Hybrid, short and Swede
The Saab 9-X is crucial for a brand seeking a small car, writes NEIL McDONALD
FORGET the technology underpinning Saab’s 9-X bio-hybrid. This is the Swedish carmaker’s new small car, expected to be called the 9-1.
Saab also used its first airing at the Geneva Motor Show this month to show off new technology that could appear in a few years.
Though some of this technology is still some way off, the production version of the handsome hatch is likely to hit the road in two years.
The 9-1, which will be based on the Holden Astra platform architecture, will be aimed at the Volvo C30, Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and Volkswagen’s new Scirocco.
It is expected to be powered by a turbo- charged 1.4- litre fourcylinder, but a bio-power version is also tipped.
The newest Saab is crucial for the Swedish brand — it badly needs a small car to join its line-up, which consists of the 9-3 and ageing 9-5.
The 9-X uses bio-ethanol fuel with the next-generation GM hybrid system. When using E85 fuel, 85 per cent bio-ethanol and 15 per cent petrol, the 1.4-litre direct-injection VVT turbo generates 147kW at 5000 revs and 280Nm from 1750 revs.
The CO2 emissions are comparable to those from a conventionally sized petrol engine. The biopower engine has a combined fuel use of 4.9l/100km and 117g CO2/km.
When running on E85, CO2 emissions are 105g/km and fuel use 6.4l/100km.
Running on E85 alone, the Saab hits 100km/h in 7.9sec and has a top speed of 216km/h.
The engine is mated to a six-speed DSG-style manual gearbox and steering wheel controls.
The GM hybrid system has a lithium-ion battery and a signifi- cantly higher power capability to capture more energy and more electric boost than the existing GM hybrid system.
An electric motor-generator, beltdriven from the engine’s crankshaft, replaces the conventional alternator.
Techno: the Saab 9-X concept, packed with technology, was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.