Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept

Concept Cars 4 Mar 2008
Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept

Unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept is a vision for a future compact car focused on performace and high-tech communications. Among the features are a 1.4 liters engine developing 200-hp and a clean and progressive design.


Saab 9-X BioHybrid ConceptThe design features a shooting brake silhouette inspired by the 2001 9X multi-role concept, while the smooth ‘fuselage’ bodywork with no visible handles or mirrors, the wraparound glass surfaces and the front grille are based on the design laguage developed for the Aero X coupé concept.

Aeronautical-inspired elements include turbine-wheels and an active roof spoiler which above 43 mph automatically extends to further lengthen the roof line.

The interior features a driver-oriented cockpit and an innovative seamless in-car connectivity for all personal devices.

The 9-X BioHybrid is powered by a 200 hp (147 kW), 1.4-litre BioPower turbo engine backed by GM’s Hybrid system, with a projected combined cycle CO2 emissions of just 105 g/km on E85 fuel.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept - InteriorThe 9-X BioHybrid will be on display at Geneva together with the 9-4X BioPower crossover concept. Additional details on the design from the official release follow below.

Design

The 9-X BioHybrid explores design themes from Saab’s award-winning Aero X and earlier 9X concepts,

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.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept“This car is all about efficiency in design and performance,” says Anthony Lo, Director of Advanced Design at GM Europe, who led the 9-X BioHybrid design team in co-operation with the Saab Brand Center in Sweden.

With its ‘turbine’ wheels placed at all four corners, minimal bodywork overhangs and an extended roof line, the proportions of the three-door Saab 9-X BioHybrid bring a dynamic, new dimension to conventional compact ‘hatchback’ looks.

The smooth ‘fuselage’ bodywork, now without any visible handles or door mirrors, the bold ‘wraparound’ window graphic and deep front grille are all themes inspired by the  Aero X coupé concept shown at Geneva two years ago.

The car’s distinctive ‘shooting brake’ silhouette and rear functionality are developed from the 9X multi-role concept shown at Frankfurt in 2001.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept“You could say we designed this car from back to front,” says Lo. “The shape of the 9X is right for a car of this size, and the longer roof line helps the aerodynamics as well as providing more rear headroom and interior space.” 

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.

The four-seater cabin introduces an entirely new execution of Saab’s driver-focused cockpit design.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept

Saab 9-X BioHybrid ConceptThe central, floor-mounted console, with its angled controls and displays, is now eliminated.

Instead, the driver-focused layout incorporates a main instrument panel that sweeps out from the top of the door moulding, arching across the driver.

The embedded 3-D graphics appear to be ‘frozen’ in ice, continuing a Scandinavian design theme first seen in the Aero X.

Reflecting the needs of youthful customers, who expect easy access to multi-media both inside and outside the car, Saab has co-operated with Sony Ericsson in providing seamless in-car connectivity for a range of nomadic devices.

The result is a wireless interface for streaming data, entertainment and satellite navigation functions for display and use. The interface also allows the simultaneous use of multiple devices when passengers are in the car.

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 

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept - InteriorThe 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, aluminium bars automatically rise up and down as the tailgate is opened and closed.

The treatment of light is an important part of Scandinavian design and this is evident in the use of variable, white ambient lighting inside the cabin.

The level of suffused illumination can be changed in intensity from bright, cold to warm and soft. It’s a personalised feature that could even be programmed, for example, to reflect the pattern of the changing seasons.

“This car shows how our concept work can be carried forward into a compact format,” adds Anthony Lo.

“It has a number of features which we will be developing further, such as the new driver-focused design theme, the importance of clean, uncluttered surfaces and the easy, seamless connectivity inside the car.”

Touch-sensitive, keyless entry, eliminates the need for exterior door handles. And the use of small, retracting rear-view camera pods – instead of larger door mirrors – further contributes to the clean ‘fuselage’ effect, while also reducing aerodynamic drag at speed.

A large solar cell in the glass roof takes advantage of free energy from the sun by adding charge to the hybrid battery pack while the vehicle is parked and also when it is being driven.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid ConceptAt night, driving comfort is improved by automatic switching between high and dipped headlight beams. A front-mounted camera monitors light sources on the road ahead and small shutters automatically ‘hood’ the high beam when on-coming traffic is approaching.

Active Aerodynamics

Echoing Saab’s roots in aircraft design, the 9-X BioHybrid 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.

During heavy braking from over 62 mph, the rear spoiler is raised, adding downforce over the rear axle. This action also reveals a reflector that increases the visibility of the brake light underneath, as a further warning of heavy braking.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept

Design Process – Image Gallery

Design process Design process Design process
Design process Design process Design process
Design process Design evaluation Design process
Prototype construction prototype and clay model Clay model -front view

Interior Design

Innovative design is even more dramatic inside the four-seater cabin, upholstered in white leather at the front and back. Here, the 9-X BioHybrid introduces an entirely new execution of Saab’s driver-focused cockpit design. The central, floor-mounted console, with its angled controls and displays, is now eliminated. Instead, the driver-focused layout incorporates a main instrument panel that sweeps out from the top of the door moulding, arching across the driver. Only shared climate control and interior lighting functions remain in a small, central touch-sensitive panel.

The driver information zone is a flat, arc-shaped multi-layered acrylic surface, within which a row of five display screens is embedded and illuminated in green 3-D graphics. This includes an ‘infotainment’ screen and control panel in the driver’s door moulding. Another ‘infotainment’ screen showing, for example, navigation with more in-depth information if selected, is located across the cabin for the front passenger. All displays and menus can be operated, adapted or minimised by the driver via controls on the fixed hub and rim of the steering wheel. The rear view camera screens are conveniently located above the main displays within the driver’s eye line.

