DETROIT – The award-winning 2008 Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept is scheduled to be on display at the Washington Times Car Show this Sunday, August 31. The event will take place in the Spring Hill Recreation Center in McLean, Va., just west of Washington, D.C.
Organized by veteran automotive journalist Vern Parker of the Washington Times, the event traditionally offers an array of classics, as well as a peek into the car future. Following the tire marks of the Cadillac Sixteen Concept a few years ago, the Saab 9-X will be among the vehicles playing that forward looking role at this year's show.
Upon its world debut at the Geneva auto show last March, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid was voted "Specialty Concept Car of the Year" by a jury of 25 professional North American automotive journalists. The award ceremony took place last June at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.
Exploring design themes from Saab's award-winning Aero X and earlier 9X concepts, the 9-X BioHybrid also demonstrates the potential for ultra-efficient power from a 200 hp (147 kW), 1.4-liter BioPower turbo engine backed by GM's next-generation hybrid system. Projected combined cycle CO2 emissions of just 105 g/km on E-85 fuel are testimony to the promise of this package.
The interior showcases an entirely new expression of Saab's driver-focused cockpit design, together with innovative, seamless connectivity for personal nomadic devices and a rear cargo deck with a 'low friction' loading system.
"This car is all about efficiency in design and performance," says Anthony Lo, director of Advanced Design at General Motors Europe, who led the 9-X BioHybrid design team in co-operation with the Saab Brand Center in Sweden.
Echoing Saab's roots in aircraft design, the 9-X BioHybrid also explores the potential for using active aerodynamics to reduce drag — and fuel consumption — at cruising speeds. Above 43 mph, the upper and lower bodywork is reshaped as the roof spoiler automatically extends to further lengthen the roof line and an underbody diffuser is deployed from the bottom of the rear bumper.
At the rear, the cargo deck features an electrically-powered slide-out floor, which is activated when the bottom half of the split tailgate drops down. The floor, and the back of the folding rear seats, is covered by 'high friction' rubber carpeting, which 'grips' items and holds them securely in place. For easy loading and unloading, aluminum bars automatically rise up and down as the tailgate is opened and closed.