Neat two-motor soft-top first victim of GM Saab sale?

9-3 Convertible gets battery treatment

Saab ZE 9-3

Leccy Tech GM's decision to wind down Saab puts the subsidiary's e-car development plans in doubt. Which is a bugger, because Saab's effort looked rather good.

Rather than than cook up some dull-as-dishwater leccy city car, those crazy Swedes opted for a twin-motor 250kW (335bhp), 115mph two-door convertible that could hit 60mph in around 6.5 seconds.

That's the sort of thinking we like here at Register Hardware.

Saab ZE 9-3

Saab's ZE 9-3: utterly lovely?

The car is called the ZE Saab 9-3 and is essentially an electric version of the ageing but still utterly lovely 9-3 Convertible.

The project is the work of group of companies including Saab, US battery maker Boston-Power, Swedish power train developer Electro Engine and Power Circle - Sweden’s electric power industry trade organisation - who have come together to “fuel the advancement of zero-emission, high performance vehicles”.

The fact that this isn't just a Saab project gives us hope the ZE may yet see light of day.

The development of the ZE is being funded to the tune of 86m Kroner (£7.4m/€8.2m/$12m) by a grant from the Swedish Energy Agency.

The first prototype is powered by a 26kWh li-ion battery pack giving it a range of around 150km (90m) but, according to Boston Power, future models will sport higher-capacity power packs giving a range closer to 185 miles.

Only 100 examples of the ZE 9-3 were planned to be produced for lease to selected customers. We hope they still will. ®

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