Two weeks ago the Geneva international motor Show started. Not being there felt a little bit disappointing, on the one side, because it means another year without New SAAB branded cars, and on the other side because it is fun to be there during the press days and you get the info first hand.
Nevertheless lots of new things have been introduced in Geneva, but for me only two were really of interest.
First was the Koenigsegg Regera. It is always fascinating to see a new car coming from Koenigsegg every year, and on the booth in front of Koenigsegg you have seen the very same car for the last 6 years albeit in different colours. (You can guess which car brand am I talking about).
The Regera is an interesting way of using the capabilities of a hybrid car, but with all the respect to CvK, the Regera is a hybrid car. What I didn’t like about the Regera was the way the press was talking about the car. I mean it is no rocket science what Koenigsegg has done.
Why do cars need a gear-box? No, it is not to be able to drive fast, more than that is to be able to start moving. At low revs an IC-Engine has almost no torque at all, and to get a car to start moving needs more torque than to keep it moving.
Can a normal car work without a gear-box? Yes, definitely. You only need a torque converter or something similar that allows the engine to run at higher revs, thus creating some torque, and this torque is smoothly transferred to the wheels. This process is coupled with lots of losses and makes the car to accelerate very poorly. At a certain speed the engine and the drive shaft have almost equal speed allowing to lock the torque converter. From that point the car behaves like any other car and being able to accelerate without further losses till reaching the red line.
The Regera has lots of torque, and being a turbo engine has also lots of torque at low revs, but still the IC-Engine would not be able to accelerate the car as fast as we would expect from a car from Koenigsegg. So CvK decided to use E-Engines to get the car into speed in a decent time, as E-Engines have their full torque from the very first second, and then the IC-Engine would kick in and keep accelerating the car to hilarious speeds making us, petrol heads, grin.
So if you combine this relative simple idea with some Koenigsegg glamour and a hand full of impressive specs you get the Koenigsegg Regera, yet another car milestone from Ängelholm. Such simple ideas with a great marketing of those ideas makes Koenigsegg survive in the hostile world of car industry where everybody things that bigger is always better.
The return of Borgward.
Some text from their new website.
In March 2015, Borgward is attending the Geneva Motor Show, its first appearance at the celebrated automotive salon since 1960. Borgward’s cars were regarded as inventive, vibrant, and luxurious.
The guys that want to revive the Borgward brand made it with a big statement at the Geneva Motor Show. On their booth there was only an Borgward Isabella Coupe from 1955 and an humongous representation of the new Borgward logo.
This Idea started in 2008 and since then they have been working in the dark on their own diesel, petrol and hybrid engines and on a modular chassis architecture. Their next step is to present a production ready car on the next Frankfurt motor show in September this year, that people will be able to buy early 2016.
There are some open questions to Borgward as where have they developed all the stuff and where are they building that first car from the new Borgward?
Their only (known) partner till now is the Beiqi Foton Motor Company, a Chinese commercial vehicle company, and this doesn’t feel good, at least not for somebody that has been following the events in Trollhättan since 2009.
But there is a second link to SAAB, and maybe this is more pleasing, the head designer of Borgward is the Norwegian designer Einar Hareide who worked with Bjorn Envall on the second gen 900 and was responsible for the 9-5 I.
My question is, is it the best way to revive a company going to a motor show with not even a prototype that show how modern Borgward cars could look like? They’ve created a lot of expectations, and the press will remember that they want to show a production ready car in September. They have to deliver, otherwise their rebirth will not last long.
The Spring is here and I have mounted the summer tyres on Redna. Lately NEVS and Orio signed an contract that stated that Orio would be responsible of the spare parts for the MY 14 SAAB cars. This allowed me to have access to the black SAAB hub caps, and this is the result.
opinions welcome 😉
And a last point. BMW is now updating the i3 with a new software that will reduce the shortcomings of having a small engine as range extender.
15 thoughts on “Not SAAB related”
Thank you, I enjoy stories like these while the Saab news is quiet.
Can we go back to 2009 and make the Koenigsegg purchase of Saab actually happen – oh how I wish!
I think the black hub caps, in the right context, work well. Especially on the Redna, seeing as you have that nice black trim going on elsewhere on your car.
Now…. What did you do with your old caps? 😉
It will be interesting to see what Hareide comes up with.
I put them on the “old car parts” shelf. 😎
The local SAAB dealer here in New England also sold Borgwards. Of course that was 50 to 60 years ago.
@ dcpattie, reading this article, my subconscious is screaming: “Use SAAB, Christian …. use SAAB !!!”
“It’s something the supercar company’s founder has been obsessed with for nearly 14 years, with eight engineers at Koenigsegg working on the idea. “It’s getting ready for fruition, but not only in Koenigsegg,” he says. “We’re working with a couple of large OEMs and looking to implement it. Definitely within the next couple of years, you’ll see it.””
Fun fact: The Regera has air vent design same as in the Saabs. Confirmed by Christian, the owner of Koenigsegg, himself :).
Wow, it looks like it came off of a 1940s kitchen appliance !
Remember when I thought this would be a good direction for Saab?
So depressing looking back.
Bit harsh, I think it is very clever engineering that does merit great praise.
maybe it’s a bit harsh, I’ve never bin the most diplomatic guy in the world. But I’m not talking about the engineering but about the way the press has been selling this idea to the world.
And if you search the net for my comments on the Regera, you will find only words of prise. 😉
As a former Saab engineer, soon to be a Koenigsegg ditto, I gotta tell you: that design is WAY cleverer than you give it credit for 🙂
Normally, when a brand releases something new and exciting at a motor show, the competitors limit their reaction to a slight nod and a “well that’s all good and fine, but come look at what WE’VE got”. This year, apparently the others forgot all about prestige, McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini bosses coming over just to drool and ask CvK how they did it. I think that says something.
During my interview I was given a full, guided tour of the factory; I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a bunch of people quite that dedicated to what they’re doing. I’m not the least bit surprised the end result gets this kind of attention 🙂
wish you a very good and successful future in that solid company. Thanks for what you did for our beloved branch.
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