At the Stockholm Motor Show Thursday, Saab unveiled its new BioPower Hybrid 9-3 convertible concept. The car is touted by Saab as the world's first fossil fuel-free hybrid, and the world's first hybrid drop-top.

The car combines a 260 hp, 2-liter turbo BioPower engine capable of running on pure (E100) ethanol fuel driving the front wheels with dual electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. Saab's new SIDI direct injection system allows the switch from blended ethanol/gasoline to pure ethanol, even in cold weather.

With both systems engaged, the 9-3 hybrid can accelerate to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. At the other end of the spectrum, the car will run electric-only in "Zero Mode," at speeds up to 50 km/h, although only for 10-20 km. The combustion engine automatically kicks in if speeds increase or the batteries run down.

(Full Saab press release after the jump)

[Source: Saab]

Saab Press Release:

World's first fossil fuel-free Hybrid vehicle

We are proud to present an innovative hybrid concept based on pure bioethanol. The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept is a showcase of new technology that you may see in future Saab cars. Everything is neatly packed into a Saab 9-3 Convertible.

The hybrid concept includes a further development of our existing BioPower technology. By using 100% bioethanol the engine can produce even more power. At the same time fossil fuel emission is reduced to zero.

By coupling the turbo-charged engine with a battery-charged full hybrid drive system the car can deliver stunning performance and mileage.

The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept is the world’s first hybrid vehicle without fossil fuel emission. And the world’s first hybrid soft-top.

Zero Mode. No consumption. No emission.

Press the Zero Mode button and you can drive fully electric at speeds below 50 km/h. The powerful batteries have capacity enough for you to drive 10–20 km without using the combustion engine.

Zero Mode is just perfect for commuting, or in congested driving conditions at lower speed. The car automatically turns to normal hybrid drive when you raise speed over 50 km/h, when you need powerful acceleration, or if the battery charge should run low.

The combustion engine is smoothly engaged. And in normal hybrid mode the car switches automatically between turbocharged bioethanol power, battery charged power, or a mix of both depending on your driving. When you stop at a red light the engine turns off. Then kick down the accelerator and three motors are engaged to catapult you off the spot.

Next generation BioPower – even more power without a drop of petrol.

The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept also includes a natural step in the further development of BioPower technology. Such as the SIDI – a new direct injection system designed so the engine will start and run perfectly without any mix of petrol, even in extreme cold.

The turbocharging is tuned to take further advantage of the higher octane rating of pure bioethanol. So, the engine can produce 260 bhp and a huge 375 Nm torque.

Acceleration is boosted by the two electric motors of the hybrid system. At low speed and take-off they can briefly add a huge instant 785 Nm of torque. Helping to catapult you from zero to 100 in 6.9 seconds with automatic transmission.

Faster than most diesel or petrol-driven cars, but with zero fossil fuel emission.

Electric four-wheel-drive.

During acceleration and driving in low grip conditions traction and stability are dynamically enhanced by the electric rear-wheel-drive. The hybrid system interacts with the electronic stability system to distribute power to the wheels with best grip. Engagement of the four-wheel-drive is seamless, instant and powerful thanks to the digitally controlled instant torque response of the electric motors. If the front wheels tend to spin when you start on an icy hill, up to 665 Nm can be applied to the rear wheels at very low revs, helping to avoid slip. Compared to conventional four-wheel-drive systems it has less moving parts and very low frictional losses, something that both improves performance and saves fuel.

Rocket science? No, just a natural development.

The Saab 9-3 BioPower Hybrid Concept is just as easy to drive as its petrol or diesel powered siblings. Energy use and power distribution is fully automatic. The only visible differences from a conventional car are a few instruments and the Zero Mode switch. Despite its compact design, the Saab Biopower Hybrid is a full hybrid vehicle, which means it has the capacity to be driven entirely on the stored electricity.

1. Saab BioPower 2.0 Turbo – combustion engine optimised to run on pure bioethanol (E100), resulting in zero fossil fuel emission.

2. Integrated starter/generator (ISG) – built into the flywheel, between the engine and transmission. Contributes with an additional 15 kW (20 bhp) and up to 120 Nm of torque

3. Rear Drive Unit (RDU) – transmission differential with an integrated 38 kW (52 bhp) electric motor/alternator. Deliver up to 665 Nm of torque briefly at lower speeds to boost take-off performance.

4. Battery Management System (BMS) – Electronic Control Unit with software for battery supervision.

5. 42 V battery – powers the front electric motor (ISG).

6. 300 V battery – powers the Rear Drive Unit. Compact, high-capacity lithium-ion battery.

7. Electronic Control Unit – for the Rear Drive Unit (RDU).

8. Zero Mode button – switch between Hybrid and Zero Mode. Driving range in fully electric Zero Mode is 10–20 km depending on driving conditions.

9. Electronic Control Unit – for the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG).

A performance Hybrid without compromise.

The innovative hybrid system is so compact that it can be completely concealed even in a convertible. The Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept car is just as roomy as any other Saab 9-3 Convertible. Giving you 352 litres of luggage volume (VDA). The performance is exhilarating, the efficiency is impressive and above all – it is 100% fossil free!

Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with Spark Ignited Fuel Injection (SIDI), continuously variable inlet/outlet cam phasers.Displacement 1.998 dm3.Maximum output 191 kW (260 bhp) at 5200 r/min.Peak torque 375 Nm at 1900–5000 r/min.

Hybrid drive
Front (ISG) motor/alternator maximum output 15 kW, maximum intermittent torque 120 Nm (continuous 65 Nm).Rear RDU motor/alternator maximum output 38 kW, maximum intermittent torque 665 Nm (continuous 605 Nm).

Sentronic 5-speed automatic with manual shift possibility. Electric four-wheel-drive, continuously variable and interacting with the cars electronic stability system.

Top speed 250 km/h (electronically limited).Acceleration 0–100 km/h 6.9 seconds. Overtaking 80–120 km/h 5.5 seconds.

Fuel tank capacity
62 litres.

Luggage capacity
Volume according to VDA standard 352 litres; volume with the top down 235 Litres.

[Source: Saab]

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