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Saab Aero X 2006 Review

Aero X is a clear pointer to a future in which the car and the environment get ever closer. Clever Swedish innovation and Australian powertrain expertise combine within the Aero X, making it a 'must-see' exhibit at the 2006 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

The futuristic design features no lack of sophistication beneath the skin. The Aero X's 2.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine is based on the GM 'global V6' manufactured locally by Holden at the Port Melbourne engine plant.

It is uniquely designed and calibrated to run on 100 per cent bio-ethanol – which means its exhaust emissions are potentially carbon-neutral.

The reason why the Aero X's bio-ethanol engine does not increase greenhouse gas levels is because its carbon-dioxide emissions are balanced by the amount of carbon-dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere when crops used to manufacture bio-ethanol are grown.

Bio-ethanol can – theoretically at least – re-use the greenhouse gasses that are emitted over and over again in fully sustainable, carbon-neutral production cycles. It could also open up vast new markets for Australian farmers, in effect making Australian agribusiness a powerhouse of global fuel production. With prodigious outputs – 298kW of raw engine power and 500Nm of torque – plus an ultralightweight carbon-fibre body and considerable grip underfoot thanks to a hi-tech all-wheel drive system, the Aero X is capable of reaching 100km/h in 4.9secs It's up there with many a supercar.

Drive gets to the wheels via a seven-speed, double-clutch operated fully automated manual transmission and ride is controlled by a computerised, actively damped suspension system.

Inspired by Saab's long-term alignment with the aerospace industry, the Aero X features a fighterstyle cockpit that renders conventional car doors obsolete, and the aerospace theme is continued in the jet turbine-style wheels.

Inside the Aero X cockpit Saab has applied the latest technology from Swedish glass and precision instrument-making specialists to completely eliminate conventional dials and buttons.

So if you want to look at the future of automotive display systems to get some idea of the medium-term outlook for production cars, the Saab Aero X will be high on your shopping list.

It's a high-performance supercar even an environmentalist can enjoy.

Pricing guides

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Aero 2.8L, PULP, 6 SP $8,800 – 13,200 2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Aero Pricing and Specs
Linear 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP $6,200 – 9,680 2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Linear Pricing and Specs
Linear 20TH Anniversary 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP $7,300 – 11,330 2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Linear 20TH Anniversary Pricing and Specs
Vector 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP $6,900 – 10,670 2006 Saab 9-3 2006 Vector Pricing and Specs
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