With the 2.0t BioPower engine enjoing great success in the marketplace -- it's the top-selling 9-5 engine option in Saab's home market -- the automaker has chosen the British International Motor Show to premiere a new member of the BioPower family: a 2.3L turbocharged powerplant. We reported on this development earlier, though Saab has chosen today to make it official.

The 2.3t BioPower, when running on E85 Ethanol, produces 210 horsepower (185 hp on regular gas) and will be available in the 9-5 sedan and wagon. It goes on sale later this year in the UK, Ireland and (naturally) the Nordic states. It does not replace the 2.0t BioPower, so customers fortunate enough to live in BioPower markets will soon be able to choose from the two flexible-fuel engines based on their individual driving needs.

Saab calls this new development the first in a series of BioPower initiatives it has in the pipeline. It'll be interesting to see what else the company has up its sleeve, but for now, this seems like a nice starting point: increased performance, same low emissions.

(Press release after the jump)

[Source: Saab UK]

Saab Launches New High-Performance 2.3t BioPower Engine
  • World premiere of 210 bhp 2.3t BioPower Saab 9-5 at British International Motor Show
  • Cuts fossil CO2 emissions by up to 70 per cent whilst delivering 14 per cent more power and 11 per cent more torque
  • To go on sale later in 2006, offered in addition to the Saab 9-5 2.0t BioPower, already for sale on the UK market
Saab Great Britain is delighted to announce the world premiere of the 210 bhp 2.3t BioPower engine in the new-look Saab 9-5 Saloon and Estate range. This car will be unveiled at the British International Motor Show which will be held in London in July. The addition of another BioPower variant, delivering 14 per cent more power and 11 per cent more torque whilst substantially cutting fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when running on bioethanol E85 fuel, will extend Saab's leadership of the premium 'flex-fuel' segment.

The new Saab 9-5 2.3t BioPower model goes on sale in the UK, Ireland and Nordic markets later this year, with other European countries to follow. Available in a choice of Saloon and Estate bodystyles with manual or automatic transmission, it is being offered in addition to the current 2.0t BioPower model which is already established as Sweden's best selling environmentally-friendly vehicle.

First deliveries of the Saab 9-5 2.0t BioPower began in the UK in March 2006, the same time as Morrisons supermarket opened the country's first bioethanol E85 refuelling pump. Morrisons now sells bioethanol E85 at several of its sites in the East and South West of England, retailing the eco-friendly fuel for two pence per litre less than petrol.

Both cars combine the benefits of 'going green' through substantially cutting fossil CO2 emissions, with the enjoyment of even sportier driving performance. A further practical advantage of the BioPower formula allows customers to run on petrol and/or bioethanol E85 fuel in any proportions without any adjustment needed by the driver.

Running on bioethanol E85 the new Saab 9-5 2.3t BioPower engine delivers maximum power of 210 bhp and 310 Nm of torque, compared to 185 bhp and 280 Nm when using unleaded petrol. In terms of increased performance, the manual saloon accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds, compared to 8.5 seconds when running only on petrol.

Saab's powerful Trionic engine management system monitors fuel quality after every visit to the filling station and automatically makes any adjustments necessary for running on bioethanol E85 and/or petrol in any combination.

Bioethanol E85 has a much higher octane rating (104 RON) than petrol (95 RON), and turbocharging allows the use of a higher boost pressure and more advanced ignition timing - giving more engine power than is possible on petrol without risk of harmful 'knocking' or pre-detonation. The only hardware modifications necessary are more durable valves and valve seats and the use of bioethanol-compatible materials in the fuel system, including the tank, pump, lines and connectors.

Bioethanol fuel is produced commercially from agricultural crops, such as corn, grain, sugar beet and sugar cane. Unlike petrol, its consumption does not significantly raise atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), which some scientific research suggests is a major contributor to global warming. This is because emissions during driving are balanced by the amount of CO2 that is removed from the atmosphere when crops for conversion are grown.

"The launch of a 2.3 turbo model is the logical next step in the roll-out of our highly-successful BioPower concept," says Jan-Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile's Managing Director. "It is being offered in response to customer demand for an eco-friendly vehicle that delivers even more performance and is the first in a number of future BioPower initiatives that we have under development."

Saab 9-5 2.3t BioPower performance figures are provisional pending homologation.

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