The Jaguar I-Pace’s electric axles – a key component of Jaguar’s electric SUV – come from designs initiated by Saab before it fell in to bankruptcy.
The Jaguar I-Pace is proving to be a proper success for Jaguar – even if its volumes as an EV are too low to turn Jaguar around single-handedly – but it seems Jaguar owe a big debt of gratitude to the Swedes for a chunk of the I-Pace’s success.
When Saab was deep in the mire in 2010, it formed a joint venture with American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) to progress the work they had been doing on electric all-wheel drive, having been prescient enough in the mid-2000s to see where the car world was going and deciding they needed to be ahead of the curve with all things EV.
When Saab went in to administration, AAM bought up the bit of the joint venture Saab owned, transferred the 70 Saab engineers working on the project to a new centre in Trollhattan and continued the work they’d been doing.
Fast forward to 2014, and Jaguar Land Rover reached out to AAM – already a supplier to JLR of axles – to see if they could help with plans for what was to become the I-Pace, so AAM took their team from Trollhattan to a number of meetings with JLR which resulted in AAM creating, to JR specs, two compact drive units to power the front and rear wheels on the I-Pace.
It’s nice to think Saab lives on in a small way in the I-Pace. Perhaps Jaguar need to start doing adverts for the I-Pace with fighter jets?
Source: Automotive News