Around five years ago now, Saab unveiled a concept car at the Stockholm Motor Show. It was just after the Geneva Salon of 2006, and consequently it got lost in the backwash of the stunning Aero X concept.
That car was the Saab 9-3 BioPower Hybrid – a hybrid car in a Saab 9-3 Convertible body. What wasn’t known widely at the time (and still isn’t) is that that concept car was also intended to be presented as a plug-in hybrid vehicle. GM ordered the press release to be changed and it’s rumoured that the plug cover – the rear badge – was glued shut.
So….. the concept of a plugin hybrid running in concert with environmentally friendly fuel isn’t a totally foreign concept where Saab is concerned. The only thing is, they haven’t actually built one yet.
And apparently Volvo have.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid combines rear electric motors with a regular diesel engine at the front to consume just 1.9 litres of diesel per 100km, emitting just 49g/km of CO2 when in hybrid mode.
The diesel engine produces 150kW and 440Nm and the electric motors at the back add another 50kW and 200Nm, meaning this car will have the capacity to drive ‘big’ when needed.
It also has three switchable modes – electric, hybrid and diesel, meaning it can run purely off the fuel engine, the electric engine, or a combination of the two.
The car will go on sale in 2012 (they don’t say when in 2012).
Saab’s 9-3 replacement vehicle will go on sale in the last quarter of 2012.
Saab’s 9-3 replacement will have a new rear-drive electric propulsion system to work in conjunction with a fossil fuel motor at the front.
Volvo have chosen an existing vehicle for their new groundbreaking drivetrain, which means they can show it now. Saab will be using an all-new vehicle, which means we won’t see it for some time.
The big question is – can Saab do something as compelling as what this Volvo seems to be? Will it offer a plug-in charging capability? Does it need to? Do Saab’s engineers have any more tricks up their sleeve? Can they bring a new dimension to the marketplace in 18 months from now?
I’m pretty sure they can, but it will be very interesting to watch.
Thanks Jeff, for the Volvtip