January 14, 2008 Drawing on design elements showcased in the Aero X concept and hinting that the company is looking to enter the crossover vehicle segment, Saab unveiled its four-seat 9-4X BioPower Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The Concept's key features include the use of a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter, 300 horsepower (221 kW) BioPower turbo engine coupled with the Saab XWD powertrain already available in the 9-3 range.
The compact, all-aluminum, four-cylinder BioPower engine combines the benefits of turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing for the first time and is optimized for bioethanol E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Aimed at achieving sufficient levels of performance with a smaller, more efficient engine (or "rightsizing") along with reducing emissions, the engine achieves 300 horsepower [221 kW] and 295 lb.-ft. [400 Nm] of torque.
The Saab XWD system splits torque delivery between both the axles and the rear wheels via an electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential (eLSD). This responsive system rewards the driver by giving an enhanced, “positive force” chassis balance.
The sleek, uncluttered design of the Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept is free of any cladding, moldings or roof bars and incorporates the Scandinavian company's defining “ice-block” surface and lighting themes and a panoramic glass roof. Frontal styling and interior design elements are inspired by the Aero X concept and the unique ski equipment stowage system - designed in consultation with Salomon Big Mountain skiers - enables up to three pairs of skis and poles to be stored in a fold-out aluminum ski holder located in the sliding floor of the rear cargo deck. Boots are stowed in an underfloor, heated compartment and, for maximum practicality, the entire rear cargo area is covered in a waterproof and scratch-resistant rubber skin.
The cockpit is marked by a flush-mounted starter button and infotainment controls with signature green lighting is used for all instrument illumination and the “altimeter” speed read-out scale and aircraft-shaped trim on the steering wheel reference Saab’s aviation heritage.
The Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept was developed by a team headed by Anthony Lo, GM Europe’s Director of Advanced Design, in cooperation with designers and engineers from the Saab Brand Center in Sweden. “We focused on incorporating design themes from the Aero X in a crossover execution, adding functional, lifestyle features to support the activities of customers using this type of vehicle,” Lo said.
“This concept is a clear statement of what our brand is about,” said Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile Managing Director. “It is also an important next step in our plans to enter new market segments with distinctive product offerings.”
Performance data (preliminary)
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