Saab Biopower sets unofficial world record

Thanks to Olav for sending me this one, from Swedish paper Expressen. His tranlation follows….

Expressen Biopower.jpg

In August a new world record was set for E85 cars. 251,1 km/h is the new record for vehicles without turbo and compressor. A heavliy modified Chevy Cobalt SS did the record at a saltlake in Bonneville, Utah, USA.

But in Sweden there is an ‘experiment’ SAAB with enough power to break the new worldrecord, and that car is even regsitered and taxed. Besides it has some heavy speed limiting accessories like navigation, alot of electrically driven gadgets and even a trailer hook.

“With help from turbocharging both we and SAAB are convinced that we can brake the new record with a ‘standard’ SAAB 9-5 BioPower. The car is a quite standard SAAB 9-5 with some modifications in engine, gearbox, exhaust system and enginemanagement. It have approx 330 hp output” says SAAB’s information manager Örjan Åslund. “To be sure how fast we are driving we are using two different satelitebased messuresystems, and a police laser warner as an extra confirmation”

The first attempt was done with 245,9 km/h as result. Thereafter the result was 249,1km/h and then 249,2km/h. The problem to match the world record isn’t the cars fault, but the length of the runway on the airfield where this test is performed. 2600 meters is very short when you are going to drive very fast. After some attempts the brakepoint was moved forward approximately 100 meters, and they managed to stop the car right in front of the forest. And then, success! All the instruments showed the same data, 252.6 km/h! If the runway had been longer the speed actually would have been higher!

This record is unfortunately no world record. To do that the driven distance must have been much longer. To do a world record like this the car must have a certain distance to maintain speed, approximately 3 kilometers in Bonneville’s case. Thereafter the average speed must have been measured for 1 kilometer. Then the car turns and do the same exercise in the opposite direction. The average measurings of these to drives will be the cars average speed.

OK, no official world record this time, but this SAAB has the potential to break the existing world record with good margins.

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7 Comments

  1. I must be missing something. The record is for cars without turbo and compressor. No fair using a car with a turbo–won’t be a record.

  2. Yeah Ted, that confused me a little too. perhaps it got lost a little in the translation. It was very late at night when I posted it so I didn’t really have time to check it out.

    It’d be great if Saab ran the car at Bonneville or somewhere similar though just to see the upper limit.

  3. I think these world record attempts are regardless if the car has turbo or not. As I understand this it’s more a competition related to how fast cars fueled with E85 can drive.

  4. “I understand this it’s more a competition related to how fast cars fueled with E85 can drive”
    I don’t think this is true at Bonneville. The student Cobalt set a 156.073 mph record in the G/FCC class (G Class/Unblown Fuel Competition Coupe), previously held by a gasoline powered car. It’s the first E85 powered car to hold a record there.
    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/08/14/018628.html

    Although, in general, there may be such an E85 competition, but I don’t think Bonneville has an E85 class as such. I’ve been wrong before though.

  5. It must be a very heavily modified Cobalt SS if it qualifies as “no turbo or compressor” seeing as the Cobalt SS has a Supercharger, which I am fairly certain should count as a compressor.

  6. I’ll derail the debate with this comment: The pic of the 9-5 reminds me that I saw a black 9-5 with black-out lenses covering the entire headlight opening while in Dallas about two weeks ago. It was a great-looking car. I like the new 9-5.

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