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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Koenigsegg to buy Saab and make Quant Electric car

SAAB Automobile is to be sold to Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg. US automaker General Motors has signed a tentative agreement with Koenigsegg to sell its beleaguered unit, GM said in a statement on Tuesday.

Koenigsegg, founded in 1994 by Swedish businessman Christian von Koenigsegg, has just 45 employees and produces 18 Super cars a year for more than a €1 million ($1.4 million) each. Saab Automobile employs about 3,400 people in Sweden and sold 93,000 cars worldwide in 2008.

Reports from Swedish news service Realtid say that Koenigsegg is eager to get their electric concept supercar, called the Quant - which develops 512 hp (382 Kw) and 715 Nm through its twin electric motors - into production, and the company views Saab’s knowledge and facilities as the key.

Developed in partnership with Swedish company NLV Solar AG, specialists in photo voltaics and electrical power technology, the Quant was launched at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year with wild claims of previously unheard of Flow Accumulator Energy Storage (FAES), a thin layer photovoltaic coating over the entire car and 500 km range.

The NLV Quant is a rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel regenerative braking (no details yet on how the front captures energy), ABS and ESP. It is powered by two AC induction electric motors connected to each rear wheel via in-line planetary step down drive, one for each rear wheel with the twin motor layout eliminating the need for bevel gears or a differential.

It will be very interesting to see how much of this concept car technology makes it onto the production version.

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