What Good Is Saab 9-3 BioPower Concept?
With a wink, a nudge, and lots of promises for future hybrid manufacture, the Saab 9-3 BioPower Hybrid Convertible Concept enters the auto scene. The Concept, that promises to run faster, cleaner and better, was introduced at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show.
Saab 9-3 BioPower Concept delivers zero fossil CO2 emissions, enhanced performance and a range of energy-saving features. The concept combines the use of pure bioethanol fuel and electric power generation for the first time in Saab's lineup. Being the world's first fossil-free hybrid vehicle, the concept now becomes the world's first hybrid soft-top.
"Hybrids are certainly interesting for Saab in the future and this project allows us to evaluate and explore the potential of hybrid technology in combination with our existing and already-proven BioPower technology," said Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile's Managing Director. "Although the exact hybrid application shown in this concept does not currently figure in our production plans, the project has been extremely valuable in helping us further our expertise. It shows how we could develop the sporty performance associated with Saab while using only renewable resources and saving energy overall."
Its 60 bhp 2.0-litre turbo BioPower engine and 53 kW electric motors swiftly generate torque values three times greater than its petrol-only equivalent. "The 9-5 BioPower can also run on any mixture of ethanol and gasoline," said Jan-Willem Vester, corporate communications manager for Saab Cars USA. He even added, "Mileage is approximately 30-percent worse on ethanol," Vester concedes, "but ethanol is typically 20-30 percent less expensive, so for customers it's budget-neutral."
When the 9-5 BioPower runs on E85, the result is 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque compared to 260 hp and 258 lb-ft on gasoline. Additionally, the 9-5 wagon's 0-to-60-mph time drops from 6.9 seconds to 6 seconds flat.
"This concept allows us to evaluate and explore the potential of hybrid technology in combination with BioPower," says Jan ke Jonsson, Saab Automobile's Managing Director. "As part of this process, we are now developing our expertise further by introducing the two-mode hybrid technology. It shows how we can continue to express the sporty performance associated with Saab while using renewable resources and saving energy overall."
Other advantages to ethanol include the fact that countries can produce it at home. Supplementary fuel-saving efforts include the removal of auxiliary functions, such as the water pump, air conditioning and power steering systems, from the engine's belt drive and moving them to electric power through the hybrid system.
The overall performance of the Concept is inspired by enhanced functionality and valuable energy savings. Its sporty appeal and improved performance expected in a Saab vehicle are mated to greater fuel economy and an extended driving range to perfect the SUV masterpiece. According to the automaker, the concept can enrich driving appeal while also moving further towards the goal of sustainable mobility.
According to analysts, enthusiasts should prepare a hefty sum for the production version of the concept and best prices on Saab auto parts used.
About the Author: Correy Putton is a 28-year old bachelor from Pittsburgh, PA who has been around cars for the better part of his life. He now works online and writes all about his passion: cars. He is also a certified mechanic.