In Saab's Corner – Technology

This is a tricky one to tackle. How do you cover technology without covering stuff that you’re not actually allowed to talk about that much – future stuff?

Nevertheless, I’ll give it a try.

Saab have always had a good record of punching above their weight when it comes to innovation. Whether it’s early developments like heated seats, headlamp washers or dual-circuit braking systems, or the latest in vehicle safety or all-wheel-drive systems (Saab pioneered the XWD system from Haldex that’s now used in a range of vehicles around the world) – Saab has a great record for such a small company.

In terms of today’s technology, there’s a whole bunch of stuff on the burner that I can’t talk to you about because it’s slated for future release.

There has still been a fair bit happening, however, and a lot to talk about.

ePower

Saab has been developing it’s ePower electric vehicle in conjunction with partners to research electric vehicle technology. We’ve managed to show that you can produce a full size vehicle with an approximate 200km range with zero emissions from the tailpipe. That research and experience is going to play a key part in future vehicle development at Saab as we work towards building vehicles that are kinder to our environment and put motoring on a more sustainable footing for our buyers.

e-AAM

A number of staff from Saab left the company last year to take part in a new joint venture company co-owned between Saab and American Axle Company, called e-AAM. The company is developing a new electric all-wheel-drive system that will form the basis for a hybrid driveline that will be used in the replacement for Saab 9-3, now due in 2013.

IQon

Some people thought this was just a pretty video. Vapourware. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not.

Saab’s IQon system is a new, Android based in-car infotainment and control system that will bring some of the application based technology that people enjoy in their smartphones in to their motor vehicle. This is a very exciting development and there are working systems in test vehicles right now. The future’s so bright for this technology that you really can’t see the horizon on it. It’s that good.

Low emissions TTiD engines

Saab wanted to do this a few years ago and were told that it couldn’t be done. Six months or so into our independence, we did it with the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. A few months later we announced that we’d done it with the 9-3 SportCombi as well – sub 120g/km CO2 emissions in a full-sized and full-powered vehicle.

Saab’s new TTiD low emissions range offers a full 180hp (as well as 130 and 160hp variants) and a low 119g/km of CO2 in emissions. Such figures were previously only available with much smaller cars, with much smaller engines. Saab offers it in a full-sized, full-powered wagon.

That sub-120g figure is just one example of Saab identifying and meeting it’s market needs through innovative engineering. The sub-120g figure means big savings for personal and fleet customers in terms of registration or road taxes in many of our important markets.

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Again, there’s a whole bunch of stuff under the covers that I can’t talk about now because it’s slated for future release.

These are just intended to be a sample of what this company has done, and what it’s capable of doing in the future with the right investment, the right partners and a good healthy dose of the Saab Spirit that saw us develop so many innovative technologies over the years.

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2 Comments

  1. And some people are saying that SAAB is in this situation because it hasn’t innovating for a long time. I wonder if it was possible for most  brands to work like this if they were so short on cash.
    Go SAAB ! 

  2. One doesn’t need to only look at future technology, what we will see in the next following years; like no other car company has Saab been at the forefront of innovation, or adapting new technology as the first one, when it comes to mass-produced cars.

    That heritage bodes well for the future. But is seems like the average car buyer is completely ignorant, as well as most of the motor journalists.

    From the 60s to the early 90s, a few examples: First car with double diagonally divided brake circuits; headlamp wipers and washers; heated driving seat; a turbo, and related technologies, that actually works in passenger cars; an air filter in world class, for the passenger compartment, helped a lot of people; the APC, which helped the turbo engine work with different fuel qualities, or different octane ratings; Saab was first with asbestos free brake linings. Better environment, and better for those working with the cars; first front wheel drive car in the world to get ABS. Speaking about front wheel drive, many brands have now followed Saab, and moved to front wheel drive. First car in the world to get CFC-free AC; again, better for the environment, and better for those working with the cars. First car with ventilated seats, and active head restraint. Etc. etc. etc.

    A car company like this is not like the average; it’s driving innovation for the benefit of all. Period.

    I didn’t mention the advanced Trionic system above; take a look at this “promo” from 1992; the car with the Trionic was actually purifying the exhaust gases from older cars at the time. How about that!

    http://youtu.be/-KgH6WT1paU

    Saab has always been able to do it with little money during its history; as, for example, your mentioned example with the TTiD low emissions range, Swade. Class leading. Their greatest asset is their employees, true for most companies, but the Saab employees have been able to think outside the box. Again and again. That indeed bodes well for the future if the company is allowed to move on.

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