Saturday, April 16, 2011

Report: Saab in Talks with BMW on Underpinnings, Engines for Revived 92

It’s no secret that Saab is hard at work on plans to reintroduce its 92, but it’ll need some help to before the car can be produced. The automaker is preparing to enter into talks with BMW to do just that.

Instead of developing a costly platform from scratch, Saab is in talks with BMW to source underpinnings for the car. Saab is reportedly eyeing Mini’s architecture to underpin the new 92. Saab CEO Victor Muller wants the brand’s new model to closely resemble the teardrop shape of the original car, which was dropped from the Saab lineup in 1956.

According to the report, Saab is also looking into sourcing engines and transmissions from Mini. Mini currently offers 1.6-liter naturally aspirated and turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines here in the States, and 1.4-liter gasoline and 1.6-liter diesel I-4 powerplants are available also. Transmission choices are limited to six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes.

With Saab trying to regain market share, this would be a great move for the marque, but the 92 would be a direct competitor of the Mini Cooper. Although producing components in larger quantities would be beneficial to lower costs, we’re not sure it’s a great idea for Mini to bolster its own competition.

Would it be a good move for Mini to help Saab, or would it cannibalize its own sales?

Source: Reuters and automobilemag