• Sep 29, 2010
Earlier this week, Saab announced that it was in talks with BMW about future component sharing after a report from Bloomberg indicated that the next-generation Saab 9-3 could benefit from BMW power.

Now, Saab has announced that from 2012 on, BMW will supply it with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which we're told will be adapted to meet Saab's specific requirements. BMW currently uses 1.6-liter turbo fours in its entire Mini range, so we expect that this new mill is the next-generation version of the engine presently found in the Cooper, Clubman and Countryman. As of this writing, no details were released as to what Saab products will use this new engine, and no output specs have been divulged.

Curiously, it would appear that this new turbo engine may only be slated for duty in Saab's new 9-2 small car, contrary to Bloomberg's report. We won't rule out the possibility of the 9-3 getting this 1.6-liter engine, but since the upcoming 9-2 is reportedly being built on Mini Countryman groundwork, having a similar powertrain would indeed make sense. Follow the jump to read Saab's official statement.

[Source: Saab]
Photo copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL
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SAAB AUTOMOBILE AND BMW ENTER AGREEMENT FOR SUPPLY OF GASOLINE ENGINES

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 29 September 2010. Spyker Cars N.V. ("the Group"), a holding company that owns subsidiaries which produce and sell premium automobiles under the Saab and Spyker brands, is listed on Eurolist by NYSE Euronext Amsterdam (ticker symbol SPYKR).

Today, Saab Automobile and BMW announced an agreement for the supply of engines to be used in next-generation Saab vehicles. Under the purchase, supply and development agreement, BMW will supply Saab with 4-cylinder 1.6 liter turbocharged gasoline engines from 2012. The engines will be adapted to meet Saab's specific requirements.

The contract was signed on Wednesday in Trollhättan, Sweden. Participating in the signing were Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile Chairman Victor Muller and Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing.

Announcing the deal, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said: "It gives me great pleasure to confirm this exciting new relationship. BMW's engines and their fuel savings innovations are widely regarded as a benchmark in the premium segment. We look forward to integrating this technology into our next-generation vehicles in a true Saab way."

Victor Muller, Chairman of Saab Automobile, said: "This is a major step for Saab on our road to becoming a profitable independent premium car maker. In line with our strategy, we will continue to capitalize on our own engineering expertise while also working with the very best partners. Both parties are open to explore further opportunities as part of this relationship in the future."

Ian Robertson, Executive Sales and Marketing Director of BMW, added: "We are continuing to expand our powertrain system sales business worldwide as planned as part of our Strategy Number ONE. Today's agreement marks another important milestone along this route. We are delighted to support Saab with our engine expertise. Our engines have a clear lead over the competition when it comes to fuel consumption, emissions and performance."


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes...I know Minis are FWD. I still don't like it. I want more RWD models. And stickshifts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ah, I didn't see this comment before I wrote mine, sorry.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hate this d@mn commenting system. This was supposed to be a response to my first post.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is in no way bad news. It'll be interesting to see how the two stack up in sales and performance, with the upcoming 9-2 being based on the Countryman platform and running the same engine. I think they will have very dissimilar appearances and appeal to different buyers but at the same time, BMW has to be prepared to lose a few Countryman sales to the 9-2.

      As for the 1.6 being placed in the next 9-3, i'm all for it. But I would also like to see a higher performance engine as an option as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is good progress for SAAB.

      As i've said before, once SAAB distances themselves from GM, ditching GM technology (including ditching onstar and coming out with something on their own or with BMW) the better it will be for SAAB, and also the more I will be interested in purchasing a SAAB in the next few years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe BMW should buy Saab.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Aeromax:
        I think it would open new markets for SAAB. Any real SAAB enthusiast is already in a state of shock, so what would be better than a SAAB on a 1-series platform - remember the vid about the 1-series "M" class?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree, it would be a great move for both BMW and Saab. BMW would pump the tech into Saab and as we have seen with Mini, BMW knows how to make a brand unique with personality, something Saab needs back. BMW would also be able to hit the premium mainstream FWD luxury market without compromising it's core image of RWD performance. Mini's design language and size make it impossible to ever really target that market without hurting their own image.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Tourian:
        No, better! They could outfit all SAABs with rwd!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Aeromax,

        So Saab should just be the Lincoln/Buick/Pontiac/Mercury of BMW? Just another badge engineered mess, with tweaked sheet metal and a different hood ornament? That's been done already by GM (trollblazer, Saabaru), and it didn't work. Why would it work any better if Saabs were badge engineered BMWs?

        Saab has always been FWD, BMW has always been RWD. They are really not a good pair for platform exchange. The Mini is probably going to be the extent of it, and should be the extent of it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        er, that should have been @L0neWolf
        • 4 Years Ago
        That would be interesting. That way BMW could introduce all their FWD small cars and prowess in SAAB bodies without having to dilute their prestige and RWD background here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Saab reaches deal with BMW for 1.6-liter gas turbo engines"

        Who didn't see this coming? Was already expected, but simply pending confirmation.

        Good for Saab though - hope to see them live on!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @L0neWolf

        Right... because that wouldn't dilute Saab's image any more than it already has been, right?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't that technically a BMW-Peugeot engine (PSA Peugeot Citroen to be exact)? The first mini engine was all BMW, but they collaborated with Peugeot for an improved 2nd gen engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The first MINI engine wasnt BMW either, it was a Chrylser design (aka "Tritec"). The current engine (Peugeot "Prince") really isnt any better or worse than the Tritec...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, the current petrol unit in the Mini was a joint venture with PSA, while the diesel is also a PSA unit. However, the first-generation BMW Mini used a Toyota diesel and a range of petrol engines developed between Chrysler and Rover. They were built by Chrysler in Brazil.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The original bloomberg article suggested that this would be a new motor, not currently used in any existing vehicle. If that's the case, it will be the upcoming 1.6L N13 BMW I4, not the existing 1.6L BMW-PSA mill. BMW plans to use this motor in both BMW and Mini products, and as far as I know PSA is not involved in the design (though its certainly conceivable that BMW will supply PSA with its own version this motor just like they are going to do with Saab).

        *** Sorry about the double post - accidentally replied to Doug above first. ***
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is exactly what I was going to post. This family of engines can be traced to France (Peugot) and Japan (Nissan), and now it is being used in a Swedish car, but built by the Germans.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why does Trishield hate Saab so much?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Trishield is a troll of sorts, he, she or it tends to be the Debbie Downer of autoblog.... i am occasionally blow away by a half decent response from trishield, very rarely though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dude don't spam your crap on here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is Saab paying with monopoly bills?
      • 4 Years Ago
      As long as SAAB doesn't start borrowing the iDrive from them we'll be alright.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mini > Saab
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