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GM to Introduce Beefed-Up FlexFuel Saab at LA Show

General Motors will feature seven new models at the upcoming Greater Los Angeles Auto Show in 2006, one of which is a more powerful concept version of a flexfuel Saab, the Saab 9-5 Aero BioPower Concept.

The 2.3-liter turbocharged Saab 9-5 Aero BioPower Concept can burn ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85), and delivers almost 20% more maximum power—310 hp (231 kW) vs. 260 hp (194 kW)— and 25% more torque—441 Nm vs. 350 Nm—than its gasoline counterpart.

In September, Saab introduced a new 2006 BioPower Saab in Europe. (Earlier post.) That 9-5 2.0t BioPower delivers 180 hp (132 kW) and 280 Nm of torque with a 2.0-liter engine, compared to 150 hp (110 kW) and 240 Nm when using gasoline—another 20% increase in power and a 16% gain in torque.

E85 fuel has a much higher octane rating (104 RON) than gasoline and is suited to turbocharged engines. Saab’s Trionic engine management system facilitates re-programming to accommodate the different ignition timing and fuel/air mixture requirements of E85 fuel. Trionic continuously monitors, detects and makes any adjustments necessary for the use of E85 or gasoline in any combination.

The 2006 2.0t BioPower is on sale in Sweden.

The other vehicles to appear at the LA show will include:

  • The newly redesigned 2007 Chevy Aveo Sedan.

  • The all-new 2007 Suburban. One of GM’s key full-size models, this is built on the new full-size architecture (earlier post) and will go on sale in the second quarter of 2006.

  • 2007 GMC Yukon XL. Also a key full-size unit for GM, and also based on the new architecture, the Yukon goes on sale in the second quarter of 2006.

  • Corvette Z06 Daytona Pace Car.

  • 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP. Solstice GXP features GM’s all-new Ecotec 2.0-liter turbo with direct injection technology, the most powerful production engine in the Ecotec family.

  • 2006 Saab 9-3 20 Years Edition Aero Convertible, powered by an all-new 250-horsepower, 2.8L V-6 turbo engine.

  • GMC PAD concept. A diesel hybrid “urban loft with mobility.”



This car is already for sale in Sweden where 85% ethanol is very common. Both Volvo and Saab offer these models over there. I don't see whats so novel about this concept. Even if they sold it here, we don't have the ethanol supply to run these car. They just end up using 100% gasoline like everybody else. Sounds like more hot air from GM to pump up their CAFE numbers.


While the energy payback of ethanol is controversial, from extremely negative to somewhat positive, we are still wasting precious resources whether we drive gas guzzlers using gasoline, diesel, or ethanol. It shouldn't be used as a way of distorting cafe numbers.


How about do something like what VW did: turbo charge a small engine and get some 130hp, that would result in high MPG even in E85.

David Ottinger

Man alive, I have to show my ignorance, but what on earth is a CAFE number?


CAFE = Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard. Established by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, it specifies a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) number for new passenger cars that automakers must meet.

Compliance with the standards is measured by calculating a sales-weighted mean of the fuel economies of a given manufacturer's product line.

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