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Saab builds last 9-5, begins retooling for new model

by Andrew Ganz

Despite its pending sale to Swedish sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg, Saab quietly built its last 9-5 sedan last week and has apparently begun retooling its Trollhättan, Sweden, factory to build the venerable sedan's upcoming, General Motors Epsilon II-based successor.

The current-model 9-5 wagon will continue in production for a few more months until its replacement is finished, reports Sweden's Auto Motor & Sport.

Despite two mid-cycle updates, the 9-5 was among the oldest designs in production. Though its 2.3-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine was rated at an impressive 260 horsepower, the powertrain's basic design dated back to the early 1980s when it debuted under the clamshell hood of the 900 Turbo and the 9-5's GM of Europe platform dated back to the late 1980s.

Saab assembled around half a million 9-5s between its late 1997 introduction in Europe and the end of production on July 2, though sales have been tepid, at best, over the last couple of years.

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