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Sneak Peak: The Saab 9-X Air Hybrid Speedster

Posted in Alt Fuels, Biofuel, Cars, Concept Cars, Design, Emissions, Foreign Cars, Fuel, Fuel Cell, GM, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Saab by Suzanne Denbow | September 18th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

Anticipated as the 2-door companion to the Saab 9-X Biohybrid sedan that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in 2007, the Saab 9-X Air is two-door, four-passenger, convertible speedster. With a 200-hp, 1.4L Saab BioPower engine under the hood, the Saab 9-X air is engineered to run efficiently on E85 biofuel [85% ethanol, 15% gasoline] and is expected to average an estimated 107g/km in CO2 emissions. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the green machine is the Saab 9-X Air’s Targa-designed Canopy Top, which isn’t under the hood at all, yet makes a great contribution to the 9-X Air’s efficiency as a hybrid. Made out of lightweight fabric to reduce overall vehicle weight, and according to the press release, “folds neatly in three small sections under a rear tonneau cover in the trunk deck.” While not in itself a particularly noteworthy feature, a soft-top Saab is definitely a new design direction for the Scandinavian auto manufacturer, and I’d be very interested to see what a production model would look like.

Although this specific model isn’t guaranteed to ever see production, AutoBlogGreen reports that a variant of the 9-X Air might debut on GM’s Delta platform later, simultaneously lending its powertrain to the 2011 Chevy Cruze.

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