E85 as a performance fuel? Could be, according to General Motors
Taking a short break from wrangling the new HHR SS around the track at the Bondurant School for High Performance Driving (see above -- that's me), we got a chance to speak with some of the engineers behind the SS series of vehicles, among others. We took that opportunity to ask whether or not GM has considered using the alcohol-based E85 fuel as a high performance option -- as opposed to just marketing E85 as a "green" fuel. Perhaps not too surprisingly, the idea has been considered at General Motors. E85 happens to have a very high octane rating. The fuel burns at a comparatively low temperature, meaning that additional power can be extracted from a given amount as compared to gasoline. Turbocharged vehicles offer an excellent opportunity to tap into that additional available power, so the fact that it was left off the HHR SS probably means that we're not likely to see that angle of the corny-fuel any time soon.