Saab 9-4x BioPower Concept

Last week some of our readers found a VIN-card for the 9-4X MY12. In that card there were some engines that differ from the current MY11 offer. that VIN card has to still be seen as non official or as a rumour until Saab or GM confirms that they will use those engines.

One of those engines was an Engine with the GM RPO code LFW.

The LFW is a flexible fuel version of the LF1, capable of running on E85, gasoline, or any mixture of the two. Output is identical to the LF1.

The LF1 is the known 265HP engine of the MY 11 Saab 9-4X or the Cadillac SRX.

See here.

Today while reading the Swiss catalogue of the 9-4x, in Europe the 9-4x will not come earlier than October and as MY12, the model naming made me think about that VIN-card.

In some European markets only the 9-4x Aero with the 2.8T engine of the 9-5 will be on sale, but in some others the 3.0i will also be available. This engine, if we have to believe the Swiss catalogue, will be E85 capable.

18 thoughts on “Saab 9-4x BioPower <del> Concept </del>”

  1. Out of curiosity, what is the benefit of E85 other than lower cost? I assume the car will adjust settings if you have, say, 1/2 tank of E85 and fill with gas?

    The closest gas station with E85 is ~100mi. from me, so it doesn’t really matter to me anyway.

    • You’ll see more horsepower with the previous engine when fueled up with E85. My understanding is that the current BioPower engine (the 2.0T in the 9-5) runs the same with either fuel. (and yes, a 50/50 mix of E85 and regular gas is no problem)

      The smell when starting the engine is ‘interesting’ to say the least. πŸ™‚

      • Ahhhhhh….but the extra HP, if any, will be variable and based on the percentage of E85 in the tank and how the car is driven. πŸ˜‰

        If you use E85 and drive the car hard enough to use the additional knock protection that E85 provides, the car will sense the desired demand and advance timing slightly to increase the power output.

        If you’re just puttering around town, you won’t notice a difference.

        • If you’re just puttering around town, you won’t notice a difference.

          f you’re just puttering around town, in a 500hp Ferrari you also won#t notice the difference because at lower revs you are only using 50hp.

          • Sorry, Red, that’s not really an accurate analogy. It’s not even close. πŸ˜‰

            The HP of the engine itself has nothing to do with it; it’s how the octane-variable engine management can change the timing and allow more boost (if an FI engine). But unless the engine management knows that you need the power — either with your heavy foot, or increased load from altitude or heat — there’s no need for the ECU to switch over to the E85 maps.

            Speed has little to do with it, but it’s more a function of acceleration. You can slowly get the car up to 100 mph and you still won’t need the additional power. But if you do several high RPM runs in several gears, you’ll get it. πŸ˜‰

          • Mike,
            You’re like the evil scientist here, I wish we could switch you to having posts about what’s good with Saabs, imagine the good you could do if you came over to our side. All Darth Vader jokes aside, you really seem to know a lot about what you’re talking about, I just wish you could have some posts that help and not just ones that point out what’s wrong with this or that. I know you think I only see things as rosy, which is not entirely accurate, I just don’t know what good comes out of pointing out the obvious flaws or breaking down everything that is said by others.

          • β€œNamed must your fear be before banish it you can.”

            The evil scientists keeps the good guys on their toes.
            It’s the wookies that are the most worrying πŸ˜‰

          • Sorry mike,
            but it is a very accurate analogy.

            What you are saying is complete non-sense as the extra power did not come all of the sudden like it is in when using nitro.

            Next time take a look at the torque curves before talking.

          • Red,
            I think I might not have explained well enough earlier, so my apologies if I was confusing. The torque curves have zero to do with it. The HP of the car has nothing to do with it. Speed has zero to do with it. The lovely leather interior….has zero to do with it. πŸ˜‰

            It’s all the programming, which alters the car’s performance based on the type of fuel and the driver’s needs. If you don’t run E85 in a Biopower car, you won’t get the higher power because the ECU will negatively adapt to stay within the knock envelope of lower octane fuel. It will limit boost and/or retard timing slightly to keep things safe.

            Let’s say you’re running through your tank of regular gas, and you switch to a full tank of E85.

            What happens?

            Nothing. πŸ˜‰

            The car has no way of knowing that you’ve just put in E85. (it’s a great car, but it can’t read minds…yet! πŸ˜‰ ) If you’re just p[uttering around town, it will keep using the same conservative boost and timing maps that it used with the lower octane fuel…until you tell the car that you need the power.

            How does that happen? It’s actually a really cool balancing act between throttle position sensors that figure out how much power you want, and other sensors (knock, intake temp, etc.) that figure out how much power the car can safely give you.

            If you ask for more power, say passing a truck up a long hill, and your demand doesn’t cause knock, the car’s programming knows that the higher octane fuel has been added and it can safely advance timing and increase boost.

            So, unless you tell the car you need the power, it won’t know to give it to you. πŸ™‚

          • Hmm…I’m not too sure that is correct..
            The car is actually intelligent πŸ™‚

            As far as I know form some experiments from fiddling about with T7 Suite to get a non TCS car running BioPower the car does a calibration cycle after refuelling. Thus also calibrating the ECU for optimum use of the actual fuel mixture, for both economy and power

        • you want a combustion that is as efficient as possible. E85 has an octane rating of about 104, is more knock resistant, but also burns slower. If you run on E85, you always have to advance timing more then on gasoline in order to get timing right. I also suspect that the injection timing will be different then on gasoline.

  2. Yes the engine can handle everything from E0 to E85.
    The taxes on E85 are in some countries much lower than the taxes on petrol, thus to run such a car on E85 makes sense.
    But is the same with Diesel. πŸ˜‰

    • Well back in January the fileds were greener, GM had a bunch of more brands and development was done much faster.
      Fact is that your article talks about the LF1, and that the LF1 is not E85 compatible, see here Table 13.

      On the other hand the new engine, the LFW, the E85 capable one, its only used in the MY 12, (SRX and 9-4x), and even being the engine E85 capable doesn’t it mean that you can use E85 in combination with that car.

      So it is huge news, as this is the first official Saab source were the model is named as BioPower ( you can use E85).

      • Okie doke. πŸ™‚ I believe you. I’m still sad that the 3.6L hasn’t been (publicly) greenlighted for the 9-4X.

        • Jeff,
          I know my English is not perfect, but sometimes I don’t understand why you can’t read the message between the lines.

  3. When Saab first came out with BioPower so engines could run on E0 to E85, the HP rating was higher for E85 fuel while the fuel mileage would be less than with pure gasoloine. At some point, other changes were made so that a BioPower offering would no longer be dual-speced. It would be rated for one HP figure for the range of fuel mixture used. Perhaps that’s a minimum HP spec and actual HP (or peak HP) might be higher depdning on fuel mixture.

    • The different HP ratings were a marketing tool. Responsable power….
      At this stage, these engines are Euro5 homologated and official testing has been done on gasoline and E85. This makes consumption and CO2 more important.
      By lowering the poweroutput on E85, consumption will improve resulting in lower CO2… and is very easy and cheap compared to other efforts to reduce CO2.

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