According to a recent report in the U.K.’s AutoCar, Saab is planning a hybrid version of the upcoming 9-5. The system will use a small 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, which will be assisted by an electric motor. Sounding similar to the setup found in the Honda Insight, this will not be a two-mode hybrid and will not be able to operate exclusively on electric power. Instead the electric motor’s immediate torque will be used to help the small gasoline engine which will then take over at highway speeds.
While not overly sophisticated, the system is much less expensive than a full hybrid setup like in the Toyota Prius. Saab is hoping that with diesel-like fuel-economy, the refinement of a gasoline engine, and a lower price than diesel competitors, the 9-5 Hybrid will be attractive to customers (particularly in Europe) would would opt for a diesel BMW, Audi or Mercedes.