Saab Automobile will spread its BioPower concept to the 9-3 range in Europe.
All 9-3s, including the Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible body styles, will feature the flex-fuel powertrain, the auto maker says on the eve of the Geneva auto show.
The 1.8L 4-cyl. engine that will motivate the BioPower range will create 175 hp and 177 lb.-ft. (240 Nm) of torque, which Saab says is 17% more horsepower and 10% more torque than its gasoline-only counterpart.
Saab will start sales of the 9-3 BioPower models in the Nordic markets, the U.K. and Ireland. It plans to expand sales to other European countries later in the year.
The BioPower models are capable of running on E85 fuel, which includes 85% agriculturally produced bioethanol and 15% gasoline.
Saab projects the 9-3 Sport Sedan will accelerate 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 8.4 seconds, compared with 9.5 seconds on gasoline.
The Saab 9-5 BioPower, introduced last year, has vaulted to Europe’s best-selling flex-fuel vehicle as biofuel filling stations continue to proliferate with government support, particularly in Sweden.
“The success of the 9-5 BioPower has encouraged us to extend this concept to the 9-3 range,” says Saab Managing Director Jan Ake Jonsson. “This means we can now offer BioPower variants throughout our core product lineup.”
Bob Lutz,Corp. vice chairman-global product development, previously said GM would bring the Saab BioPower 9-3 to the U.S. but has not indicated when. GM appears to be setting up Saab as its biopower brand, with Saturn positioned as the hybrid-electric vehicle marque and Cadillac the destination for diesels.
Also in Geneva, Saab will showcase its E100-capable engine technology in a 9-5 SportCombi, which complements the 9-3 Convertible shown in Detroit. The BioPower 100 Concept to be exhibited in Geneva has a 2.0L turbocharged mill making 300 hp when used with high-octane 100% bioethanol fuel, Saab says.
Peak torque for the BioPower 100 Concept is 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm), similar to that from a naturally aspirated 4.0L, the auto maker says.