Four months after its launch in Sweden, the Saab 9-5 BioPower—a flexible-fuel vehicle capable of running on ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85)—has already outsold its full-year 2006 sales target. Saab Sweden expects to take more than 5,500 orders for the BioPower by year end—equivalent to next year’s sales forecast—and now to sell more than 9,000 units of the car in the country next year.
The 5,500 BioPower cars include variants for both model year 2005 and 2006 (a major redesigned version introduced in October).
The BioPower’s 2.0-liter turbo engine delivers 180 hp (134 kW) of power and 280 Nm of torque (206 lb-ft) running on E85—a 30hp (22kW) lift in maximum power and 40 Nm more torque than its gasoline-powered equivalent. While fuel economy in city and mixed driving conditions is unlikely to show an improvement, Saab says, testing indicates that the engine will deliver 15% better fuel economy at cruising speeds because of improved combustion.
Key to the engine’s capabilities is the enhanced Trionic 8 engine management system that recalibrates and programs to accommodate the different timing characteristics and the fuel/air mixture requirements of ethanol.
The Saab-developed Trionic software is specifically geared to the needs of turbocharged engines and controls ignition timing, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure, air mass measurement and the throttle setting. The standard Trionic 8 system now also incorporates engine start-up and temperature control, as well as further developments for improving torque management and throttle response.
...next year’s forecast is now about 9,000 cars, which we have increased to reflect the growing awareness among our customers of the issues surrounding CO2 emissions and global warming. Our 9-5 BioPower model has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 80 per cent, without compromising safety, performance or comfort.—Bengt Nilemo, Managing Director, Saab Sweden
At the North American International Auto Show in January, Saab will introduce a 2.3-liter concept version turbocharged Saab 9-5 Aero BioPower Concept that 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. (Earlier post.)
Saab is also hinting at an upcoming hybrid prototype.