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Saab Announces Mid-Model Year Enhancements


New high output turbo engine, full-line head and chest air bags debut

NORCROSS, Ga. - Following the launch of the all-new 1999 Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3 in the spring of 1998, Saab continues to add even more value with a number of mid-year performance, safety, and convenience enhancements.

Saab 9-3 Mid-Year Model News

Headlining performance news is Saab's all-new 2.0L, 200 hp, high output turbocharged engine, a high performance variant of the popular 185 horsepower, four-cylinder powerplant. Saab's newest engine delivers maximum horsepower at 5,500 rpm and strong low-end torque of 209 Ib.-ft. at just 2,300 rpm. True to Saab engine philosophy, peak torque is maintained all the way up to 4,600 rpm, resulting in a broad plateau of usable power on tap for overtaking, avoiding potential hazards, or just plain sporty driving.

Saab has been optimizing turbocharging technology for 20 years to deliver real-world power and performance on demand. With its newest turbo engine, Saab now provides 100 horsepower per liter of engine displacement - an efficiency virtually unmatched in a family car, and traditionally only found in ultra high performance sports cars.

The new high output turbo engine comes standard exclusively on Saab 9-3 SE 5-door and SE Convertible variants equipped with manual transmissions. Saab's 185 hp, 2.0L turbocharged engine continues to be the standard powerplant in all other available Saab 9-3 Coupe, 9-3 5-door and 9-3 Convertible models.

Other mid-year performance upgrades include revised gearbox ratios and a numerically higher final drive ratio of 4.05:1 in all manual transmission equipped Saab 9-3 models, providing quicker off the line response while maintaining highway cruising fuel efficiency. To further complement their performance prowess, all Saab 9-3 SE models receive new aggressively styled 16-inch, 5-spoke light-alloy wheels.

Saab's superior level of Saab 9-3 standard safety equipment is raised anew with the addition of a new headliner design that integrates additional padding for increased occupant protection. All 1999 Saab 9-3 models already feature Saab's patented pendulum design "B" pillar which deflects side impacts away from more fragile head and chest areas, the world's first head restraint system to reduce the risk of whiplash type injuries (the Saab Active Head Restraint, or SAHR), and seat-mounted, two-stage inflating head and chest side air bags.

Convenience enhancements to the new Saab 9-3 include an integrated driver's seat armrest in all Saab 9-3 SE 5-door variants for additional driver comfort, and a centrally located cupholder that swings out from the instrument panel. Pricing for the 1999 Saab 9-3 line remains aggressive, with a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $25,650 for the well-equipped Saab 9-3 Coupe. The Saab 9-3 5-door has a starting price of $26,150 and the 9-3 SE high output turbo 5-door is priced at $31,700. The popular Saab 9-3 Convertible line begins at $38,150, with the high output turbo 9-3 SE Convertible available for $42,995. All prices exclude a $575 destination charge.

1999 Saab 9-5 Mid-Year Model News

Entirely new for 1999, the Saab 9-5 is a showcase for three world first technologies: the Saab Active Head Restraint system, ventilated seats, and the innovative asymmetrically turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine.

Production of the V6 engine begins in September, 1998. This Saab-unique design uses an integrated low-pressure turbocharger on the front cylinder bank which feeds compressed air to the entire transverse-mounted 3.0L, 200 hp V6 engine. Low-end torque is boosted to a strong 229 Ib.-ft. at just 2,500 rpm, and the maximum torque plateau extends all the way to 4,000 rpm. The Saab turbocharging advantage is again apparent as the usable power band is both broad and low, translating into immediate power on demand for the driver. Saab's asymmetrically turbocharged V6 is matched exclusively to an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with economy, sport, and winter driving modes.

Saab adds its two-stage, head and chest protecting side air bags, as well as a new force-reducing front seat belt and pre-tensioner design to the Saab 9-5's lengthy list of standard safety features. The new belt and tensioner design allows more gentle braking of the occupant's forward motion during a collision. With head and chest protecting side airbags now also standard in the Saab 9-5, Saab becomes the first manufacturer in its segment to offer this level of side impact protection as standard equipment in every available U.S. model.

The Saab 9-5's existing safety attributes include such patented innovations as the triple load path energy-absorbing front and rear body structures, pendulum design "B" pillar and the Saab Active Head Restraint system.

Despite adding new standard equipment, Saab retains the base price of $29,995 MSRP for the 1999 Saab 9-5. The Saab 9-5 SE 4-cylinder has an MSRP of $33,495 and the Saab 9-5 SE V6, available exclusively with a four-speed automatic transmission, is priced at $37,250 MSRP. All prices exclude the $575 destination charge.

Saab 9-5 Wagon Debut

To round out its 1999 model line, Saab will introduce a sporty, aerodynamic new entry into the premium wagon segment: the Saab 9-5 Wagon. The 9-5 Wagon is designed for individuals who live an active lifestyle and require versatility and cargo capacity, but prefer the sporty feel of sedan driving. The Saab 9-5 Wagon accommodates both needs by providing a unique combination of outstanding performance, an exceptional level of safety, and flexible cargo capacity. Debuting at the Paris Motor Show on September 28, 1998, the Saab 9-5 Wagon arrives on the North American market in the spring of 1999 as a 1999 model.

1999 Warranty Information

For all of its 1999 models, Saab offers excellent warranty protection that includes four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage with 24-hour roadside assistance. Perforation coverage extends for six years with no mileage limit. Saab will continue to perform the first maintenance service free of charge.

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