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Official Pictures of the Beijing Auto Shenbao D-series

Published on May 6, 2013 by Tycho de Feijter

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Beijing Auto has released the first official pictures of the Beijing Auto Shenbao D-series, which will be launched on the Chinese car market on May 11. The Shenbao D-Series, formerly known as the Beijing Auto C70G, is a sleek looking sporty sedan based on the first generation Saab 9-5. Price will range from 165.800 yuan to 235.800 yuan.

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The Shenbao D-Series will be available with two engines, both reworked Saab units: a 2.0 turbo with 204hp and 290nm, and a 2.3 turbo with 250hp and 350nm. Transmission is a paddle-shifted 5-speed tiptronic. Beijing Auto is also working on their own 1.8 turbo with about 180hp, but that engine won’t be available at launch. Size: 4861/1820/1462, wheelbase is 2755.

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Beijing Auto bought the rights to the first generation Saab 9-3 and 9-5 in 2009 from General Motors, then the owner of Saab. The deal included the Saab-developed 2.0 turbo and 2.3 turbo engines.

The Beijing Auto Shenbao D-Series is the final production version of the BAW C71 that debuted on the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, it then returned as the Beijing Auto C70G on the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The Shenbao name popped up in May last year, followed by spy shots of a Shenbao D280 , followed by the debut of the Shenbao D320 on the Guangzhou Auto Show in November last year, and more recently the debut of the rather interesting ‘D-Series Aero‘ on the Shanghai Auto Show.

Shenbao (绅宝) is the old Chinese name for Swedish Saab, which for unknown reasons changed to a new Chinese name ( Sabo (萨博)) in the late 1990′s. Beijing Auto can’t use ‘Saab’ so they came up with a new English name; ‘Senova’.

Chinese press has been rather positive about the looks of the Shenbao D-series, while at the same time noting that the platform and engines are  by now 16 years old, the first-gen Saab 9-5 debuted all the way back in 1997. Chinese car buyers are well-aware of this, and the D-series isn’t very cheap either. It is all great to see some Saab DNA back on the roads, but this Shenbao won’t be a big-seller.

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Dash all-new with a large screen in the center console, a sporty steering wheel, very sporty seats and a giant gear-lever knob.

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Seems very specious but seats are ‘Chinese short’.

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This is the good old Saab 2.3 turbo. Engine is covered here, now:

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Uncovered, with the words ‘direct injection’ on toppa the block. Only mechanics will see that, and they probably already know.

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The only 2013 Saab lives in China.

4 comments

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  1. dragin- May 7, 2013 Reply

    “Specious”? You may be right, but it’s still too early to tell.

  2. M4Ever- May 7, 2013 Reply

    I already some two of this in the street, one parked in yashow and another one running in the sanlitun area.

  3. JH- May 9, 2013 Reply

    Not even mechanics will see “direct injection”, because it says “direct ignition”. This is a Saab technology which means that the engine does not have any ignition cables, but has a direct ignition cassette connected to the spark plugs instead.

    Also, despite this platform being 16 years old, the Saab 9-5 was a top performer in EuroNCAP and other crash safety tests. I bet it’s much better than most Chinese cars. I wouldn’t judge the car by the age of its underpinnings but how it actually performs, and if the 9-5 is any indication this car will be both safe, comfortable, economical and durable. I hope it will sell.

  4. collins frimpong- July 3, 2013 Reply

    i’m leaven in south africa.i’m happy saab back,i have saab 95 and i like that car’ well come back saab.but why did they change the semble?

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