Today GM announced that the proposed sale of Saab to Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg was off. Does that mean that the recently revealed new 9-5 sedan is dead in the water?
In a short statement GM CEO Fritz Henderson said:
"We're obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase. Many have worked tirelessly over the past several months to create a sustainable plan for the future of Saab by selling the brand and its manufacturing interests to Koenigsegg Group AB. Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week."
No word was given about whether there are other bidders for Saab, whether the brand will be closed down or what the fate of its almost-production-ready 9-5 will be.
Koenigsegg currently produces a few handfuls of its CCX supercar every year.
The current 9-5 certainly has had long on-sale life; it's been on sale since 1997. The new model (above) was slated to replace it from 2010 in Europe and the US.
The windscreen pillar's been blacked out to give the new 9-5 a wraparound windscreen effect, which is meant to evoke the jet fighters that Saab made before it entered car manufacturing.
The interior of the new 9-5 fits in a navigation/entertainment system, yet manages to be instantly familiar to anyone who's ever driven a Saab before.
We love head-up displays (HUD), as they provide speed and navigation information on the windscreen and cut down on the amount of time we're looking away from the road. The 9-5's HUD features not just a digital speedometer, but also a tacho, gear indictor and more.
One of the key traits of Saabs through the years has been a key ignition switch located in the centre console. Apparently that's no longer possible, so the company's come up with the next best thing: a start/stop button in the centre console.
The Night Panel button on the left switches off the illumination for all non-essential instruments, leaving just the speedometer, indicators and warning lights.
SAAB is actually an acronym for Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget or Swedish Aeroplane Company.
LED lights not only light up faster and last longer, they also allow designers to bend a car's lights into funky shapes. Witness the light tubes used here for the driving lights and the hockey stick brake lights.
Cars as humble as a Honda Jazz have featured mirror-mounted turn indicators, but few have integrated them as well as the (possibly) upcoming 9-5.