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News - Saab - 9-5 - 2.0-litre

Price plunge for prestige performer

Improved access: Saab's 9-5 prestige-sector sedans and wagons are now cheaper to buy with the arrival of a 2.0-litre model.

Saab has reduced the entry level price of its 9-5 range by $4000 with the introduction of a 2.0-litre turbo model

12 Jul 1999

SAAB Australia has introduced a new model to its impressive 9-5 range which brings the entry level price down by $4000.

The new model is powered by a 2.0-litre version of Saab's familiar four-cylinder turbo engine which features its latest light-pressure technology to produce impressive low-down performance.

The 9-5 2.0-litre model is available in both sedan and estate versions at $57,900 and $59,900 respectively, $4000 less than the existing S models and $12,000 less than the SE.

Top of the range continues to be the $86,900 Griffin.

Saab officials are quick to point out the new entry level car is anything but a "stripper" model, the only difference with the S being the smaller engine and a lack of leather upholstery.

It still features dual zone automatic climate control, cruise control, power windows, remote central locking with immobiliser and alarm, heated front seats, seven-speaker stereo with CD player, twin front airbags and side airbags.

"Performance and genuine comfort have not been compromised in the interest of affordability," said Saab Australia managing director Mr Bob Maron.

"This is a prestige Saab with the performance, refinement and equipment expected in a premium car." Mr Maron believes the lower entry level price - with more features than more expensive European rivals - will attract new buyers to the brand.

The 2.0-litre engine, called the 205E, is a development of the light pressure, low friction 204E engine found in the 9-3 range and will eventually be installed in the smaller cars.

Improvements include longer connecting rods, modified camshaft timing, increasing the compression ratio from 9.2:1 to 9.3:1, lighter valves, softer valve springs, lighter block and balance shafts, lighter timing cover and heavier flywheel.

Turbocharger pressure remains at 0.40 bar.

Saab claims improvements in fuel economy, emissions, smoothness and response.

Power is down from 113kW to 110kW compared with the 204E but torque is significantly up from 219Nm to 240Nm.

With the maximum torque available all the way from 1800rpm through to 3500rpm, Saab claims the 9-5 2.0-litre provides similar performance in general driving use to the 2.3-litre turbo models.

However, the quoted 0-100km/h time is a modest 10.2 seconds for the five-speed manual compared with 8.7 seconds for the 2.3-litre engined model.

With the four-speed automatic transmission fitted, the 0-100km/h time blows out from 9.9 seconds to 12.5 seconds.

Fuel consumption, though, is quite impressive with the city cycle coming down from 13.9 litres per 100km with the 2.3-litre to just 9.8L/100km for the new 2.0-litre with manual transmission - an improvement of 29.5 per cent.

With automatic transmission, the improvement is a similarly impressive 30.3 per cent to 10.6L/100km.

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