drive and an adaptive suspension.
Saab aimed for an aircraft-inspired design in the cabin, as well, which can be seen in the driver-focused bank of buttons down the stack towards the shifter. Pushing that idea even further, Saab offers what it calls a Pilot HUD, a head-up information display projected on the windshield.
A rear-seat entertainment system has monitors that cleverly flip over from the backs of the front seats. These neither impinge on the headrests nor hang down from the ceiling, obscuring the driver's rear view.
Saab modernized the navigation system, using a hard drive for map storage. That hard drive also has 10 gigabytes of space reserved for music. A USB connection in the console allows for other audio sources.