White ambient lighting of the cabin is taken a step further by a selectable level of suffused illumination, varying in intensity from a bright, cold to warm and soft. This is a feature that could even be programmed, for example, to reflect the changing seasons.

Seamless Communication

Saab 9-X BioHybrid ConceptThe potential for seamless wireless connectivity (Bluetooth or WiFi) with one or multiple nomadic devices (mobile phones, PDAs etc) is demonstrated by Saab’s co-operation with Sony Ericsson in developing an interface for streaming data, entertainment and satellite navigation functions for in-car display and use. The interface allows the simultaneous use of devices, such as a phone and MP3 player, when passengers are in the car.

The functions of the nomadic device are controlled by a screen in the car, for example, while it is kept in the user’s pocket. The smarter the device, the more functions in the car. Depending on the type of device, it can upload its own displays, as well as lock/unlock the car and even remotely change in-car pre-sets.  It is all part of the concept’s vision in appealing to younger buyers who expect easy, on-the-move access to multi-media.

Smart Load-carrying

At the rear, the cargo deck features an electrically-powered slide-out floor, which is activated when the bottom half of the tailgate drops down over the rear bumper. The top section, hinged from the roof, can be opened separately so that smaller items may be dropped inside easily.

The entire floor area, and the back of the folding rear seats, is covered by ‘high friction’ rubber carpeting. When the tailgate opens, aluminium bars in the floor are automatically raised just above the level of the high friction surface, making it easy to slide items inside. When the tailgate is closed, the bars are lowered to allow the high friction surface to ‘grip’ items and hold them securely in place.

The ‘default’ setting for the rear seats is the folded down position, reflecting the fact that the youthful target buyers for such a car will use its load-carrying capability more often than they need to accommodate rear passengers.

The future of Saab

According to Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s Managing Director, "In showing two concept cars, the 9-X BioHybrid and 9-4X BioPower, Saab is preparing for an unprecedented level of product development."

"The 9-X BioHybrid is a vision of what a future premium compact car from Saab could look like; while the 9-4X BioPower is a statement of Saab’s intent to enter the growing Crossover segment.

“The 9-X BioHybrid is a visionary design, looking ahead to where we could be. We are showing it alongside our Crossover concept, which is closer to going on sale.

"In the last five years alone, Saab has launched four new models and now shown six concept cars, including the award-winning Aero X coupé. It has also introduced industry-leading BioPower flex-fuel models and advanced all-wheel drive technology (Saab XWD).

Jonsson points out that each new Saab product, like the upcoming Crossover vehicle, will draw inspiration from the brand’s strong Scandinavian roots in the areas of progressive design, driver focus and responsible performance with concern for the environment.

"The Saab Brand Centre in Sweden is playing an important role. A cross-functional group of designers, engineers and marketers, they are custodians of the Saab ‘genes’, tasked with nurturing and developing all the qualities that go into making a Saab a Saab.

"The Saab Brand Centre also works closely with GME’s European Design Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany.  It is a unique organisation within GM’s global structure, with a unique way of working.

Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept – Technical Specifications

Engine

Transversely-mounted, front wheel drive
1398 cc. Four cylinders. Bore/stroke: 73.4/ 82.6 mm. Aluminium cylinder head, cast iron block
DOHC, chain-driven. Four valves per cylinder
Forged steel crankshaft, steel connecting rods. Aluminium pistons, oil spray cooled
Direct Injection with centrally-mounted injectors. VVT, inlet and exhaust
Sodium-filled exhaust valves
Compression Ratio: 10.2:1
Intercooled turbocharger. Max. Boost Pressure: 1.6 bar
Dual-mass flywheel. 

Max power (E85):………… 200 hp (147 kW) @ 5000 rpm
Max torque (E85):………… 280 Nm @ 1750-5000 rpm
Max power (petrol):…….. 170 hp (125 kW) @ 5200 rpm
Max torque (petrol):…….. 230 Nm @ 1500-5200 rpm

Hybrid System Electric motor/generator with lithium-ion battery pack
Electric power boost, regenerative braking, fuel cut-off, automatic engine re-start
Transmission 6-spd manual gearbox, automated clutch, sequential gear selection, steering wheel controls
Suspension Front: Damper/coil struts, aluminium lower A-arm. Anti-roll bar
Rear: Torsion beam, two trailing links, coil springs and dampers. Anti-roll bar
Steering Rack and pinion, Electrical power assistance
Wheels, tires 21inch, 245/35R21
Brakes Hydraulic, dual circuit, vacuum booster. Discs: 345 mm / 345 mm (all ventilated)
Performance data (projected)
0-62 mph:  7.9 secs (E85)
8.3 secs (petrol)
50-75 mph, 5th gear:   8.8 secs (E85)
11.2 secs (petrol)
Top speed:      134 mph (E85)
119 mph (petrol)
Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 44.1 mpg (E85)
57.6 mpg (petrol)
CO2 emissions        105 g/km (E85)
117 g/km (petrol)

(Source: Saab)

Image Gallery

Related Stories

AIWAYS U6ion Concept

AIWAYS U6ion Concept

The official images and design details of the U6ion Concept, AIWAYS' electric crossover design study.
Hyundai Prophecy Concept

Hyundai Prophecy Concept

Hyundai has revealed the Prophecy Concept, an electric, autonomous vehicle that expresses the design DNA evolution of the brand towards clean lines and minimalism.
Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept

Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept

Mazda has revealed the Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept, a virtual racing car co-developed with Polyphony Digital Inc., and available for download in the PS4 title Gran Turismo Sport.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Newsletter

Get all the updates with our weekly newsletter!

Find a Car


Scroll To Top
Scroll To Bottom