OK, that headline’s probably going a bit too far, but this info from CTM sure makes for some interesting reading. It may be fair to say that certain fields of expertise might have been the deciding element in whatever discussions GM have ever had about Saab’s future.
I don’t think it’s new but it’s once again in the press in Sweden this week. The thing goes like this:
Saab engineers are responsible for much more of the GM hybrid thing than people might know. Especially with Lund University in Sweden. The work aim to make the hybrid technology more of a “plug-n-play” technology, where pieces can be combined together in more than one way to suit different models and different markets. This will also reduce cost, and the work there is important since hybrid need to be mass produced to really have some effect. And since smaller cars is the most important segment, both in Europe and in places like South America and Asia, the goal is to make it small and cheap enough that it will be competitive in this segment in just a few years from now. That is, the buyer should get the extra money spent back in just 1-2 years of using the car.
The Chevrolet Volt concept is a hybrid, and Saab engineers has done a lot of work on that. Lutz recently stated that work has begun to make that concept ready for production, something that usually takes about 24-36 months. That means something like 2010. Also, the Volt will be built on the new Delta platform – the same that the new Opel Astra and the new smaller Saab will be built on. This has started rumors that 1) the Volt can be built in Trollhättan, and 2) that the new Saab and Opel will be offered as real hybrid from start.
Just loose things, but I would really like to see a hybrid on the market from Saab in 3 years time.
As a reminder, the Lund University connection was the vital one in the conception of the Saab BioPower Hybrid shown in Stockholm in April of last year.