UPDATE: thanks to Albert, in comments, it’s apparent that the writer from Auto Motor and Sport either mis-translated the article, or added some stuff in that wasn’t in the original German report.
Make sure you bear this in mind as you read on.
ctm has provided us with a translation of an article originally appearing in Automobilwoche and then posted at Sweden’s Auto Motor and Sport.
Exciting, if somewhat fishy news:
It’s now confirmed that General Motors will develop a hybrid version of the Delta platform, which new models from Opel and Saab will be built from. The technology is similar to that found in Toyota Prius, but there are also plans for a plug-in hybrid.
Next generation Opel Astra will be shown in the autumn of 2009 and go on sale in 2010. It will be based on the new Delta platform, a very flexible one that also will find it’s way to the new Saab 9-3, 9-5 and probably even the 9-1. (Not so sure about that part, AM&S – Delta for the 9-5 and 9-3??? – SW)
At the Detroit auto show in 2005, Opel presented a diesel-hybrid concept of the Astra. GM is currently working on the new Astra that will available as hybrid in 2010.
According to auto industry news site Automobilwoche, a “trusted source” has confirmed that the Delta platform from ground up is prepared for a hybrid powertrain with a powerful electric engine together with a combustion engine. This is basically same the way the best selling hybrid, Toyota Prius, is constructed. According to the information, the hybrid will be available right from the beginning of the new Astra. Saab 9-3, the sibling to Astra, will be presented some years later. (again, this is quite fishy – SW)
According to the Automobilwoche source, work is under way to adapt the platform to GMs E-Flex system, a system were the batteries can be charged both from the power grid and from a generator powered by the combustion engine.
The Delta platform will be used in a number of different GM models. According to the Automobilwoche source, up to 13 models are planned for the next 2-3 years.
Hybrid versions of both Opel Astra and Saab 9-3 will be sold in the US (more fishiness – SW), a market with a growing demand for hybrids. Opel Astra, sold as Vauxhall in the UK and as Saturn in the US, will be built in Germany, the UK, Poland – and Trollhättan. GM is investing about 4 billion USD into the production plants, with hopes to raise efficiency by about 30 percent.
Make of this one what you will.
The talk of hybrids coming isn’t so new, but this ‘confirmation’ is. We’re getting it third-hand here, though, so hopefully some time in the near future someone within Saab will Djup Strupe some info into the TS inbox.