Detroit motor show 2008 - Saab 9-4X BioPower concept

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No matter how hard Saab tries to convince you otherwise, the Saab 9-4 X BioPower is more than just a concept car: it's the 9-4X 4x4 in full production form.

Designed, the company says, to appeal to a more youthful buyer, the four-seater will go on sale in Europe this year as part of Saab's push to have a model in every market segment.

'The 4x4 segment has trebled in size in the past seven years, but until now we have not been able to offer a Saab alternative,' said Jan Ake Jonsson, managing director of Saab. 'That will now change – and the same will apply to other growing segments where we see potential.'

The 9-4X comes with the promise of respectable off-road ability, thanks to Saab's XWD four-wheel drive system.

Engines are expected to include a 300bhp 2.8-litre V6 petrol and 250bhp 2.9-litre V6 diesel, as well as turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and 1.9-litre diesel units from GM's range.

The BioPower concept on display in Detroit is powered by a 300bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that runs on E85 bio-ethanol.

It is expected to go into production by 2010, although innovations such as a ski storage area may not make the production model.

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