Techno Classica 2019. The Jaguar-Land Rover appearance is more modest than usual this year. The company has to save, the party in the auto industry seems to be coming to an end. There are only two vehicles on display. The all-electric I-Pace and a classic.
"Your neighbor?" Asks a Jaguar employee as I look at the I-Pace. I refuse, however, friendly. "Then the classic? "As I fight back, he looks at me thoughtfully. And I have to tell him the story of the Saab DNA in the i pace. And that goes like this:
Saab and all-wheel, that has always been a special connection. Starting in early years with differential systems that should make Rally Saabs faster. About Sigvard Johansson, also known as Saab-Sigge, who dropped out of Stallbacka to found IPU AB. From the later became the all-wheel specialist Haldex.
It continued with the 9000 CS 4WDwhich unfortunately never came in series. To the incomparable Turbo X with the then brand new Haldex 4 systemPeter Johansson, son of Saab-Sigge, 2008 presented to the public.
In the spring of 2004, the topic of all-wheel drive came to Saab's attention. In addition to conventional four-wheel drive systems, electrical solutions were also researched at the latest from the year 2005. Even after the sale to Spyker, the development continued and peaked in September 2010. Saab founded American Axle Manufacturing (AAM) a joint venture for the development of electric all-wheel systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. Also on board at E-AAM was Peter Johansson.
As the first vehicle worldwide announced for 2013 Saab 9-3 successor should have an electric rear axle. For the well known reasons it never came, in December 2011 closed in the Saab factory the gates. As it looks forever. In 2012, AAM took over Saab's share in the joint venture, and E-AAM moved into the Innovatum with some 70 former Saab engineers. In its environment, in the Gunnar W. Andersson's Passage 25, the company is still at home today.
Saab Gene for Jaguar
The development of electrical 4 × 4 systems continued, in the year 2014 Jaguar Land Rover contacted AAM. The British manufacturer was looking for an electric four-wheel drive system for its first battery-electric vehicle - the Jaguar I-Pace. What the Swedes had in their portfolio was of interest to the British. Together with the former Saab engineers, they developed a compact drive unit ready for series production, which drives the front and rear wheels of the i Pace.
Jaguar is the first manufacturer in the world to use this technology originally designed by Saab. A second, European manufacturer will follow in the coming year. Its electric four-wheel drive system is based on the technology of E-AAM from Trollhättan. Jaguar has sold more than 2018 pieces of its first electric car worldwide since its premiere in the summer of 8.000. And in each one drives a small piece of Saab DNA.
Of course, JLR's friendly staff at Techno Classica did not know this story. And although he listened attentively, I doubt that she was interested in him. Why? Saab is a Swedish saga, the car industry has other worries.
Finally, the question remains as to what Peter Johansson, the son of Saab Sigge, is doing today. He remained 2014 at E-AAM until June. Then he moved back to the stablebacka. Like his father and his father-in-law before. He has been developing electric drives at NEVS ever since. Some sagas go on and on.