• Oct 19, 2010
Eduard Gray's Saab 92010 Sixten concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

When we think of the most capable sporting chassis manufacturers in the auto industry, BMW sits near the top of the list. So it makes sense that Saab would be interested in forming a partnership with the German automaker to produce a front-wheel drive platform for the 9-2 supermini.

Saab boss Victor Muller told Reuters it was searching for a partner to provide hardware, adding that he can't say which automaker he'd prefer to work with. Having said that, Muller added "BMW would make a wonderful partner." And Muller would know a thing or two about partnering with the boys and girls at the Bavarian Motor Werks since the two automakers just consummated a tie-up on engine development.

At this point we don't know for sure whether the 9-2 will ever see the light of day. But if the supermini does materialize it makes quite a bit of sense to us that a BMW chassis will accompany it's powertrain. If we're lucky the 9-2 will look as good as the above concept.



[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      flip the wheels around and keep it true to the concept and you have a winner. Saab, Alfa etc once (and hopefully to return) sexy automakers please give us a rear wheel drive pocket rocket and you will make many of us happy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since when SAAB became a sub-division of BMW? they are already getting their engines now they want to get their chassis? really? How about making your own stuff?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Anyone who's surprised by such partnerships in the auto industry is a bit, shall we say, under-informed.

        Think of it this way: when Saab was a part of GM, it was essentially forced to share platforms and parts with other GM brands. Now Saab can choose its partners on a case-by-case basis, according to its own needs. Surely that's an improvement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Simple. Cost. Saab is owned by Spyker a very small niche player in the auto market. The cars are so vastly different that they can't share platforms or engines or interiors. For Saab to design, test and build their own new engines and platforms would be cost prohibitive. Its the same reason why Ford shares so much with Mazda. Its helps to spread out the costs even if your two products end up in the same market segment.

        Saab is making the smartest move to tie up with BMW in the project. BMW has built a solid reputation as producing drivers cars and silky engines. Saab needs both and their buyers expect both.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder whether they might buy some stake in Saab.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A nice little package indeed! A very different design. I'd buy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Saab needs BMW much more than BMW needs Saab. What's in it for BMW?
      Kaisu
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Saab 9-#: Blind Spot Edition.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why would BMW do this for Saab? That vehicle looks like a direct competitor to the upcoming Mini Speedster
      • 4 Years Ago
      Definitely has some design cues from the Veyron. Not a bad thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      To everyone questioning what's in it for BMW. It's very simple. Money.

      BMW is a small manufacturer among giants like GM and Volkswagen with multiple brands under their respective belts to share and help drive down costs.

      Everyone is looking for a business partner these days. Think about it. Even Subaru and Toyota have teamed up to create cars that will share a platform. If Toyota, who plans on selling 8-9 million cars this year, needs a partner to develop a new platform, why wouldn't Saab (who will be lucky to sell 40,000 cars this year) want/need the same to help support its sales...except on an even broader scale?

      BMW still hasn't figured out a way to drive down its small car costs. Platform sharing is a good start. Rumor has it that the next 1-Series will share a platform with the Mini and don't think for a second that anyone at BMW seriously sat down and said, "You know, what we're really missing from our product catalog is a FWD vehicle." No. What someone said is, "The 1-Series is too expensive because it's leveraging too much 3-Series architecture and developing an all new platform for the 1-Series is just too costly since it won't support enough models. Oh, and hey, our sister company (MINI) is trying to cut costs on its platforms. Someone give the folks over there a call..."

      The more they can peanut butter costs over a broad range of models, the more money they'll make. And, while we'd all like to believe that BMW builds cars to make enthusiasts happy, BMW builds cars to make money. Making enthusiasts happy is just one way of doing so. As long as they feel like they're not jeopardizing significant sales by partnering with another company (even a competitor), there's no reason for them NOT to partner in chassis development.

      Besides, the engine in the MINI is also used in the Peugeot 207 and 308. While not sold in the US, they're arguably competitors. I guess BMW/MINI and Peugeot just weren't that worried.
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