Hy­brid, short and Swede

The Saab 9-X is cru­cial for a brand seek­ing a small car, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News -

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.

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