The possibility of a Saab 9-1 coming, and coming in hybrid form seems to be splashed all over the web today.
It was first reported by German paper Automobilewoche, then covered by Auto Motor and Sport in Sweden and then by NyTeknik. I covered the AM&S article on the 28th but there was a bit of confusion there as to what was really going on. I then provided the first translation of the NYTeknik report into English (thanks ctm!) on September 29th. This one was quite clearly about the 9-1 and forms the basis of the stuff that’s being reported around the web at the moment.
It seems it ain’t news until it’s reported by one of the “big guys”.
Anyway, the salient points from these reports are as follows:
Saab 9-1 to possibly be seen around 2010 – this seems to fit in pretty wel with stuff that I’ve heard and mentioned in my Djup Strupe Future Model Timeline.
Saab 9-1 to come with hybrid capability – this is great news and not entirely surprising. According to Stig Nodin, Saab’s former Technical Development guru (sadly, he’s left the company recently), the Delta platform is being built with hybrid’s in mind from the ground up.
Made in Trollhattan – After the 9-3 and 9-5 move out, Delta moves in, which means that you’ll still be able to buy a Saab made in Sweden.
UPDATE: There’s also and article about this in Tekniken’s Varld that appears to be based on the Automobilewoche story.
Bengt has been kind enough to provide a quick translation:
The new 9-1 planned to be launched during 2010. In parallel with the usual petrol and diesel versions a newly developed hybrid engine is launched.
BMW 1-series and Audi A4 are the main competitors for the 9-1 that is planned for 2010. Beside the petrol and diesel engines a hybrid engine will be available – same hybrid that will be available in next generation of Opel Astra. A GM information source has talked about this with newspaper Automobilwoche.
The hybrid engine is already tested in different places, but in a Astra body. How the 9-1 will look like is not known but there is a lot of discussions about details being picked up from the concept car Aero X.
GM develops a couple of hybrid engines, conventional like Toyota Prius, and plug-in hybrids like the ones developed by Toyota and Volvo.
Saab 9-1 will get the first variant in the beginning (Prius variant). The other one will be available as petrol-, diesel and bio fuel variant depending on the market. The car will use only the electric engine at low speeds and moderate acceleration. During heavier acceleration the normal engine will support the electric engine.
The batteries in coming 9-1 and Astra will be of lithium type based on nano technology. They are said to hold double capacity compared to today’s nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries with quicker charge times and longer lifetime.