September 11, 2009

Saab developing hybrid powertrain for upcoming 9-5

We've already heard about the five engine options slated for the Saab 9-5 upon its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week. Apparently, there's plenty more on the horizon in the coming years, including Saab's first production hybrid powertrain. According to Autocar, the hybrid system will match diesel fuel economy numbers while providing lower emissions and competitive performance.

It seems Saab will pair an electric motor with excellent torque characteristics right from idle with a highly-tuned 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 120 horsepower. That gasoline-fed powerplant should be able to manage good power at higher engine speeds, making for adequate overall acceleration across the rev range.

If there's any truth to this rumor, Saab is planning to use a relatively small battery pack that's not expected to power the car for long periods of time. Pricing information isn't yet known, but the Swedish automaker is said to want to undercut upcoming hybrids from its German competition.

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