Saab has extended its range of bioethanol-powered cars to its 9-3 range, as well as the 9-5.
The 9-3 is now offered with a turbocharged 1.8-litre engine that can run on E85 - a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol. It's available in the saloon, estate and convertible variants of the car, and is on sale now.
The 1.8t BioPower develops 14% more power (173bhp compared with 149bhp) and just under 10% more pull (195lb ft compared with 177lb ft).
Those increases mean the 9-3 saloon can sprint from 0-62mph in 8.4sec compared with 9.5sec in the petrol 1.8t, and on to a top speed of 137mph - 7mph faster than the conventional 1.8t.
Saab also claims that the crops grown to develop the ethanol used in its fuel absorb much of the carbon dioxide the car emits, and believes it effectively reduces its carbon dioxide emissions by 50-70%. In terms of actual carbon dioxide emissions, it's almost exactly the same as the 1.8t petrol engine.
The 9-3 BioPower models are available with manual and automatic transmissions, and join the 9-5 BioPower cars already on sale, which have 2.0t and 2.3t bioethanol-powered engines.
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