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Well, you'd better be interested! The owner of the 1000 hp E85-capable Viper is Karl Jacob, who says, "The E85 Viper project sets out to prove that we don't have to give up high performance cars in order to save the environment. In fact, we discovered during this project renewable fuel performs much better than today's gasoline."

The higher power is to be expected, as cars generally make more power on ethanol. A sophisticated engine computer system allows the vehicle to run on any blend of gas-ethanol, using 93 octane gas on up. Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline.

The first modification was twin-turbos, along with a new fuel system and engine computer. The brakes were also upgraded at that time. While determining the next direction to go, Karl and his tuner, Ron, of SVS Power, decided to go all the way with the car... meaning 1000 HP running on 13 lbs of boost using E85 fuel. This, of course, meant a lot more mods needed to be performed, including to the fuel system, as the Viper was not meant to run on alcohol. Nor was it meant to have that much power, so the whole drivetrain was modified to take the power. You can read the whole story at Karl's site and there's an info chart after the jump.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes, as I'll be following the progress.

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[Source: E85 Viper]




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  • 29 Comments
      • 5 Months Ago
      Get off your all mighty save the earth high horse!

      Sorry but not everybody is going to want a life sized R/C car (Tesla) or put a super heavy diesel engine into a car.

      Number one high performance diesel technology is in its infancy. Cars like the Audi R10 and 908Tdi race car from Peugeot.

      The 330di BMW 3 series is faster than the old 330i N/A petrol car (0-60, 1/4 mile), but its diesel engine is not conductive to the normally high revving nature fun to drive BMW - Check Car & Driver for those comments and counterpoints for that matter.

      Gale Banks would like to see high performance diesel engines.

      Some of us like high performance cars and use them. Do they put out more emissions, that is up for debate, we then to take better care of our cars than the average moron does.

      Malfunctioning emissions controls mean a decrease in performance.

      At least I take that seriously and keep my car in perfect tune (12.74@106)

      I welcome E85 because it does not pollute as much as normal fuel does, however it does have up to 105 octane and cooler burning (like diesel) gives you the ablity to make ALOT of horsepower.

      Yeah Cummings diesel, save it gas breath, the block weighs more 3 of my engines and it sure takes alot of power and diesel smoke to out run my car.

      No thanks

      The internal combustion engine has a long life in it, next thing you'll want is for us to stop traveling...
      • 5 Months Ago
      We are living in a time of incredible effluence. A period unequalled in man's history. We have no idea what true hard times are. The previous generations had it much rougher than we. No one likes being told they have it so easy. So we look for and readily accept anything that tells us otherwise. We struggle in vain for whatever will prove that we know what hard times are and what real struggle is. We have no clue. Our lifestyles allow us the luxury of creating these alternate realities (i.e. man-made global warming), so we do.

      All I can do is do what I can to try to afford $5 a gallon gas, if and when it comes, and still drive a larger, safer vehicle.

      I'll see you guys in another 10 yrs. (the fourth 10 yr. prediction) when none of this has come to fuition (just like the previous 3) and you're still, yet again, swallowing the same old crap.

      Very cool car Karl. I admire your ingenuity. Maybe you should try chicken poop based methanol? Of course if you blow the engine, my name is Troll Hunter.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I was wondering if you really are cutting back on emissions with E85. Does it burn cleaner? I don't know. I know it is more expensive and the increased demand for the source of the product has sharply effected the cost of food around the world. I thought we cared about the little people?

      Corn is also hard on the soil. Farmers need to rotate other soil enriching crops for a recommended 2 seasons to replace what corn takes away. If farmers are encouraged to compromise this to supply the demand, then what?

      These are things that people don't think about when they place themselves on a pedestal above everyone else. "I'm better than you! I want to save the world! I get to tell you how to live!" Environmentlism has evolved from a religion into a cult. Quit worhsiping Al Gore and his high priests and get some real facts.

      Andrew says we shouldn't have fun. Does this include your computer, your Ipod, your TV, even your bicycle since 90% of what you use involves petroleum products or emissions of some kind?

      I feel a little elitism of my own coming on. Since I don't drink coffee anyway, I dictate that we ban coffee makers. They require emissions to make them and the coffee farmers should be growing CORN anyway! So how many of you hypocritical, enviro-wacko libs out there just blew a vein?
      • 5 Months Ago
      Good comments Karl. It doesn't solve the soil depletion problem though, and corn related food products have had a sharp increase in price around the world. Many economists say it is directly related to the E85 intiative.

      Cellulosic fibers are definitely the way to go. Although I question the amount available being able to satisfy the demand we're talking about. Still the problem exists that it cost more for the consumer than gasoline. If you don't buy the man-made global warming con (which I don't), then it seems pointless for now.

      What about methanol from chicken crap? Very potent fuel and there are alot of chickens.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Sorry I don't conform to your thinking TrollHunter. I guess I'm supposed to goose step when I come in here. Didn't hear you specifically debate anything I said dude! I certainly didn't call anyone a d*ck.

