Swedish nerd mag, Ny Teknik, has an article today speculating on Saab’s possible small car plans for the future.
This would no doubt be a vehicle similar to the 9-X BioHybrid in size and it sounds like they’re going to licence and play around with a bunch of technology from GM.
The article is in Swedish, but I’ve received an English translation via email:
Saab are currently (and secretly) developing a smaller car, with a cheap electrical hybrid solution. The car is based on GMs existing smaller Delta platform.
The new small Saab will compete with BMW1 series and Mercedes A-class
With the help of the hybrid solution, fuel consumption can be reduced to as low as 0,4 l/10km.
This is an attempt to regain the former Saab strength: smalls, fuel efficient cars with driving pleasure. The basic design of the engine taken from any of the GMs smaller engines. They are available in both petrol and diesel models from 3-cylinder to 1 liter and above.
The engine (diesel/petrol) is complemented with a hybrid solution based on a GM technology called BAS (Belt driven Alternater Starter) and consists of a combined start engine and a generator that replaces the more separated conventional start engine and generator.
The benefits with the BAS technology is that it take smaller space and can easily be incorporated in the existing Delta platform. This means reduced costs and shorter production time.
I received an official comment from a Saab spokesman about this one, as follows:
“As our concept cars prove we have never been short of innovative ideas however we have not always had the opportunity to make them a reality.”
Read into that what you will, but I’d say they’re looking forward to the opportunity to do what they haven’t been able to do in the past.
In my mind, the next generation Saab 9-3 wouls have to be the biggest priority on Saab’s list, but if they could pull this car off in an inexpensive manner – and it sounds like most of the tech is quite well along the way – then it would be an absolute bonus.