The Saab 9-5 is an executive car produced by the Swedish automobile maker Saab. The first generation was introduced in 1997 as the replacement to the Saab 9000 for the 1998 model year. At the time, the car represented a great leap forward for Saab. In the United States, the 9-5 was introduced in the spring of 1998, for the 1999 model year. At September 15th 2009 the second generation was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show and production is expected to begin in early 2010.
The first generation 9-5 was available with sedan and station wagon body styles. Aerodynamically, the sedan's drag coefficient is 0.29, and the station wagon's is 0.31 (U.S. version 0.33), which was introduced in 1999. It features such innovations as tracks to secure cargo down and a sliding load floor to make loading easier,
Originally, Saab light-weight bombers and fighter aircraft only had a model number. The name of the car 95 was arrived at in the late 80's. Until then, models were numbered 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 99, 900, and 9000 in succession and housing at least one digit, 9. Approaching the new millennium, it was thought that big numbers were outdated for a reference to the future, considering the small numbers that were to succeed 2000. During what in Sweden is called a Fika-rast a group of CAD-engineers (all but one with a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering) started a discussion. The series of numbers appeared exponential. It was proposed that raising the 9 to the power of five would exceed 9000. After some thought, the group agreed, and Stig Nodin delivered the proposal to management. Nine to the power of five are two small digits that represent the number 59049. That number houses the digit 9 twice and is less than the number of the very first Saab prototype car at 92001. Also, recently it has been found that 5 is a natural number for Saab: In post-war Sweden, 11 June 1947, Saab announced that they were going to start manufacturing a civil automobile. This car had to meet five requirements: 1. A robust and reliable two-stroke engine. 2. Low weight for fast acceleration. 3. Aerodynamic shape. 4. Long distance comfort. 5. Safety for occupants.
Those were the requirements, but it was also noted that preferably it should be a low cost car to allow for a high production volume. This last addendum, was never met. For the current 9-5, only the last three requirements are met.
Badged as a 95, Saab consistently advertises it as the 9-5. The name is pronounced "nine five" rather than "ninety five". This model should not be confused with the Saab 95, produced from 1959 to 1978.
The last 9-5 Sedan of the previous generation rolled off the Trollhättan production line at the beginning of July 2009, the last Wagon was assembled on February 1, 2010. Since the summer of 1997, when the 9-5 production began, 252.236 saloons, and 231.357 wagons were built. The total production 483.593 units, was narrowely beaten by its predecessor, the 9000, of which 503.000 were built.