Saabs from around the World

The Unique Budapest Saab 9-5 NG BioPower

Saab-9-5-BioPowerSaab-9-5-BioPower (photo by Origo)

Here is another interesting Saab story whose source is in Budapest. One of the most popular Hungarian-language news website Origo this week presents readers with a very interesting story about a special Saab car – The Unique Saab 9-5 NG BioPower. It is a car that was in their editorial office exactly ten years ago on a journalistic test. Almost a day, exactly ten years ago, they had a special-shaped and bioethanol-powered limousine.

It is interesting that the car journalists of this media found out about the fate of this car and where that car is today. The former test car, however, is still there today, in excellent condition, because it has fallen into good hands: to a Dutch brand fan Jelger Groeneveld. Here is the 9-5 story of Jelger and Polar Mobil (Saab importer at that time) in Budapest.

Ethanol limousine with 220 horsepower and sunroof

“This Swede wields alcohol” – wrote the test with the title of their former colleague, Attila Nógrádi, about the brown metal Saab 9-5 NG Vector with a huge BioPower inscription on the side. At that time, a liter of bioethanol was mutch cheaper than 95 petrol (many people also converted their older cars for bioethanol), but there was a setback to the fuel that had long been widespread in Scandinavia and South America.

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This type of fule it could increase consumption by 20-25 percent due to its low energy content. During testing in the editorial office of Origo magazine, the Saab 9-5 NG BioPower showed consuming significantly more fuel, the average was as much as 16.7 liters of bioethanol.

Thus, this type of fuel in Hungary, after the excise tax of 40 and then 70 forints was imposed on it at the end of 2011, slowly disappeared from the gas stations there.

Jelger Groeneveld set out to map the history of his car and got to the test published at Origó, whose photos he wanted to request in high resolution in his own archive. Of course, there was no obstacle to this, and Origo team also started correspondence about the car, shared with them its story and Flickr’s gallery of today’s condition, which turned out to be 9-5 a true family member and is still in excellent shape today.

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Simplon Pass

Of course, it already carries the distinctive, convex character and yellow Dutch license plate, which is already its fourth plaque, but the chassis and engine number helps with identification, as does the specification of the rare car. During 2018, Jelger set out in search of a good example of the latest generation Saab 9-5, and did not limit himself to the search only in the Netherlands, but in the whole of Europe.

Saab 9-5 BioPower Vector

Saab 9-5 BioPower Vector – It was advertised in Budapest by a private individual, and after several disappointing copies, Jelger knew exactly that it would be worth buying a plane ticket – just on the way there. After reviewing the documentation, Jelger bought a car in Budapest and followed a test drive as long as 1,400 kilometers to his place of residence. So he took it into use, but only a month ago he decided to research its history because of the special design and plenty of extras, he suspected that his 9-5 might once have been a demo car. This was also confirmed by the vintage of the original Hungarian license plate.

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As it turned out, the car, manufactured in October 2010, was only launched in November 2012, until then it ran with a temporary E-initial ID, and its full service history was retrieved from the parent company of the already closed Polar Mobile importer.

Tremola (St Gotthard Pass)

He was investigate not only in Hungary, but also in Sweden, from where it was confirmed on the basis of the data of the former factory that this only brown metal BioPower was made only for the Hungarian market. It’s easy to agree with Mr. Groeneveld that the second-generation 9-5, produced in just 11,280 copies, is a classic of the future. Although today’s Saab second-hand supply is dominated by diesels, the quiet and dynamic 220-horsepower turbocharged engine is more suited to it, and its maintenance is not expensive. Especially if the trip leads to France on holiday, where a liter of ethanol is still 0.7 euros.

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Anyway, one Saab 9-5 ended up in safe hands. We hope that this car will serve Mr. Jelger well for a long, long time and that one day it will become a proud old-timer.

Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

1 Comment

  • Should’ve purchased TiD/TTiD because of its low fuel consumption.

    The day before yesterday I drove 450 kms with our TTiD. Mostly highway (speed limit 80 km/h) and motorway (speed limit 100 km/h during winter time). Average fuel consumption 5.9 liters / 100 km. No bad for a car which weight is about 2 260 kg.

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