With Saab genes. The Jaguar I Pace

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.

Jaguar i pace
Jaguar I pace. Picture: JLR

“Your next one?” Asks a Jaguar employee when I look at the I-Pace. However, I say no in a friendly manner. “The classic then? “When I parry that too, he looks at me thoughtfully. And I have to tell him the story of the Saab DNA in the i Pace. And it works 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 system, which Peter Johansson, the son of Saab-Sigge, presented to the public in 2008.

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.

The Saab 2013-9 successor announced for 3 should be the first vehicle in the world to have an electric rear axle. For the known reasons, this never happened, in December 2011 the gates closed at the Saab plant. The way it looks forever. In 2012, AAM took over Saab's stake in the joint venture, and E-AAM moved to Innovatum with around 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 year 2014 Jaguar-Land Rover reported to AAM. The British manufacturer was looking for an electric all-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, a compact drive unit was developed 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.

In the end, there is the question of what Peter Johansson, Saab Sigge's son, is doing today. He stayed with E-AAM until June 2014. Then he was drawn back to the stablebacka. Just like his father and his father-in-law before. Since then he has been developing electric drives at NEVS. Some sagas go on and on.

10 thoughts on "With Saab genes. The Jaguar I Pace"

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    Always impressive - this inside knowledge. Thanks for that.
    A pleasure to read here almost every day.

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    Krass, this story!
    It is impressive that "a couple of engineers" from Sweden have pushed all-wheel drive technology forward ... and are still up to date today! And again and again the track leads to SAAB ...
    Chapeau!

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    I find it strong and admirable how Saab fought, worked and developed until the last day. Not you the production of the last Saabs, also they have been researching all-wheel-drive technology.

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    EXTREMELY (THINKING) SPORTY ...

    ... this post. Offensive in the positive sense of one or more ideas ...

    It is astonishing that a single engineer can still create something of relevance today (Haldex).
    It's great that Trollhättan is still a location for progressive automotive development and technology (including AAM & E-AAM).

    The world has become complex and complicated. The automotive industry is changing. New paths are being taken hectically and many a question mark along the way or at the supposed finish line is ignored and faded out by some manufacturers (or politicians). At the same time, new niches are opening up for engineers, developers and visionaries. A domain in which Swedes traditionally feel comfortable ...

    Let's see what the future brings. In the meantime many thanks for the article and the food for thought.

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    The longer the end of SAAB, the more amazing I always find out how much technology and know-how of SAAB has been left over and developed further. It's one of those many stories where, in the end, you think you have to pick up all those companies and try, or should, try a re-launch of SAAB. Because these engineers are still on the market with SAAB's past.

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    It's great to see how the solutions that SAAB has developed today are more and more used in the big series (unfortunately) with other manufacturers.

    Thank you for the informative article!

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    Besides Saab, Jaguar was the only brand that ever interested me. Initially, Saab was my company vehicle, later only Jaguar, while the Saab Cabrio is now private pleasure. My first Jaguar had a four-wheel drive and two failed transfer cases, the first damage also hit the main gear; That scared me off a bit, although I would have expected four-wheel competence due to its proximity to Land Rover. That was a development still from the Ford days of JLR; Saab could certainly help here 🙂

    I had even considered switching the XJ into a 9-5 NG, but the many miles on top of it and the danger of missing body parts in case of damage have deterred me so far.

    Nice that there is now even a starting point 🙂

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      There would have been almost another point of contact. Trollhättan was used as a location for Production Jaguar talking.

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    I would never have suspected. It makes you a bit sad.

  • blank

    This is a really nice and interesting story! I did not know that either.

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