High-performance variant adds more power, control to 9-5 Sedan model
NORCROSS, Ga. - In the spring of 1999, Saab introduced the 9-3 Viggen, a high-performance variant of the 9-3 Coupe. This fall, for 2000, Saab adds another performance-oriented variant to its model line - the 9-5 Aero Sedan. The 9-5 Aero builds on the innovative technologies and luxury amenities of the current 9-5 model line with an Aero-specific aggressive, high-output turbocharged engine, sport-enhanced chassis, upgraded brakes and 17-inch alloy wheels with low profile tires.
2.3L High-Output Turbocharged Engine
The 9-5 Aero features a similar 2.3L high-output turbocharged engine as the 9-3 Viggen. With this powerplant, Saab engineers prioritized the engine's torque output rather than horsepower. Saab's engine philosophy focuses on the force that gets mass moving, a solution that delivers excellent acceleration and passing performance from an efficient, small displacement powerplant. With 230 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and an impressive 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,900 to 3,800 rpm (with manual transmission) the 9-5 Aero's performance rivals that of the world's top luxury sport sedans. With an automatic transmission, the engine develops 243 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,900 all the way up to 4,600 rpm. This broad range of maximum torque provides the 9-5 Aero driver with power on demand for safe and effective overtaking.
The power output of the Saab 9-5 Aero's engine is primarily attributable to the large, variable boost pressure turbocharger, which produces a maximum boost pressure of 1.4 bar, or 20 psi. This allows the 9-5 Aero to maintain maximum power and torque through nearly all driving conditions - including altitudes approaching 10,000 feet. Saab engineers have designed the engine to withstand the additional stress and heat generated from such high boost levels. Like all Saab turbochargers since 1988, the Aero's turbo is both oil and water cooled. In addition, the engine features reinforced alloy pistons that benefit from oil cooling jets at the base of the block that spray oil at the underside of each piston. The engine also features sturdier connecting rods, nitrided gudgeon pins and strengthened intake valves. To handle the heat, exhaust valves are made of Nimonic alloy - a high nickel content, heat-resistant alloy used in aircraft components subjected to high pressure and temperature, such as the exhaust nozzles in jet engines.
Engine Management by Saab Trionic 7
The Saab Trionic 7 (T7) engine management system in the 9-5 Aero is controlled by a 32-bit microprocessor that is capable of performing two million calculations per second. It monitors and controls the direct ignition, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure and throttle setting to enhance engine performance and eliminate turbo lag. The system continually adjusts the calibrations to maximize engine performance - compensating for a number of variables including fuel quality, altitude and more.
Since Trionic 7 provides electronic throttle control, it overcomes the inertia present in a large turbocharger and eliminates turbo lag by manipulating the throttle position. T7 opens the throttle further than the driver has requested - therefore providing more torque from the engine. It's an electronic slight of hand, but accomplishes the driver's request for torque on demand and immediate response. All 2000 Saab models feature Trionic 7.
Chassis Modifications Offer Enhanced Control
The chassis of the Saab 9-5 Aero has been developed to harmonize with the high-performance turbocharged engine and provide the driver with a highly responsive driving environment. It is designed to combine performance-oriented handling with a high level of comfort.
Compared with the chassis of other Saab 9-5 variants, the Aero's chassis is lower by 10 mm (.4 inch) and firmer. Front and rear suspensions are equipped with heavier anti-roll bars, stiffer springs and harder dampers in order to minimize body roll and improve steering precision, chassis response and driver control.
The front control arms are fitted with new hydraulic vibration-damping bushings mounted on the engine subframe. The bushings are stiff laterally to improve response and steering precision, but are much softer longitudinally for good ride comfort. The bushing's hydraulics effectively absorb high-frequency vibrations caused by irregularities in the road surface. The rear of the car also has firmer rubber bushings to improve response and precision. In addition, the 9-5 Aero's MacPherson struts are fitted with a new piston to provide better balance between handling precision and ride comfort.
The Aero's standard 17-inch light alloy wheels with low profile 225/45 R17 performance tires contribute to the car's excellent handling characteristics.
Upgraded Brake System The brake system of the Saab 9-5 Aero is enhanced to match the performance of the engine. The front brake discs have been increased to 12.1 inches (308mm), compared to 11.3 inches (288 mm) on other 9-5 models. A new friction material used in the linings also improves the pedal feel and brake performance, particularly when braking from high speeds.
Sporty Exterior Styling Changes
The 2000 9-5 Aero's performance character is complemented by sporty exterior and interior styling changes, including flared rocker panels, a front chin spoiler, a rear valance and a sport steering wheel.
The Aero features a standard 17-inch three-spoke light-alloy wheel and an optional BBS 8"x17" composite alloy wheel. The BBS wheel offers an aggressive two-piece multi-spoke design, with a separate rim and center section joined by a series of titanium bolts for excellent strength and performance. It features the Saab Griffin logo on the center caps and a diamond satin paint finish gives the appearance of the polished wheel while maintaining outstanding durability.