Currently reading: Saab keen on FWD BMW platform
Saab is in talks with BMW and other car makers about securing a platform for its new 92 supermini

Saab is in talks with BMW about licensing its new front-drive platform for use on its new 92 supermini.

Saab boss Victor Muller told Reuters that he was in talks with other manufacturers over securing their underpinnings for the 92, but has hinted his preference is BMW after the firm's recent engine tie-up.

“Clearly we have a preference, but whether it's BMW, I can't tell you," he said, "BMW would make a wonderful partner.”

Read more about the Saab/BMW engine tie-up

The new BMW platform will be used to underpin a new range of front-wheel-drive BMWs, as well as the next-generation Mini. The 92 is a pet project of Muller's and is based around the evocative teardrop shape of the 1950s original.

Saab has also received interest from manufacturers hoping to use the platform for its new 9-3, according to Muller. “We're in constant dialogue with a number of players to share the [9-3] technology," he said. "There are parties that are interested in talking about possible licensing of the technology.”

Read more on the next-gen Saab 9-3, due in 2012

The new 9-3 is due to go on sale at the very end of 2012 and will feature a version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine currently used in the Mini range.

Saab will only confirm use of the 200bhp version of the N18 engine so far, but further versions are likely, including a variant that runs on E85 biofuel. It will also incorporate BMW’s fuel-saving stop-start and regenerative braking systems.

See all the latest Saab reviews, news and video

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every thing you... 17 October 2010

Re: Saab keen on FWD BMW platform

If they get the deal with BMW at the right price it's a big step in the right direction for them. They have the engine deal already and this can only be an advantage for both parties if it comes off. I just can't see BMW gifting a potential competitior a ticket to the game.

I'm sure these deals are decided more often by those who are willing to enter a partnership rather than those who may look best suited on paper.

I'd fancy Honda as the natural partner for SAAB.

Assuming both parties fancied it :-)

JezyG 16 October 2010

Re: Saab keen on FWD BMW platform

Saab want to be a premium brand so need a premium partner really. They had all the issues with having GM/Vectra parts/platfrom and remember the X type Jag and the Mondeo!!! BM's new FWD platform which will be partly shared with PSA as well gives them an excellent base and as said having a BMW platform and engine does give Saab a little Kudos. Saab do not have the money to design and build a new platform for every model but to choose a partner and a good one will aid Saab's longer term recovery and sales figures.

andrepaul999 15 October 2010

Re: Saab keen on FWD BMW platform

comment8 wrote:
A SAAB buyer is not looking for a BMW otherwise they would have bought one in the first place. BMW represents the antithesis of SAAB. If they simply offer German car lite then why bother at all.

BMW are the best to hook up with as they hold one massive similarity with Saab / Spyker and that is independance.

BMW also have the best brand image in the automotive industry, have among the best engines and even though i hate the things - the Mini does have a fantastic chassis.

So Mr comment8 who would you suggest a premium car maker that wants a future in that sector does hook up with exectly?