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GM Saab to Introduce BioPower 100 Concept in Geneva; Optimized for E100, with 150 HP/Liter

Saab BioPower 100 Concept.

GM’s Saab will introduce its latest BioPower concept car at the Geneva Motor Show next month, featuring its first production-based engine to be optimized for pure bioethanol (E100) fuel.

To be shown as an evolution of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, the BioPower 100 Concept demonstrates the performance potential of bioethanol. In combining Saab turbocharging expertise with the use of high octane E100 fuel, the optimized 2.0-liter engine from the 9-5 range develops 300 hp (224 kW) maximum power.

This is enabled through modifications to the engine management system and internal components, allowing the use of greater boost pressure with an increased compression ratio. The high specific power output of 150 hp per liter demonstrates scope for future downsizing, using smaller, high output engines that also deliver energy savings.

Peak power is complemented by a substantial 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, giving this optimized engine the power characteristics of a naturally-aspirated engine of 4.0-liters displacement. The Saab 9-5 BioPower 100 Concept achieving zero to 62 mph acceleration in just 6.6 seconds and 50 – 75 mph (fifth gear) in 8.2 seconds.

The Saab BioPower 100 Concept being shown at Geneva features exterior and interior styling elements supervised by GME Advanced Design Director Anthony Lo, who oversaw Saab’s award-winning Aero X Concept, which was also premiered at Geneva last year.

Saab’s 9-5 BioPower is Europe’s best-selling flex-fuel vehicle.

Bioethanol is a potent, high quality fuel which opens up exciting possibilities in helping to meet the environmental challenges that face us. As the need to reduce energy consumption increases, we are exploring ways to run smaller engines that give relatively high power, with and without hybrid technology. This concept car shows that bioethanol can play a key role in this ‘rightsizing’ process, while also minimizing fossil fuel emissions.

—Kjell ac Bergström, president and CEO at GM Powertrain - Sweden


Sid Hoffman

This really doesn't mean anything. First, E100 isn't a sustainable biofuel anyway. Second, everyone knows alcohol makes a great racing fuel for power. Third, the base Lancer Evo makes 280hp and the Lancer Evo FQ400 makes 400 horsepower from its 2.0 liter engine and runs on 98 RON gasoline. Better still, the Lancers are cars you can buy at a dealership, not engineering exercises that only exist at car shows and on the drawing board.

Come on, GM, enough with the alcohol fueled funny cars, start producing concepts that matter, more like the Chevy Volt, for example.


Plenty of vapor but no ware! When will Big Auto quit with the promises and PR Cars and put something innovative on the streets?


I agree , its a shame that SAAB has been ruined by the creeping rot of GM . A couple of years ago they annouced a hybrid 9-3, funny I have looked on every saab offical website here in europe , and guess what , no mention of it ! Looks like this is just more GM vapourware


...and the evo will do 0-62mph in under 5 seconds.

The new engine will be even better with its perfectly square dimensions enabling better high rpm performance and MIVEC valve train. (new uses 86x86 (borexstroke) versus the older 85x88)


Nice concept, but do they have E100 pumps in Europe? You can barely get E85 in the US.

John Ard

Maybe GM will market it to rednecks with a slogan like "Drink Responsibly, Make Sure You Have Enough for the Ride Home". :)


They can run it in 2 liter Indy races.

Seriously, there is something wrong. And as Pogo said 'it is us'.

Toyota will have about a half-dozen good hybrids selling within a year. Some are selling in significant volume. The other foreign automakers are coming in fast. And not all of them are the Toyota license designs.

And we have, er, the upcoming GM somewhat-hybrids, a Ford duo which doesn't sell, maybe a Malibu and Aura and Fusion?

But Detroit offers plenty of low-mileage E85 vehicles for which E85 isn't available. And the Volt you can't buy.

And we have great ideas 'hey, let's call this the Taurus next year' and not sell the good Focus in America.

Despite my expressions of disgust I think we have enough resources and good people. But as a consumer one must wonder.


I'd prefer they bring the Mondeo over to displace the Taurus rather than replace the US Focus with the Euro Focus.


An engineer told me that if an engine is to run on 100% alcohol, the piston rings and the cylinders should be manufactured with more wear-resistant materials, as alcohols do not have the lubrication properties of gasoline.

Rafael Seidl

K, Patrick -

the Focus is a Ford model. Saab is part of GM Europe,as is Opel which is responsible for several new Saturn models.

