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.
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.
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.
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.
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.