Hi all, on a gloomy Sunday morning here in Tasmania. Some lazy Sunday reading for everyone….
Autoblog have started a new blog called Autoblog Green. Those of you interested in biodiesel, ethanol, alternative fuel, hybrid etc etc may find it worthy of a bookmark.
Gunnar Heinrich of Automobiles Deluxe makes some interesting points in an article posted at The Truth About Cars. The article is about Big3 model development in comparison with your, shall we say, ‘more respected’ car makers. Discussing the evolution of models as opposed to the “here’s something new” approach that the Big3 seem to adopt every 6 months or so.
Saab were, by necessity, from the evolution camp as they didn’t have the funds for brand new models every 3 or 4 years. Hence the decade-or-so life cycles of many Saab models. Of course, now they’re part of GM, there has been a bit more activity.
I think the right place to be is somewhere in the middle, ensuring that the best of a model is eventually achieved but also ensuring that the best new engineering is utilised in a brand new model should it be appropriate.
Have we seen the best of the 9-3 yet? How different will it be on Epsilon II? I guess we’ll find the anwers in the next few years.
GM have partnered with DCX and……wait for it……BMW in order to produce a full hybrid system aimed at AWD and RWD vehicles. The system is explained briefly over at Edmunds:
The two-mode system, which employs low- and high-speed electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) modes, should be ready for production in 2007, the partners said.
The system incorporates four fixed gear ratios in addition to the two ECVT modes, and it can use electric motors during all modes for boosting power and regenerative braking. The partners say the new technology provides superior fuel economy, performance and towing capability.
It’s anticipated that this would be able to be used on a wide variety of vehicles from cars to light trucks. Does the 9-7x qualify?
Finally, an intriguing picture from the Swedish Saab forum, iSaab. Thanks to Mecachrome for sending it in via comments. The photo was taken on a cameraphone just outside the Saab factory at Trollhattan.
The car has some sort of tube attached to the exhaust, and my very dodgy internet translator also picked up on a hose extending from under the hood at the front, entering inside the rear door.
What’s more intriguing to me is the shape at the rear. That almost looks like a hatch to me.
Any thoughts, especially from iSaab regulars participating in the discussion, are more than welcome.