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2010 Saab 9-5 – click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Opinions have been mixed over the overall shape of the new Saab 9-5. The detailing, as we found at the pivotal sedan's debut at the recently concluded Frankfurt show, takes the Swedish automaker's aerospace-inspired design to a new level of sophistication, but some believe that the silhouette cut by the sedan's form left something lacking. That could all be fixed, however, if the estate wagon comes out looking as slick as this rendering imagines.

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How much does it take to turn a Saab into a Koenigsegg? The half-billion dollars in funding the niche automaker is locking down to acquire the erstwhile General Motors subsidiary? The million euros one of its supercars sells for? How about 116 kronor? That amounts to about $16.50, and it's how much one local motorist has paid to slap the Koenigsegg name on his Saab 9-5 SportCombi wagon in an apparent jab at Swedish domestic auto industry.

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If Billy Joel is right that only the good die young, the outgoing Saab 9-5 has been very, very bad. In automotive terms, the 9-5 is positively ancient, having first seen the light of day in 1997 and getting very little in the way of meaningful changes since that time.

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2010 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

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1961 Saab 95 commercial -- Click above to watch video

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According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, Fritz Henderson, General Motors' recently appointed CEO, doesn't want to see Saab leave the American automaker's portfolio. Why? Apparently, because the upcoming Saab 9-5 sport sedan is just that good. The paper goes on to suggest that the new Saab 9-5 Aero was tested and compared against the Opel Insignia OPC, which shares a similar platform, with the Swedish automobile emerging as "a clear winner."

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An eagle-eyed spy shooter hiding behind the bushes somewhere in Europe managed to capture a trio of next-gen Saab 9-5 hatchbacks wearing a bit less camouflage than we've seen in the past. For the first time, we can see the new Swedish beauty's front and rear light clusters, along with what appears to be a gently sloping rear hatchback shape.

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On the market since 1997, Saab's 9-5 is getting more than a little long in the tooth. The Swedish automaker is about to launch the Griffin Edition of its aging sedan, but that's a stop-gap at best; if Saab is serious about its future, it's going to need an all-new 9-5. Or more accurately, if General Motors is serious about Saab's future, it will need a new 9-5 - or at least the perception of a forthcoming 9-5 among investors (Wagoner and company have hinted at that they may sell off or shut down

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Saab's rumored decision to downsize its engines gets some confirmation today, as reports indicate that the Swedish brand's next 9-5 will get just 1.6-liters of displacement for its base engine. However, power should still be up to par, as the mill will get a high-pressure turbocharger to boost output. Despite the small-bore engine, the next 9-5 will be built atop the Epsilon II platform which underpins the latest Opel Insignia and which will cause the new 9-5 to grow in size compared to the curr

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