We have reported on Saab's BioPower vehicles before, but not this one is particular. It is a new concept vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle uses no fossil fuels at all during operation. It runs on 100 percent ethanol, and because of that it gets more power than its gasoline powered equivalent. However, the trade off, of course, is that because it uses ethanol only, the engine alone provides less fuel efficiency.

In addition to the biofuel engine making 260 horsepower, the vehicle has three electric motors for an additional 148 kilowatts. The engine is a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder - not the 2.3 used in their production BioPower vehicles. The hybrid technology comes from General Motors. The powertrain also makes use of a continuously variable transmission, or CVT, for additional fuel saving capabilities. Apparently, it also can run solely on electric power in city conditions, making it a full hybrid system.

The new-tech powertrain is wrapped in a Saab 9-3 convertible body, and is quicker to 60 mph by almost 3 seconds than the standard car. Saab introduced a BioPower concept at the British International Motor Show which ran on E85 and did not include the hybrid drivetrain.

EDIT: A reader of this site and a Saab message board posted a link in the comments that the only change to this vehicle since it was shown last April may be in the description Saab was allowed to use. The car may or may not be changed, but if it was not, GM may not have allowed Saab to reveal that this was a plug-in hybrid model until the Detroit show. Does anyone else have any information that may lead to cracking this case?

[Source: The Car Connection]

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