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Ethanol

FIA World Touring Car Championship to run on Bio-Fuel in 2009

April 13, 2007 In one of the first developments of its kind the FIA World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC) is set to run on bio-fuel from 2009 after the FIA World Motor Sport Council gave unanimous support for the initiative. The FIA WTCC, one of the FIA’s three World Championships alongside Formula One and the World Rally Championship (WRC), is now in its third season having gained increased popularity worldwide. Bio-ethanol fuel will be introduced to the FIA WTCC alongside unleaded petrol and diesel in 2008, before a switch to an exclusive bio-fuel powered championship in 2009.  Read More

Flower Power - Koenigsegg's 1018 bhp biofuel-burning CCXR

March 3, 2007 When Bugatti unveiled the Veyron supercar, many people thought the ongoing contests for the world’s fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car in history were over – many motoring scribes wrote that due to increasing environmental concerns and the immense cost of developing a faster car, we’d never see the like of it again. It’s figure of 1001 bhp so completely eclipsed the previous best-of-breed cars such as the Koenigsegg CCX's 806 bhp that quite realistically, the game appeared to be over. Volkswagen spent so much money developing the Veyron, that although the car sells for UKP840,000 (US$1,630,000), when the all-up cost of development is added, they should be charging roughly UKP 5 million (US$9,700,000) per vehicle just to break even. No other manufacturer would be prepared to take a hit like that. Everything about the Veyron, from its 64 valve, quad turbocharger, W16 (16 cylinders in 4 banks of 4 cylinders) 8.0 litre engine, it’s dual-clutch DSG computer-controlled seven speed manual transmission, to its remarkable brakes are thoroughly engineered to enable the 1890 kg projectile to travel safely at over 400 km/h. Now Koenigsegg has surpassed the Bugatti’s power output, and is likely to threaten the Veyron’s 407 km/h top speed too. In a wonderful example of how a small goal-focussed team can achieve the seemingly unattainable, Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg has announced details of a new variant of its 806 bhp CCX which will run Biofuel. Due to the fact that the biofuel has higher octane and better cooling characteristics, the power has gone up 25% to 1018 bhp at 7200 rpm and torque is up 10% to 1060 nm at 6100 rpm, compared to the “standard” CCX’s 806 bhp at 6,900 rpm and 920 Nm at 5,700 rpm. Even though the low and exclusive production volume of Koenigsegg is hardly likely to have a measurable impact on the Co2 problem faced by global society, it is an impressive statement that a small company can afford to develop environmentally focussed solutions.  Read More

Mitsubishi to launch flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) in 2007

January 22, 2007 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced plans to launch a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) in the Brazil market within fiscal 2007. The Company also announced that models are in development for the US market for a fiscal 2009 launch. One of MMC's design objectives is to create vehicles that meet the requirements of the Century of the Environment. This can be seen in the MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative electric vehicle - pictured), a next generation electric car that is a core element in the company's environmental technology strategy, and can also be seen in the next generation diesel engine that is now under development. In addition to these initiatives, MMC and its local manufacturing and sales unit, MMC Automotores do Brasil Ltda (MMCB) have been developing a flexible fuel vehicle for the Brazil market. The FFV can run on gasoline, ethanol, or a mixture of the two, and will be launched in the Brazil market within fiscal 2007. Practical FFV solutions are also in development for the US market, where a fiscal 2009 launch is planned.  Read More

Chevrolet Volt Concept Electric Vehicle

January 7, 2007 The Chevrolet Volt concept sedan, powered by the E-flex System – GM’s next-generation electric propulsion system – could nearly eliminate trips to the gas station. The Chevrolet Volt is a battery-powered, four-passenger electric vehicle that uses a gas engine to create additional electricity to extend its range. The Volt draws from GM’s previous experience in the form of the EV1 in 1996. The Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours a day. When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the Volt can deliver 40 city miles of pure electric vehicle range. When the battery is depleted, a 1.0 litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine spins at constant rpm to create electricity and replenish the battery.  Read More

Lincoln MKR Concept

January 2, 2007 Lincoln is pulling the wraps off a new concept car at the North American International Auto Show next week, signaling its design strategy for the next-generation of premium American vehicles and launching a new engine family. The Lincoln MKR concept introduces the company’s new “elegant simplicity” design language on a four-door coupe that also features environmentally friendly amenities and fuel-saving technology, including its TwinForce engine. The concept’s 3.5-liter gasoline twin-turbocharged direct-injection V-6 performs comparably or better than V-8 engines, delivering 415 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque on renewable E-85 ethanol.  Read More