Also note that the Japanese yen is enjoying a particularly good exchange rate right now, which makes it much easier for companies like Toyota and Honda to deliver high-quality cars at competitive prices in both the US and Europe. Of course, it also takes engineering know-how and a product roadmap that delivers sufficiently attractive models with high fuel economy. Detroit once knew how to build those but they forgot because SUVs were much more profitable. Chrysler is the latest example.

I wish someone in the US auto industry had the cojones to invite a start-up like Tesla or CalCars on board and go for broke with their BEV/PHEV/V2G technology. Cost-cutting and tinkering in the margins has never saved a struggling giant, you need some out-of-the-box thinking and cross-pollenation (incl. funding) from non-traditional sources.


Rafael: I didn't imply the Focus was GM. Today I was bashing all Detroit.

I just bought a car. The new Aura came close. But I finally wimped out and bought used. That keeps me rolling until I can look at the 2008s next winter.

I always enjoy your technical insights. And yes, one of our car makers should go all out with something like the Tesla. Let the Corvette group tackle it with $100m and orders to make a sellable car in two years.

Reviving the EV1 might not be a bad idea either.



Why would you think that I was under the impression that any of the Ford models referred to in the discussion were GM products? I was just going with the flow of the conversation and stating my preference of what European Ford vehicles should be brought over.

Next time, for your benefit, I will list Make, Model and trim level along with year of manufacture.

Therefore I would like to restate the passage concerning the EVO and amend it as follows:

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (in all trims) will do 0-62mpg in less than 5.0 seconds.

Additionally the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (upcoming model, in all trims) will be provided with the 4B11T engine using a MIVEC head versus the current 4G63T engine.


So, any numbers on fuel consumption?

Dave T.

funny I came here after I posted this news item to KT to see if you had it. Anyway, the problem with hybrids is the fact that even though they may get 40+ mpg they still run on gas. good old, depends on the price of oil from overseas, gas.
And even when you tune a hybrid to be performance oriented and it has a lot of torque it still doesn't drive like a traditional powerplant. it just doesn't and I think a lot of the anti-hybrid folks are car guys that want a V-8 and plenty of power.
I think a 300 hp saab 9-5 on something other than gas is pretty cool. maybe that's just me.
They just need to do a few things with make a lot more of it and keep prices down. That's all.

Really surprised by the negativity towards the concept. GM makes plenty of flex fuel e85 cars btw. I tested the new Tahoe on E85 and thought it was terrific.


More ethanol pumps? Nah, I like to keep my steak and chicken affordable...or were you suggesting we import ethanol from Brazil?

Those V-8 guys are mostly against small displacement turbocharged high horsepower 4 cylinders...just about as much as they oppose performance hybrids. If these performance guys were serious about performance and wanted ethanol as their primary fuel they would have already converted their vehicle to run on the stuff and raised the compression ratio of their engines. There are already enough guys who try running AVGas or using paint thinners to raise the octane of their fuel...


As cidi says ... what about MPG ... and CO2/km ?
This website is supposed to be about Green cars and MPG would be the main metric for that.

Also, how much water does it take to make 1 litre of ethanol ?



I think the more important water related question is how much water does it take to make 1 liter of ethanol versus 1 liter of gasoline versus 1 liter of diesel.


[quote]More ethanol pumps? Nah, I like to keep my steak and chicken affordable...or were you suggesting we import ethanol from Brazil?[/quote]

Why not import much of it from Africa? The Africans could surely use the extra business be it steaks, chickens, or ethanol. There are reasons to be concerned with increased agricultural production but food versus fuel is a canard.


Importing food from areas less stable then the areas where we import our oil from is far from ideal.

Philippe Raufast

A 500 cc, 75 hp engine, on a light car with a 6 speed AMT would be nice for Europe...


The only problem is that appropriately scaling down the turbocharger gets very expensive since they don't create many mini turbos for such an application.

Now would it be a one cylinder 500cc engine? That would give it a nice lumpy "old school motorcycle" sound.

Sid Hoffman

Well actually there's a lot of good turbos for that range, believe it or not. The Kai-class cars in japan are 660cc, 64ps (roughly 63hp) and often use a turbocharger to boost the midrange torque so it doesn't feel so gutless.


I am familiar with those Kei cars in Japan.

In the US if you try to purchase a brand new turbocharger (say from a Garrett distributor) you will pay 2-3 times more for a micro turbo appropriate for the 50-75hp output range versus a turbo suitable for a 180-220hp engine. There is just no market in the US for those turbos.

BTW- do you know whose turbo they run at various companies on their Kei cars? IHI? Mitsubishi? Garrett?

frank J.

where's the hemp ethanol. can't eat hemp or smoke it. can grow in all 50 states

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