The Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept, revealed today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, confirms Saab’s plans to enter the growing Crossover segment with a dynamic, driver-focused vehicle inspired by Scandinavian values in design and respect for the environment.
The Concept’s progressive design features are combined with a responsible, fun-to-drive appeal based on BioPower engine technology and a cutting edge all-wheel-drive system. “This concept is a clear statement of what our brand is about,” said Saab Automobile Managing Director, Jan Åke Jonsson. “It is also an important next step in our plans to enter new market segments with distinctive product offerings.”
The design of the Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept reflects a Scandinavian principle of simplicity of form, with clean and uncluttered lines, free of any cladding, mouldings or roof bars, and defining ‘ice-block’ surface and lighting themes. The progressive frontal styling and interior design elements also draw inspiration from Saab’s widely-acclaimed Aero X concept. Innovative load-carrying solutions include a unique ski equipment stowage system, developed in co-operation with mountain sports specialists Salomon.
Optimised for bioethanol (E85) fuel, the four-cylinder, 2.0-litre BioPower turbo engine demonstrates Saab’s commitment to rightsizing by delivering an exceptional level of power efficiency – 300 hp and strong torque of 400 Nm (295 ft.lbs.). Compared with petrol, driving on E85 produces less CO2 emissions (see separate Powertrain release). Mated to the industry-leading Saab XWD (‘cross wheel drive’) system, this advanced powertrain promises to make driving to your destination as enjoyable as the adventure itself.
The Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept has been developed by a team under Anthony Lo, GME’s Director of Advanced Design, in co-operation with designers and engineers from the Saab Brand Centre 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,” he said.
The driver-focused cockpit in the sporty, four-seater cabin features an Aero X-inspired ‘clear zone’, with a flush-mounted starter button and ‘infotainment’ controls, that sweeps up from the central console to the main display screen. Signature green lighting is used for all instrument illumination, while other subtle references to Saab’s aviation heritage include the ‘altimeter’ speed read-out scale and aircraft-shaped trim on the steering wheel. The panorama glass roof is in harmony with a car designed to deliver the enjoyment of outdoor pursuits.
Saab designers worked with top Saab Salomon ‘Big Mountain’ skiers to devise an innovative storage system for stowing skis and equipment inside the car (see separate Saab Salomon release). The rear cargo deck features a sliding floor with a fold-out aluminium ski-holder, through which up to three pairs of skis and poles can be slotted. 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 compact, aluminium, four cylinder BioPower engine combines the benefits of turbocharging, direct injection and variable valve timing for the first time with high-octane E85 fuel (85% bioethanol/ 15% petrol).
Driver involvement is taken to a new level by the innovative all-wheel-drive system, Saab XWD. Active management splits torque delivery between both the axles and the rear wheels, via an electronically-controlled rear limited-slip differential (eLSD). Overall, Saab 9-4X BioPower Concept is a vivid demonstration of Saab’s commitment to customers with outdoor leisure interests who seek a sporty driving experience that is more in harmony with nature.