Bob Lutz is answering questions at Fastlane, so here’s a question – Why did you kill Saab’s Plug-In Hybrid at the Stockholm Motor Show?
I really don’t understand why more of the big news services haven’t picked up on this, but they haven’t. It’s not as if they aren’t into EHV’s at all – Autoblog has a feature on one right now.
Saab unveiled a sensational hybrid 9-3 convertible concept car at the Stockholm Motor Show just over a month ago. What they didn’t tell anyone, what they in fact covered up, was that this car wasn’t just a new hybrid technology, it was also a plug-in hybrid, extending the capabilities of the vehicle even further. Since the show there’s been no news reports, no magazine tests. Zero, nada, nix, nothing. It’s almost as if the thing up and vanished into thin air.
In a nutshell, Saab’s Biopower hybrid was more than it seemed when it was unveilied at Stockholm. Behind the glued-in rear badge was a plug-in capability that lifted the technology and the mileage capability of the car to new levels. It was reported in Aftonbladet (in Swedish) that GM told Saab at the last minute before the Stockholm show, to re-write the press releases and glue shut the plug-in cover. The plug-in capability of this car was not to be revealed.
So the big questions for Bob, seeing he’s in a co-operative type of question-answering mood today, are these –
1. Why did you order the cover up of the plug-in capability?
2. Will Saab get to debut this technology, or will it be swiped by a bigger brand?
3. If we’ll get to see it in a Saab, then when?
Given my own theory that Saab will go all-Biopower in the next 18 months or so, I have a feeling that we may get to see this in a Saab in the next 2 to 3 years.
If it’s given to another GM brand to debut, then that’s reprehensible in my opinion. Reports published when the hybrid debuted indicated that Saab have been the lead GM party in it’s development. Saab have a reputation for being innovative and environmentally responsible and Saab have the growth potential to make good use of the publicity.
Bob, my email link is in the left sidebar. You’re more than welcome to let me know, on the quiet, the answers to these questions. And if Saab are going to get to debut this and I’m just being a monumental pain in the ass then you’re more than welcome to fly me to New York in August and kick my ass in front of all the Saab faithful (hey, anything for an airfare!).
We’re waiting, Bob.