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First look: Saab’s ethanol green machine a turbo hotrod

Family fun: The 9-5 SportEstate concept is no conventional wagon.

Saab's latest green concept, the 9-5 BioPower 100, explores ethanol boundaries

20 Feb 2007

SAAB aims to give green motoring a performance boost at next month’s Geneva motor show when it unveils its latest BioPower development.

Based on a 9-5 SportEstate, the Saab BioPower 100 concept showcases the first production-based engine that uses pure bio-ethanol (E100) fuel. Saab claims a level of performance never seen before from a road car using this fuel.

The 9-5 BioPower 100 uses a conventional 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that delivers 224kW and 400Nm using high-octane E100 fuel, providing power and torque characteristics of a naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre engine. The car will reportedly hit 100km/h in 6.6 seconds.

The performance boost has been facilitated by modifications to the engine management system and internal components, allowing the use of greater boost pressure with a raised compression ratio. The power increase equates to a sportscar-like specific power output of 112kW/litre.

The BioPower 100 Concept features exterior and interior styling elements supervised by GME director of advanced design Anthony Lo, who penned Saab’s award-winning Aero X Concept, which premiered at Geneva last year.

Saab already markets a flex-fuel vehicle, the Saab 9-5 BioPower, across Europe and the Saab BioPower 100 Concept is expected to extend its leadership position in the development of bio-ethanol technology.

"Bio-ethanol is a potent, high-quality fuel which opens up exciting possibilities in helping to meet the environmental challenges that face us," said Kjell Bergstrom, president and CEO at GM Powertrain – Sweden, who has led the Saab BioPower 100 engine development team.

"As the need to reduce energy consumption increases, we are exploring ways to run smaller engines that give relatively high power, with and without hybrid technology.

"This concept car shows that bio-ethanol can play a key role in this ‘rightsizing’ process, while also minimising fossil fuel emissions."

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