Saab: Car of the Future?

Here’s an invitation to put on your thinking caps and maybe your ideas can get a slot on an upcoming PBS documentary about the future of automotive transportation.


I received the following via email from Mark S just prior to Christmas:

I found the following information and thought you might want to make a contribution. PBS is currently producing a Nova program entitled “Car of the future”, and they’ve invited people to make comments/suggestions to help shape the actual production of this program, which is to be aired sometime in late 2007.

I’ve already made some comments about Saab’s SVC engine concept (which mysteriously disappeared after the GM acquisition in 2000-2001). I submitted an overview of the technology, some information about its designer, Per Gilbrand, and suggested it would be interesting to feature this engine as the next logical step in petrol engine design. Who knows….perhaps they will follow the lead! At any rate, Saab MUST get a mention somewhere in this program!

I agree – Saab are deserving of a mention in a program such as this. Saab have a rich history of innovation and the application of technology to bring about a safer and more economical and practically rewarding driving experience.

I’m sure there’s some ideas in the pipeline (or in the dusty back areas) that we could offer up as Saab’s contribution.

Some ideas:

– Saab Variable Compression
– Saab Combustion Control
– BioPower
– Aerodynamics
– Alcokey
– Driver comfort and ergonomics
– Use of recyclable materials

These are just a few off the top of my head. If you can come up with a bunch of others then I can flesh them out and send them in to the producers.

This is an open production and they’re actively encouraging the submission of ideas and themes. Saab themselves should be all over this, though if they don’t want to be seen as a corporate entity pushing an ideology to a program then they’re welcome to do it through the back door via this blog – all information welcome.

Go have a look at the Car of the Future website then get thinking and post your ideas in comments. I’m hoping to put together a well-thought-out and sensible submission that’ll hopefully go some way to getting Saab a spot on this program.

You may also like


  1. An old innovation from 1980 is Saab’s Automatic Performance Control, APC, system that protects the engine from injurious knocking due to uneven fuel quality and enables the engine to be run on petrol of various octane ratings. The APC system originally went into production on the 1982 Saab 900 Turbo.

  2. I would say that SAAB’s leading safety innovations should be a factor in a “car of the future”, but I believe the focus of this show is “cleaner, more efficient vehicles”.

    So to this I suggest water injection. SAAB offered this as standard on the 99 Turbo in the 1970s. This creates more power by making the intake air more dense. This is a relatively cheap way to increase engine efficiency.

    I also remember reading a while back (probably here) that SAAB is working on an air conditioning system that is electric motor-driven rather than a load on the engine for better fuel efficiency. There was another component (I don’t remember which) they were driving with an electric motor which is currently driven off belts connected to the driveshaft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *