Wednesday Snippets

So many cars, so few Auto Shows. Given the cue by some talk about the Saab Hybrid Drivetrain making an appearance at the Stockholm Autoshow (which just seems waaaaay too early for me – we’ve only just heard about the hybrid system and the Stockholm show starts in about 10 days time), I got to thinking about the number of new Saabs due and the number of major car shows coming to debut them.

Given that big debut events for Saab would most likely be held in Europe, I’m tipping that Geneva and Frankfurt are the places to watch. That gives us only three more major shows to look forward to before 2008. In that time, one could expect to see the 9-4x (maybe in concept only), the new 9-3 in whatever forms it ends up taking, the 9-1 / 9-2 smaller Saab (probably concept only) and most likely a 9-5 as well. Perhaps one of the US shows could be used to show off a replacement for the 9-7x.

A new Saab model or concept every six months?! The boys in Trollhattan are busy.

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Speaking of busy, the Aero-X will be exactly that in the next month or so.

It’s definitely making an appearance at the Stockholm show, which ends on April 9. It’s then off for an express trip accross the continent and the Atlantic in time for the New York Auto Show, starting April 14. Can you believe that after all the accolades the car received in Geneva, there isn’t a reference to the Aero-X anywhere on the Concept Car or Alternative Fuels sections of the New York site?

After the New York show, if reports are to be believed, the car will be taken for a few drives by what I’d say are a very lucky bunch of motoring writers.

Jay, I’m not a motoring writer, but I’m available…..

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I thought I’d throw in this photo from Flickr. Great shot by a guy named Sam Gibson. Should be a separate SOTW entry, but I’m short for time at the moment.

900front from flickr.jpg

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First there was the hype, now there’s the growing pains.

Ethanol, whilst widely touted as the next big thing (here as well as everywhere else), could be set for a price rise if the expected pickup in use begins, combined with the American summer coming up (read: driving season). One of the main problems appears to be distribution. Ethanol-runnung engines like Saab’s Biopower engine have to have special anti-corrosive parts fitted for the setup to work. Gasoline is normally transported primarily via pipelines – it’s easier and more economical than boats, trucks and trains. And that’s the heart of the ethanol problem. It corrodes the pipelines, making those more expensive boats, trucks and trains necessary.

The Detroit News has the full story.

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9 Comments

  1. One thing not made clear in the Detroit News article: in many local areas gasoline must have either MTBE or ethanol added to reduce emissions. That’s why the article says that there may not be enough ethanol production once the petroleum producers stop making MTBE.

  2. TuuSaR – hadn’t seen that. The first I’d heard of this Saab effort at hybrid was this week.

    Not that is surprises me too much that they’d be working on it. Just that a working version would be ready for scrutiny already.

    Thanks for the link.

  3. Btw I just saw document about ethanol making in Brazil.
    Very depressing overall, murders, slave camps, beatings, bulldozers(for people’s homes),corrupt police, army, politics and ecocatastrophe.

    It was like time travel to feudal Europe long time ago. Even harvesting was primitive, everything is burned so that only canes are left behind. Huge smoke clouds go into air.

    I hope every country speeds up their own ethanol manufacturing. Not a drop from that misery hell that keeps growing as demand increases.

  4. TuuSaR: that sounds like Brazil as a whole. There’s a reason that country is listed in Robert Young Pelton’s “The World’s Most Dangerous Places”.

    Doesn’t Sweden get 100% of its ethanol from Brazil? Are there plans to manufacture it in Sweden eventually?

  5. About 10% of the ethanol that is used here in Sweden are also produced in Sweden. Rest is imported, and I think almost all of it from Brazil. Sweden and Brazil has long tradition of industrial cooporation. I think Sao Paulo is still the Swedens biggest industrial area… A joke from the fact that more people are working at Swedish companies in Sao Paulo than in any town in Sweden.

    Anyway, that hybrid-thing (for some reason) got all the attention this morning in Swedishs newspapers, with everyone writing that this is the worlds first ethanol-hybrid car.

  6. Some more info on the hybrid.

    Toyota Prius has an carbon dioxide emissions of 104 gram per kilometer. A Saab hybrid that is runing on E85 will have a carbon dioxide emissions of 15-20 gram per kilometer. Can it run on pure ethanol, then the emissions will be zero.

    The development work has been carried at Saab Automobile in Trollhättan together with the Faculty of Engineering (http://www.lth.se/english/) at Lund University.

    It will take at least three years until plp can buy it.

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