Under a contract between Saab Automobile and BMW AG, the German automaker has agreed to supply the Swedish operation with turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines starting in 2012. These engines will be used in next-generation Saab vehicles commencing with the new 9-3 model. This high-tech BMW inline-four will be a revamped version of the one currently used in the Mini and is expected to turn out around 200 horsepower in Saab spec. Although few other details on the program were released, the engines are slated to be built in England at BMW's Hams Hall plant and reportedly may be modified to allow E85 flex-fuel capability.
In announcing the deal, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson noted: "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, indicated that the deal has even further-reaching possibilities. "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."