It's official: come 2012, BMW will supply Saab with four-cylinder engines, likely for the company's new 92 project.
Although such a liaison was long rumored, both automakers confirmed the new contract in separate press statements released earlier this morning. Neither automaker would, however, comment on the financial or volume details of the
"It gives me great pleasure to confirm this exciting new relationship," said Jan Ake Jonsson, Saab CEO, in a prepared statement. "BMW Group's engines and fuel saving 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."
The precise output and specifications of the BMW-built engine is still unknown, but Saab notes the engine will be a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4, likely a variation of the turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 currently offered in the 2011 Mini Cooper S. BMW notes the engine will also be bundled with a start/stop system, but it's still unknown if such a system make its way stateside.
Saab's release sidesteps the matter altogether, but BMW's press release notes the engine is destined for a "new Saab model series." Given the displacement of the engine, this seems like a virtual confirmation that the 1.6-liter will be installed in the forthcoming Saab 92, which is rumored to be a Mini-sized premium compact car.
At this stage, BMW is only sharing one engine with the Swedes, although we wouldn't be too surprised to see it eventually provide other components -- or perhaps even vehicle platforms -- in the future. An earlier report suggested the two firms were looking at such possibilities, and Victor Muller, chairman of Spyker Cars (and, subsequently, Saab Automobiles), says "both partners are open to exploring further opportunities as part of this relationship in the future.
Source: Saab, BMW