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October 08, 2008

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Saab 9-X Air BioHybrid Concept World Premiere at Paris Auto Show

Paris - The 9-X Air Concept is a design vision exploring what a future open-air Saab could look like. It features a unique ‘Canopy Top’ – patent pending - and the close-coupled proportions of a sports car, as well as four-seat accommodation.

In breaking the mould of conventional convertible design, the bodywork of the 9-X Air incorporates prominent rear pillars which curve upwards to mount the flat folding Canopy Top. They also anchor a distinctive, wraparound glasshouse, including a separate, recessed rear screen.

Designer Anthony Lo and his team have achieved this execution while still offering the four season, four seater practicality pioneered by Saab when its first convertible concept was premiered at the Frankfurt Show exactly 25 years ago.

Top down or up, the 9-X Air cuts a distinctive silhouette. With the canopy stowed away and the rear screen up, occupants can enjoy open-top motoring free from buffeting. Top up, the 9-X Air assumes the appearance of a true coupé, with a cohesive design that eschews the looks of a conventional, four-seater convertible.

Designed in parallel with the Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept, the 9-X Air shares its distinctive frontal styling, together with its highly efficient powertrain. The small, 1.4-liter Saab BioPower engine combines a series of steps for more responsible performance: engine rightsizing, turbocharging, the use of biofuels and hybrid technology.

Running on E85 fuel (85% bioethanol/ 15% gasoline), the engine delivers a sporty 200 hp (147 kW), giving zero to 100 kph (62 mph) acceleration in 8.1 seconds and projected CO2 tailpipe emissions of just 107 g/km over the combined cycle. Compared to gasoline, the overall environmental impact on a source-to-wheel basis of using E85 is even more beneficial.

Photos: Automotive Intelligence/Saab

(October 4, 2008)


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