Saab 9-3 Biogas model for Sweden

We first heard about the possibility of a Biogas version of the Saab 9-3 back in October last year. Back then, it was shown at a conference in Gothenberg as a test vehicle only.

The car has now been driven by Auto Motor and Sport, who also provide some pricing information about the car in the following article, provided by Carl-Henrik via email:

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Saab 9-3 SportCombi TriFuel: Three in one

Our man on the west coast, Thomas Berggren, has test driven the new multi-fuel car 9-3 SportCombi TriFuel. Three different types of fuel in one car. It arrives much funnier news from Saab now!

AMS: Hello! You drive something that is called “TriFuel” – what does that mean?
TB: Well, it means that it can run on petrol, E85, and biogas. It has a normal fuel tank on 61 litre, but also a gas tank on 102 litre that can take 24 normal cubic metres of gas.

AMS: Can you fit so many tanks in the car?
TB: This is an “after conversion”, just like Volvo has done with their V70, and because of that it steals some of the space from the cargo compartment. The cargo floor is about 100 mm higher.

AMS: How does it work when you drive, can you choose petrol on your own?
TB: Yes, you can. With a small button on the dashboard you can choose type of fuel. When it is cold the cars starts on liquid fuel, that is handled automatic. Later when the engine is warm you can drive on gas if you want, and of course you can change while on the move. Saab is thinking about making the car to choose the biogas as primary fuel, but so far the driver has to make that choise on her own.

AMS: How is it with milage?
TB: 61 litre gives a normal milage for a SportCombi, but then you can add 24 cubic metres of biogas, so totally you have a milage of about 900 – 1000 km. Then you have used up all fuel and it’s a good time to find a gas station.

AMS: Is it any fun with it?
TB: Yes, Saab sticks to their strategy that it should be valuable/profitable in regards of driver-happiness when it comes to bio-fuels. With petrol the car has 150 hp, with E85 it is 175 hp, and with biogas it is also 175 hp. This in spite of both ethanol and biogas has a lower energy-factor than petrol

AMS: What does it cost?
TB: This one costs 304.900 Skr ( = 31790 EUR / 39.040 USD, exchange rate of today), which is 40.000 Skr ( = 4170 EUR / 5120 USD ) + VAT more than a BioPower-model. The conversion is made by Saab ANA in Trollhättan and is sold by Saab dealers.

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And as per the October story….

  • The conversion will be done by ANA in Trollhattan
  • The car loses some luggage space, around 10cm in depth
  • The range of the car is effectively raised by around 200km.
  • This is not a vehicle that will have widespread appeal straight away as access to biogas is limited. There are plans for around 70 biogas filling stations in Sweden by 2012.

From other sources, it seems a Swedish company called BRC might be hooked up with ANA in this conversion business. They’ve been working with converting Volvos for some time and also had a hand in building this BioGas powered racing Saab for the Swedish Touring Car Championship.

Click here to see ANA’s own (short) page on the BioGas Saab 9-3.

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