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Saab's next 9-3 is set to have an all-new hybrid-electric four-wheel-drive system when it is launched in 2013

26 Mar 2011 | International News : Sweden

The new system will complement Saab's existing Cross-Wheel-Drive 4WD system, and is set to feature in the all-new 9-3 when the car is launched in 2013, as reported by The Detroit Bureau. The hybrid-electric system will use Saab's V6 petrol engine to power the front wheels, and a motor and clutch assembly to drive the rear wheels.

The advantages of using a hybrid powertrain includes better fuel economy, improved performance, and also eliminate the need for a driveshaft running from the 9-3's transverse-mounted engine to the rear axle. The car will run primarily in front-wheel-drive mode, but when extra power is needed, the hybrid system will add torque from the rear axle. The electric motor can also be activated for independent four-wheel-drive if necessary.

Using a clutch assembly, power from the electric motor will not only drive the rear axle, but will be able to be directed to either the left, right or both wheels to maintain grip. The system also will offer torque vectoring, directing power to help steer the car through corners, whether on slick roads or during aggressive driving manoeuvres.

The new 9-3 will be the first completely "Saab" car, developed without the help of former parent General Motors. The 9-3's platform will serve as a base for future Saab models, including the next-generation 9-5 and 9-4X. "This is our way to get away from our dependence on General Motors," said Saab Vehicle Line Director Anders Svensson.

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