Saab launches hybrid concept car
Saab’s future starts here, with the “defining moment” launch of this 9-X BioHybrid concept at the Geneva Show, according to GM Europe design vice-president Mark Adams.
Beyond the innovative powertrain technology under the skin of the car, the real story is the skin itself — a “dramatic re-interpretation” of the Saab design DNA, Adams said.
The 9-X points the way toward a future compact Saab — a competitor for the Audi A3 and Volvo C30 in a fast-growing part of the automotive market.
The concept has evolved from the earlier AeroX concept, and features strong elements of the Saab “brand DNA”, including a wraparound front windscreen and a thick C-pillar incorporating an extending aerodynamic spoiler that automatically deploys once the car reaches 70 km/h.
“Many of these unique design elements will be integrated into future production Saabs,” said Adams. He pointed to the 9-4X concept, effectively a prototype of a Saab crossover, to demonstrate the way Saab’s new family look is starting to become obvious. “It takes the authentic Saab design language into the crossover segment.”
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The automaker is also stressing the environment and connectivity as major features of its new cars. The 9-X has a hybrid powertrain based around a small 1.4-litre flex-fuel engine that can run on E85 ethanol mix, giving 200 hp, plus an electric motor with Li-Ion batteries and a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox. Additional power is generated by solar panels in the car’s roof.