Saab have rooted their entire post-1977 existence around smaller, more powerful engines that perform like engines with much larger displacement. It’s therefore pretty discouraging to see them struggle so much with little support when other, larger companies are announcing that they’re going to follow Saab’s lead some 30+ years later.
Auto Motor and Sport reported earlier this week that Volvo are looking at designing their future around advanced turbocharged four cylinder engines and abandoning some of their bigger engines in the process.
This from Motor Trend:
According to Auto Motor Und Sport, anonymous sources within Volvo say that the company is abandoning five-, six- and eight-cylinder engines in favor of highly advanced four-cylinders. The sources say that Volvo is doing this to meet strict European emissions standards that call for just 120 g/km of CO2 emissions by 2015 and a mere 95 g/km of CO2 by 2020. Volvo apparently thinks that four-cylinder gas and diesel engines with all the latest fuel-saving, emissions-cleaning technology is the way to go.
Volvo have been making turbos for a while now, so this may not be so unexpected or such a divergence from type.
But BMW have been involved with turbos for only a short time. Whilst they’re 3 litre twin-turbo six has been an outstanding success for them, one could be forgiven for thinking they’d keep their M division normally aspirated.
….BMW has begun development of the next generation 3 Series and 1 Series, both due for a redesign in 2013, and according to Ludwig Willisch, BMW’s M division CEO, new turbocharged engines are on the horizon for the next M3 and 1 Series M (not, we repeat not, to be dubbed the M1).
A turbo’d six-cylinder will likely replace the 4.0-liter V8 currently fitted to the M3, although BMW hasn’t decided if it will use a straight-six or a V6 powerplant…..
….As for the 1 series, there won’t be an M version per se, but BMW’s in-house tuning division wants to recapture the magic of the original E30 M3 by developing a smaller, lighter coupe to slot in below the next M3. As reported previously, a twin-turbocharged four-cylinder will likely power the new coupe, and according to Willisch, the automaker is aiming for something that puts out around 300 hp and weighs around 2,860 pounds
Saab should have well and truly “owned” turbocharging some time ago.
They’ve still got 30 years of history with the technology, however, and can still build a case for this to be their calling card in the future as long as they have the right product and marketing.
The window of opportunity won’t remain open forever, though. It’s just another reason why Saab’s future plans could be a success if only they can get the investor and government support they need.