Saab has been selling their bioPower variant of the 9-5 wagon in Europe for some time now. bioPower is Saab's brand name for their flex-fuel vehicles. The bioPower engines are able run on up to 100% ethanol fuel, but are optimized for E85. Now Saab is taking bioPower to the Australian market. They will unveil the Aussie version at this week's NRMA Alternative Fuels Summit in Sydney. The 9-5 will use the 2.3L light pressure turbocharged 4 cylinder. Because of the higher octane ratings of ethanol compared to gasoline, the car will have a 20% increase in power and 16% increase in torque when running on E85 compared to gasoline. As expected from ethanol, the range and fuel efficiency are decreased when running on ethanol by about 10-15%. Ethanol is not widely available in Australia but it wasn't available in England when the bioPower 9-5 went on sale there last year. Nonetheless, the flex-fuel Saab has sold well. The Australian model is due to be on sale early next year with a price premium of about $1500 over the $45,000 base price.
[Source: news.com.au via greenirvana.com]