Ford Interceptor:  four-door muscle car based on a sixties sedan shape

January 1, 2007 Building on its muscle car legacy, Ford is introducing an all-American sedan concept that combines “Built Ford Tough” attitude with the sporty elegance of its iconic 1960s sedans. The Interceptor has a manual six-speed gearbox mated to the 5.0-litre V-8 Cammer engine that won the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship in its first year of competition, though it has now been modified to run on E-85 ethanol and produces 400 bhp. The Interceptor also incorporates Ford’s patented four-point “belt and suspenders” design in the front and rear seats. In addition, inflatable safety belts are included for rear seat passengers.  Read More

British Racing (Very) Green Lotus

August 24, 2006 Lotus has always danced to a different drum. When the rest of the world was building muscle cars in the sixties and seventies, it went the other way. Light weight, superb handling, miniscule frontal areas and svelte aerodynamic efficiency became the hallmarks of Lotus roadsters which always did more with less. Now the Lotus brand is further extending its values towards the responsible use of resources with the Lotus Exige 265E which runs on environmentally friendly bio-ethanol E85 - 85% ethanol alcohol and 15% petrol! As the Exige uses a supercharged and intercooled engine, Lotus engineers saw the opportunity to prove the point that green sportscars can offer high performance by exploiting the performance characteristics of ethanol. Ethanol has a high octane rating, which allows an optimum timing for engine ignition and has a fast flame speed in the combustion chamber, so the fuel burns faster, increasing the efficiency of the engine. Ethanol has less stored energy per unit volume than gasoline so the fuel economy is less, however as E85 ethanol is 85% sourced from renewable bio matter, there is a net reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2). The beauty of using ethanol though, is its ability to produce more power in the engine than with conventional petrol and the Exige 265E is the most powerful road Exige ever. The Exige 265E now produces 264 bhp at 8000 rpm (up 21% over the petrol Exige S), and 184 lbft of torque at 5500 rpm (up 16%). The performance figures are pretty healthy for a green machine: 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph!  Read More

Chevrolet unveils new Avalanche with E85 FlexFuel

February 12, 2006 General Motors introduced the latest rollout of its next-generation full-size truck family, the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, at the Chicago Auto Show. The Avalanche combines the passenger-comfort of an SUV with the cargo capability of a truck and the new 2007 model offers more power, better fuel economy and optional E85 flex-fuel capability. E85 FlexFuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 can contribute to energy independence because it diversifies the source of transportation fuels beyond petroleum, and it provides positive environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More

Ford's V10 Super Chief concept runs on hydrogen, ethanol or gasoline

January 8, 2006 – The Ford F-250 Super Chief concept uses what the company calls "Tri-Flex fueling", enabling the supercharged V-10 to run for 500 miles between fill-ups on hydrogen, E85 ethanol or gasoline. The tri-fuel flexibility is one possible innovation by Ford to help pave the way for hydrogen vehicles, as the nation's ethanol and hydrogen fueling infrastructure continues to develop. The concept truck and its name are inspired by the bold, American Super Chief trains of the nation's past. Super Chief is Ford's most advanced, well-appointed pickup ever – designed to build on the standard for interior excellence established by the new F-150.  Read More

SAAB launches 9-5 BioPower flex-fuel models

November 14, 2005 , Saab Great Britain has announced that it is taking orders for the Saab 9-5 BioPower, a flex-fuel car whose fossil CO2 emission level can be reduced by as much as 70 per cent compared to a standard petrol-engined car. Saab BioPower technology means that the 9-5 model is capable of running on either a high-blend mixture of eco-friendly renewable energy source bioethanol and petrol (E85), or on pure petrol, without any adjustment required by the driver. Initially available with the 2.0t, 2-litre light-pressure turbo engine, UK prices for the Saab 9-5 BioPower begin at GBP21,651 on the road for the Saloon, and GBP22,851 for the Estate variant. A manual transmission will be available from launch, with an automatic variant to follow shortly after. First UK deliveries will commence in January 2006. The BioPower engine will be available in all 9-5 2.0t model ‘forms’; Linear, Linear Sport, Vector and Vector Sport, with a GBP600 price differential over the regular petrol models. The introduction of the Saab 9-5 BioPower into other countries will require more than just Saab’s good will though – an infrastructure will be necessary to supply fuel for the BioPower.  Read More

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