Estate version of 9-5 is joined by a concept that has previewed the firm's future designs

Saab has revealed in full its new 9-5 Sportwagon, which will arrive in showrooms from September. It has made its public debut at the Geneva show and order books are now open.

It is joined at Geneva by a facelift for the ageing 9-3 range, plus "an exciting concept car showcasing design features and technologies to be seen in the next generation of products from Saab", the firm has confirmed.

See the official pics of the new Saab 9-5 Sportwagon plus pics from the show

"The concept’s sleek visual execution introduces styling themes drawn from Saab’s unique Scandinavian and aircraft-inspired design heritage," said a Saab statement on the new Jason Castriota-designed concept. "Cutting-edge technologies include all wheel drive with an electrically powered rear axle and a ground-breaking car communications platform using the Android operating system."

Saab claims that the new 9-5 Sportwagon will give a significant boost to its volumes, because the previous 9-5 estate accounted for around 50 per cent of sales.

The Sportwagon is based on the saloon, using the same rear doors. The distinctive rear-end styling follows closely the shape of the previous 9-5 estate, with the distinctive sweeping ‘hockey stick’ C-pillar and large rear glass area.

Read more on the Saab 9-3 facelift

Last year Autocar had a sneak preview of the final SportWagon styling model and, in the flesh, it is an imposing machine. Over 5m long, it is marked out by the striking continuous curve of the rear-end and the prominent roof spoiler, although the steeply-raked rear screen means this isn’t primarily intended as a no-nonsense load carrier. The boot space measures 527 litres seats up and 1600 litres seats down.

However, Saab says that with the 60/40 split rear seat backs lowered, the 1.96m-long load bay is almost completely flat without having to remove the headrests or move the rear seat squabs. The sides of the loadbay are ‘completely flat’ and the distinctive roof rails are closely integrated into the roof pressing.

The car will be available with a powered tailgate and the luggage space gets a ‘multi-fold floor’ and U-shape aluminium load rail. There’s also an optional ‘sealed wet storage’ compartment which uses the 65mm deep storage space under the main boot floor.

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The optional powered tailgate can be programmed to stop at a pre-set height for use inside garages and can be controlled from inside the cabin and from the key.

The wagon will be available with the same range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines as the saloon, as well as the highly regarded Saab XWD 4x4 transmission. Pricing will be announced at Geneva, though the premium over the saloon is expected to be around £1500.

Hilton Holloway

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