Geneva '08: Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept, ethanol, hybrid, solar and aero

Click the 9-X BioHybrid for a high res gallery

Saab is giving the world a preview of their newest model with the 9-X BioHybrid that's debuting in Geneva this week. The new 9-X is a premium compact intended to compete against cars like the MINI. When this car does go on sale in the next couple of years the name will probably change to 9-1 in keeping with brands nomenclature where X typically describes an all wheel drive model and the second digit indicates the place in the size pecking order.

As the concept's BioHybrid name implies, the little Saab carries forward the ethanol flex-fuel capability of most recent vehicles from the Swedish brand and adds hybrid functionality as well. The engine in the 9-X is a 1.4L turbo four cylinder that puts out 200hp. In a first for Saab, the engine is paired up with the next-generation GM Hybrid system which we'll have more about tomorrow. Efficiency is further enhanced by solar power and active aerodynamics. A photovoltaic panel embedded in the roof provides extra charging capability for the hybrid battery.

Aerodynamics on small cars is always tricky as the airflow falls off the trailing edge of the roof. The 9-X tries to address this with active aerodynamics. A spoiler that wraps over the rearmost pillar and roof extends backwards when speeds get over 70km/h. The effect is further enhanced by a diffuser that comes out below the rear bumper. The two components increase the effective length of the car and help improve the airflow off the rear. The 9-X can accelerate from 0-100kph in 7.9 sec on E85 and 8.3 sec on gasoline. Carbon dioxide emissions come in at a low 105g/km on ethanol and 117g/km on gasoline. Fuel efficiency is 36.8mpg (US) on biofuels while each gallon of gasoline will take the 9-X 48 miles.

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[Source: Saab] Technical Specifications

BioPower Engine:
Transversely-mounted, front wheel drive
1398 cc. Four cylinders Bore/stroke: 73.4/ 82.6 mm. Aluminum cylinder head, cast iron block
DOHC, chain-driven. Four valves per cylinder.
Forged steel crankshaft, steel connecting rods. Aluminum pistons, oil spray cooled.
Direct Injection with centrally-mounted injectors. VVT, inlet and exhaust
Sodium-filled exhaust valves
Compression Ratio: 10.2: 1
Intercooled turbocharger. Max. Boost Pressure: 1.6 bar
Dual-mass flywheel. Saab engine management

Max power (E85): 200 hp (147 kW) @ 5000 rpm.
Max.torque (E85): 280 Nm (207 lb.ft) @ 1750-5000 rpm
Max power (gasoline): 170 hp (125 kW) @ 5200 rpm.
Max.torque (gasoline): 230 Nm (170 lb.ft) @ 1500-5200 rpm

Hybrid System
Electric motor/generator with lithium ion battery pack.
Electric power boost, regenerative braking, fuel cut-off, automatic engine re-start

6-spd manual gearbox, automated clutch, sequential gear selection, steering wheel controls

Front: Damper/coil struts, aluminum lower A-arm. Anti-roll bar.
Rear: Torsion beam, two trailing links, coil springs and dampers. Anti-roll bar
Rack and pinion, Electrical power assistance.

Wheels, Tires:
21inch, 245/35R21
Hydraulic, dual circuit, vacuum booster. Discs: 345 mm / 345 mm (all ventilated)

Performance Data
(projected figures)

0 - 100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.9 secs (E85)
8.3 secs (gasoline)

80 -120 km/h (50-75 mph), 5th gear: 8.8 secs (E85)
11.2 secs (gasoline)

Top Speed, 6th gear: 216 km/h /134 mph (E85)
192 km/h / 119 mph (gasoline)

Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 6.4 l/100km (E85)
4.9 l/100km (gasoline)

CO2 emissions 105 g/km (E85)
117 g/km (gasoline)

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