Potential benefits of biofuels seem obvious with a reduced carbon footprint being a key reason. But, as we've covered in the past, alcohol fuels such as ethanol can also increase the performance of an engine if the engine is optimized properly. Saab realizes this fact and is considering implementing the idea for future powertrains.
The use of turbocharging can help take advantage of an engine running on ethanol and Saab has a history of force-feeding mass quantities of air into their engines. This being the case, it's not hard to understand why they might be interested in lowering the emissions of their engines by combining E85 capability with turbocharging. In so doing, they can actually reduce the displacement of the engine while still making the desired amount of power. They believe that this may be a short-term way to meet new emissions requirements while still delivering the driving experience that their customers desire. Saab sees hybrids as a potential long-term solution, but they are not yet ready to get one into production.
One might question, though, is whether or not Saab's intended market is ready to concede that small-displacement four-cylinder engines can be just as worthy in a sporty entry-level luxury car, no matter how much power they might produce.
[Source: Channel 4]