Click above for hi-res gallery of the Lotus Exige 270E Tri-Fuel

British sportscar-maker and engineering firm Lotus may be known for its lightweight vehicles, but in the industry it still packs a punch as a heavyweight. It's that weight which Lotus is throwing behind methanol as the most viable alternative fuel.

Towards that end, at this year's Geneva motor show Lotus unveiled the flex-fuel 270E prototype based on the lightweight Exige sportscar. The vehicle is designed to run on gasoline, ethanol or methanol, but it's the latter which the company feels is the most viable for the near future. Like bio-ethanol, methanol can be made from natural materials, or can be made from hydrogen combined with CO2 pulled out of the thin air, which allows for zero-emissions operation. The most convenient aspect, however, is that most car engines on the road today could be converted to run on methanol.

[Source: Automotive News Europe - subs. req'd]

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