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Cars > Saab > Saab 9-4X Biopower Concept

 By Ketan Patel View Comments

Image Copyright: Saab

Saab 9-4X Biopower Concept

The Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept is a Compact Crossover SUV that takes several styling cues from Saab’s 9-3 sedan lineup. The SUV, however, doesn't share any of its basic underskin design with the 9-3 or any other General Motors vehicle.

The 9-4X's other "hook" is its engine. Though its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is similar to what Saab offers in 9-3, "BioPower" is what separates it. The engine is designed to offer optimum performance while running on the E85 ethanol/gasoline mix, rather than conventional gasoline. Taking advantage of E85's higher octane rating allows the engine to produce 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque on the corn juice. On refined crude oil, output drops to 245 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel paddles is standard, as is Saab’s new XWD "cross wheel drive" all-wheel drive system. Saab says the 9-4X can run from 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds.

Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept

The Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept, revealed at the North American International Auto Show, confirms Saab's plans to enter the growing crossover segment with a dynamic, driver-focused vehicle inspired by Scandinavian design values and respect for the environment.

The concept's progressive design features are combined with a responsible, fun-to-drive appeal based on BioPower engine technology and a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system.

"This concept is a clear statement of what our brand is about," said Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile Managing Director. "It is also an important next step in our plans to enter new market segments with distinctive product offerings."

The design of the Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept reflects a Scandinavian principle of simplicity of form, with clean and uncluttered lines, free of any cladding, moldings or roof bars, and defining "ice-block" surface and lighting themes. The progressive frontal styling and interior design elements also draw inspiration from Saab's widely acclaimed Aero X concept. Innovative load-carrying solutions include a unique ski equipment stowage system, developed with mountain sports specialists Salomon. (Please see accompanying Salomon release.)

Optimized for bioethanol (E85) fuel, t he four-cylinder, 2.0-liter BioPower turbo engine demonstrates Saab's commitment to "rightsizing" - achieving sufficient levels of performance with a smaller, more efficient engine - by delivering 300 horsepower (221 kW) and strong torque of 295 lb.-ft (400 Nm), together with substantially reduced CO 2 emissions on a source-to-wheel basis. (Please see accompanying Powertrain release). The key enabler for rightsizing is turbocharging technology, which Saab pioneered 30 years ago.

Mated to the industry-leading Saab XWD ("cross-wheel-drive") system, this advanced powertrain promises to make driving to a destination as enjoyable as the adventure itself.

The Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept was developed by a team headed by Anthony Lo, GM Europe's Director of Advanced Design, in cooperation with designers and engineers from the Saab Brand Center in Sweden . "We focused on incorporating design themes from the Aero X in a crossover execution, adding functional, lifestyle features to support the activities of customers using this type of vehicle," Lo said.

The driver-focused cockpit in the sporty, four-seater cabin features an Aero X-inspired "clear zone," with a flush-mounted starter button and infotainment controls, that sweeps up from the central console to the main display screen. Signature green lighting is used for all instrument illumination, while other subtle references to Saab's aviation heritage include the "altimeter" speed read-out scale and aircraft-shaped trim on the steering wheel. The panoramic glass roof is in harmony with a car designed to deliver the enjoyment of outdoor pursuits.

Saab designers worked with top Saab Salomon Big Mountain skiers to devise an innovative storage system for stowing skis and equipment inside the car. The rear cargo deck features a sliding floor with a fold-out aluminum ski holder, through which up to three pairs of skis and poles can be slotted. Boots are stowed in an underfloor, heated compartment and, for maximum practicality, the entire rear cargo area is covered in a waterproof and scratch-resistant rubber skin.

The compact, all-aluminum, four-cylinder BioPower engine combines the benefits of turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing for the first time with high-octane E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). It's a green, rightsizing formula that gives strong power (300 horsepower [221 kW] and 295 lb.-ft. [400 Nm] of torque without the additional weight, size, fuel consumption and higher emissions of a larger, naturally aspirated engine offering similar performance.

Driver involvement is taken to a new level by the innovative all-wheel-drive system, Saab XWD, already available in the 9-3 range. Active management splits torque delivery between both the axles and the rear wheels, via an electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential (eLSD). This responsive system rewards the driver by giving an enhanced, "positive force" chassis balance. Overall, the Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept is a vivid demonstration of Saab's commitment to customers with outdoor leisure interests who seek a sporty driving experience that is in harmony with nature.

Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept - Technical Specifications

BioPower engine

1998 cc; four cylinders; 86.0 / 86.0 mm bore / stroke; aluminum cylinder head and block; DOHC, chain-driven. four valves per cylinder; twin counter-rotating balancer shafts; forged steel crankshaft; steel connecting rods; aluminum pistons; oil spray cooled; direct injection; VVT; inlet and exhaust sodium-filled exhaust valves; Saab engine management system; twin-scroll turbocharger; intercooled

BioPower engine data

  • Max. boost pressure at maximum torque: 1.2 bar
  • Compression ratio: 10.5: 1
  • Max power (E85): 300 hp (221kW) @ 5400 rpm.
  • Max. torque (E85): 400Nm (295 lb.-ft) @ 2600-5100 rpm
  • Max power (gasoline): 245 hp (180 kW) @ 5300 rpm
  • Max. torque (gasoline): 353 Nm (261 lb.-ft.) @ 2500- 5250 rpm
  • Fuel consumption (combined): 10.5L /100km (22.4 mpg) on gasoline


  • Saab XWD ("cross wheel drive") all-wheel-drive system, electronic rear limited-slip differential (eLSD)
  • Six-speed automatic transmission, steering wheel controls


  • Front: MacPherson struts, aluminum control arm and knuckle, anti-roll bar
  • Rear: Multi-link, aluminum H-arm and knuckle, anti-roll bar


  • Rack and pinion, hydraulic power assistance

Wheels, tires

  • 21", 245/55R21


  • Hydraulic, dual circuit, vacuum booster
  • Discs front / rear: 378 mm / 378 mm (all ventilated)

Performance data (preliminary)

  • 0-100 km/h: 8.0 sec
  • 0-60 mph: 7.9 sec
  • Top speed: 235 kph (146 mph)
  • CO2: 51 g / km (gasoline)


Saab 9-4X Biopower Concept


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