      You could always go over to Iraq and settle the whole thing by talking with the suicide bombers and find out what makes them so angry. That is what you people believe isn't it? We just need to open a dialogue?
      • 8 Years Ago
      As cool as the E85 Viper is, I am sick and tired of people doing this kind of stuff and claiming that it's "good for the environment". Allow me to call bullsh*t on that. I will grant that you are using less oil-derived fuel in your supercar (than you otherwise would have if running on gas). However, ethanol doesn't magically appear at the pumps, it still has energy inputs in its manufacture, most of which are still oil-derived. And regardless of fuel type, you're still outputting carbon dioxide and air pollutants, all in the name of having fun. Admit it, your vehicle has no practical purpose, it is a toy.

      To TRULY be kind to the environment we have to understand that we can't simply consume for enjoyment anymore, and that when we DO consume, we minimize it. A Viper (or Ford Interceptor, or W9 engine) running on E85 does nothing for the environment. NOTHING. It promotes E85, that's all. So stop waving your green flag from behind the wheel of your one-off supercar that now has probably double the embodied energy a stock vehicle did. You are NOT helping the environment.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Neat double-entendre there, if you intended it - I'm assuming you meant affluence, but incredible effluence (i.e. emissions) is definitely correct. And it's absolutely true that we (the tiny percentage of us in the Global North, anyway) have it much easier than our predecessors. But besides that narrow, anthropocentric attitude, every other aspect of the biosphere is in decline.

      Whether or not you believe in it (faith, the new science?) the hockey-stick CO2 graph is real. Multiple independant studies have corroborated it with date from various sources (ice cores, tree rings, historical documents). And considering the sheer volume of hydrocarbons we've burned since the industrial revolution, it just makes intuitive sense.

      Whether you choose to look at it purely from a populist politicized point of view or not, reducing consumption and increasingly switching to renewables can only benefit humanity. And not just us elites in North America and Europe. Oil will run out eventually, and if we have to switch to coal, there will serious ramifications for human health and longevity. Sure, maybe you won't be able to enjoy the conspicuous consumption that is your birthright (only for North Americans, though), but your grandparents suffered through it, right? You can, too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "[ethanol] has energy inputs in its manufacture, most of which are still oil-derived."

      That is incorrect. Petroleum inputs to even corn based ethanol are fairly small and by no means the "majority". Despite what incorrect information you make have read, growing corn requires fairly little petroleum with respect to the ethanol output. A major petroleum factor is if the corn is transported to the bio-refinery by a diesel truck or a diesel train. Even the most anti-ethanol Patzek "study" showed 0.2 MJ of petro for each MJ of ethanol produced. More accurate studies have that value much lower, generally less than 0.1.

      Ethanol production does require energy for distillation and drying the distiller's grain show it can be shipped and stored for livestock feed. Innovative bio-refineries are locating near livestock so the distiller's grain can be used wet and saving a great deal of energy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey, I'm not against having fun. But why does fun have to equate to liberally releasing GHGs? Take a page from the book of NEDRA and find other ways to go fast that don't necessarily involve carbon emissions. (And yes, I realize electricity is made by burning stuff, but you at least have the OPTION of purchasing carbon-neutral electrical energy.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dodge Viper: $86,000
      E85 Modifications: ???

      VS

      Tesla Roadster: $92,000

      This will not be a difficult decision for any wealthy car enthusiast who actually cares about the environment.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Lots of great comments! A couple of facts I would like to add.

      Combustion engines are not going away and neither are the people who buy them. Performance is important to a lot of people and this project was designed to prove to people who want performance that there is an alternative to gasoline.
      One car will not make a difference, but if it convinces people who are running on straight gasoline to switch to e85 then the environment wins. The goal here wasn't to run a car on e85, that has been done. The goal here is to create a streetable car that can beat any gasoline powered car in the standing mile proving to even the most die hard performance fan that e85 is the way to go.

      Yes e85 burns cleaner and it is also renewable i.e. the growing of the corn consumes carbon dioxide. However, corn is just the beginning! Ethanol is now being made from the parts of agriculture we currently throw away its called cellulosic ethanol This means *no* impact on the world food supply and cuts green house emissions over reformulated gasoline by 85%

      http://www.e85viper.com

      Karl
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am not surprised at the comments above, and I actually agree that this car in and of itself is not helping the environment. Consider this, though: does ethanol (of any sort, not necessarily derived from corn) have a place in the list of alternative fuels? I would say definately yes, it does. People like Karl take it upon themselves to take a car like a Viper (which I will also argue has a place in the automotive marketplace) and turn it into something else. How much research and development do you think went into making this vehicle a reality? Is there something anybody can learn from it's creation? If the answer is yes, which I think it is, then this has a positive effect on the market for ethanol. If you are reading this site, you're probably already familiar with ethanol, but how many Viper owners out there care at all? How many Vipers owners, upon seeing this vehicle, will be familiar with ethanol? Does this car help the environment? No. What effect may it's creation have on ethanol, and possibly the environment through association? Plenty. This is not a bad thing, folks.
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