There’s a fairly decent read over at Autoweek on GM Powertrain’s plans for the next few years.
There’s three main points of interest as far as Saab are concerned. We all know that they’ll have gasoline engines so that’s not one of them. The main interest, for now, rests in the three-pronged fork of alternative technologies: Hybrid, Diesel and E85.
As you may have heard, GM are going to be letting their “two-mode” hybrid out of the box in the near future. I’ve even heard rumours that the Saab Biopower Hybrid convertible might show it off at the Paris Auto Show coming up very soon. Mostly though, the technology seems destined to prop up the sales of GM’s high-margin SUV’s.
Then there’s diesel. We’ve heard quite categorically that there won’t be a diesel Saab introduced in the US in the near term. Unfortunately there’s nothing in this article to change that. Except perhaps this confusing passage….
GM has no plans to install fuel-saving diesel engines in North American cars or light trucks…….One possibility: GM could use Saab to break into passenger-car diesels in the United States, as Ford Motor Co. might with its Volvo brand.
So Autoweek, is it no plans, or could they use Saab?
At this point, the 1.9l diesel that’s been doing so well in the UK and Europe doesn’t meet 2007 emissions standards in the US. There may be some tweaks that could change that, but it’s been stated that a business case for this would be hard to construct. At this point anyway.
Autoweek say that GM will offer E85 capability in 14 of it’s models next year. No mention if Saab will be one of them. According to the timetable set out when the Biopower Beast made it’s show debut, the car should be coming mid-late 2007. That’s if it’s coming at all.