Saab BioPower 100 Debuted At Geneva Motor Show

Pure ethanol power was unleashed by the Saab BioPower 100 concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Saab extends bioethanol engine technology by formulating the first-production-based turbo engine that runs on 100 percent bioethanol. It promises a never before seen performance from a car using similar fuel. The said concept boasts a peak output of 300 horsepower with remarkably reduced CO2 impact.

Saab’s new concept combined the capabilities of turbocharging and sophisticated engine management with pure bioethanol fuel. It is the proof that green cars could also be thrilling to drive. The automaker’s BioPower 100 concept is an addition to the growing ‘flex-fuel’ segment in Europe’s auto market. The said market is dominated by the brands Saab and Volvo. As a fact, both automakers have already contributed several green cars in the said territory. But they do not simply limit their contributions to engines. You see, their studies also extend to auto parts like Volvo coil springs, Saab brakes, and more. This is done to push efficiency to the maximum.

“This exciting concept shows the tremendous potential of bioethanol, in terms of both performance and future opportunities to ‘rightsize’ engines,” says Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s Managing Director. “Bioethanol is already entering the European market as E85 fuel and we look forward to seeing further supply infrastructure developments that will make it more widely available in the future.”

The concept is an evolution of the automaker’s 9-5 SportCombi. The 19-inch ‘turbine’ alloy wheels inspired by those of the award-winning Saab Aero X concept which has debuted at Geneva in 2006. The interior of the car delivers a luxurious feel that is bolstered by the unique white leather upholstery mated to the main fascia and door trims. These are finished in black leather overlaid with carbon fiber-effect. The car is also equipped with Saab’s innovative AlcoKey, a device that aids drivers steer clear of drinking and driving.

The Saab Biopower development is focused on the ethanol fuel. The first attempt was the E85 fuel which is 85 percent bioethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The recent attempt is the BioPower 100 Concept which runs on 100 percent ethanol. The concept wanted to showcase how bioethanol could be extended to offer not just improved emissions potentials but dramatically enhanced performance as well.

The fuel is designed to resist harmful self-ignition, or ‘knocking’, as the fuel/air mixture is compressed in the cylinder. It is denoted by E100′s high 106 RON octane rating. The Concept operates with a compression ratio of 11.0:1, compared to 8.8:1 for the standard gasoline engine. This outstanding ratio has been yielded by altering the shape of the piston crowns to diminish the volume of the combustion chamber hence increasing the engine’s compression ratio.

Presenting ‘Cool’ Auto Glass!

While the new technology is presenting its inventions to the world, the automobile industry is also showing us their progress with keeping up with the technology. One of the inventions is ‘cool’ auto glass.

Since the summer is adding more and more degrees to help us sweat, the new concept of ‘cool’ auto glass is not a bad idea at all. The state Air Resources Board is also suggesting that this new invention could help us spend our summer cooler.

The federal studies found that the ‘cool’ auto glass could cut the inside temperature of car that is parked in the sun by about 12 degrees cooler, compare to the standard windows that are used in our vehicles today.

Keeping the interior temperature cool could actually help save our environment, because cooler temperature inside means less use of air conditioners. The new invention does not stop here. Less use of air conditioners also means less fuel consumption. The study shows that about 5.5 percent of America’s fuel, about 7 billion gallons of gas, goes to air conditioners.

There are two ways for the sun to transfer its energy. One way of transferring its energy is visible light waves. Stopping this form of energy is not practical, since blocking the visible light only means that the driver will not able to see out.

However, there is another form of heat transfer which is invisible ‘near-infrared’ waves. This form of wave is the answer to our ‘cool auto glass’. The creation of the new auto glass combines the thin layer of silver and other metal forms between the layers of the windshield, thus reflecting almost all infrared waves and keeping the inside temperature down.

According to Air Resources Board, the price involved in this project was estimated only about $111 per vehicle. The money that would be spent for new windshields would soon be exceeded by the cost of gas that you would be saving in a year or two.

However, the change will not take place overnight. The automobile companies and glass producers demand for more time required to take this change on their side and make adjustments.

The state California would be the first one to adjust to the new glass. However, if the change goes well, it will move on to the other states. And as for us drivers in California, let’s hope that the ‘cool’ windshield could visit us sooner to help us add -12 degree to the blazing summer temperature.

Korean Cars on the Rise

In the diverse industry of automotive, the Americans are generally linked with size and power, anything European gets an assumed sense of higher refinement and the Japanese are legendary when it comes to reliability. The third region mention, Japan, used to be the only name coming from Asia where cars are concerned. Of course, there have been more manufacturers from several more Asian countries over the years but only one of the rising nations pose a threat not only to Japan’s Asian and global domination but also to all the major players in automotive markets all over the world as well; the Koreans.

Toyota and Honda have already cemented their place as possibly the most trusty car brands in the world today. What those two names are to Japan, Kia and Hyundai are to Korea. Korean cars only began to penetrate international markets realistically in the early 90s. Even back then, most of them were just deemed as cheap cars, in terms of both price and what the car actually is. Compared to its Japanese rivals of which costs do not defer too much during those days, it was quite true as the Korean cars always seemed to lack the kind of quality and refinement an established company could provide.

However, these manufacturers are moving at such an incredible pace that they’re toppling most western marquees in many countries in terms of sales and are outselling many American brands on American soil of late, gaining money while the once great GM falls into bankruptcy. These car makers are advancing at such an incredible rate that they are turning their very well design concepts into production cars much faster than most manufacturers do. While some would argue that the wait is necessary for the manufacturer to fine tune every part and revise the designs, recent Korean examples like the Kia Soul and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe simply show that the cars they build are still top notch.

Apart from Kia and Hyundai, Daewoo is another significant Korean car manufacturer. They have advanced to an extent where almost all of their new models in their current line up are sold under more established and recognised brands, especially Chevrolet, among other GM brands like Opel, Suzuki and Vauxhall under the company’s rebadging strategies to win over different markets worldwide. While GM may not be in a position to shout about of late, the fact that Daewoo and the cars they make figured so much in their marketing plans internationally only show the prowess of the Korean manufacturer and the cars it engineers. Ssangyong is another Korean manufacturer not quite as big as the rest but worth mentioning nonetheless as most of the cars they make borrow Mercedes Benz engines and gearbox technologies used in Porsches. While they are not in a financially happy period either, the underpinnings of their cars and the ambition Ssangyong show are rather worth a nod for a not so widely recognized brand name.

Generally, big or small, the fact is that Korean manufacturers are making their presence felt if not so already. At the incredible speed they are improving themselves, it will be no wonder to see them directly head to head with the more establish likes of Honda and Toyota for example as judging from automotive rankings around the globe today, there is a Korean name on almost every top 10 list already.