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GENEVA MOTOR SHOW: Saab reveals 9-X concept

Date: 05 March 2008

Saab's 9-X BioHybrid concept, which closely previews the new 9-1 that's due to arrive in the UK in two years' time, made its world debut at the Geneva motor show.

The 9-X concept shows the design direction the firm will also take with next year's new executive 9-5, but the Swede's new Audi A3 and BMW 1-series rival is said by insiders to stick close to this concept's design.

"We're trying to make concepts that are closer to the production cars," said a Saab insider, who also pointed to the 9-4X concept close relationship to the small off-roader that will arrive next year. The 4x4 shares underpinnings with the Cadillac BRX, also coming in 2009.

Equipped with the next-generation GM Hybrid system, the 9-X comes with a 1.4-litre 200PS turbo-powered engine optimised to run on bioethanol (E85) fuel.

Estimated fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when running on petrol equals 57.6 mpg and 117g/km, but when running on E85 these figures drop to 44.1mpg and 105g/km.

Several features have been incorporated into the design to reduce drag and therefore improve fuel consumption, including a spoiler that extends at speeds over 43mph, and small, retracting rear-view cameras that replace conventional door mirrors.