click above to view more images of the Ferrari 430 Spider Bio Fuel
Ferrari's press conference here in Detroit was rather short and to the point. They reminded us that Kimi is World Champion and that the team is busy readying his defense. They also pointed out that the F430 GT is doing a bang-up job in GT2. And then they talked about the street cars. Besides telling us that Ferrari had a record year, with sales up 8% to 6,400 units worldwide, they also showed the E85 ethanol-powered version of the F430 Spider we talked about yesterday. The F430 Spider Bio Fuel runs on the familiar mix of 85% natural ethanol and 15% gasoline, which results in a modest 10HP power bump and fuel economy that improves by 5% over the standard gas-only V8. So that means that the sweet-sounding 4.3-liter plant is now good for a true 500 HP.
The bio fuel car on display in Detroit is still labeled a concept, but the company says that it'd like to put it into production as part of its efforts to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions 40% by 2012. As we mentioned yesterday, the regions where ethanol is readily available – like the Midwest states, Brazil and Sweden – are not major markets for the sportscar maker. But ethanol is already being used in the ALMS and elsewhere, so Ferrari already has some experience with it. We already put in our request to have one in the AB Garage. We'll let you know how that goes.