Rate It: The Sleek, 400-Horsepower Saab That Ran on Pure Ethanol

By Colin Wood
Aug 27, 2020 | Saab, Rate It, Aero-X

Although the Saab we know and love may be long dead and gone (though still kind of exists as the National Electric Vehicle Sweden), back in 2006 it was at least alive at the hands of General Motors.

But before the 2007 Recession that would eventually shutter Saab, the company showed off its concept for an alternative-fueled grand tourer, the Aero-X.

Under the long hood of the Aero X sat a 2.8-liter, turbocharged V6 that ran on pure ethanol. That powerplant was said to be good for around 400 horsepower, with a claimed zero-to-60 time of fewer than five seconds and a top speed north of 150 mph. Power was then sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed, semi-automatic transmission.

Also of note was the lack of conventional doors. Instead, the Aero-X had a canopy top that opened up and forward. The design was said to give both driver and passenger a virtually unobstructed 180-degree view.

Lets say that the 2007 Recession never happened. Do you think Saab would still be alive today, or would its days still have been numbered under the ownership of GM?

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NickD UltimaDork
8/27/20 9:17 a.m.

Even without the recession, I think Saab under GM was going to die. GM had no clue how to run the company, and alienated traditional Saab buyers with rebadged offerings like the 9-7x and 9-2x, while failing to offer anything to entice new buyers to the brand.

frenchyd PowerDork
8/27/20 9:47 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

It's unlikely a GT car would have helped. Especially with Ethanol as fuel.  ( And I like ethanol) 
 SUV's, minivans, station wagons, really do make the most sense  for most car buyers.  

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/27/20 10:46 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

Yeah, I hate to admit it, but I think you hit the nail on the head. It wouldn't have mattered how great the economy was, Saab still probably would have died.

NickD UltimaDork
8/27/20 11:38 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

At least not under GM's "care"

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