• Jan 20, 2010
Perhaps going green doesn't necessarily mean you can't have any fun. Evidence of this fact can once again be seen as the performance and tuning communities continue to look at ethanol for increased performance for a relatively low outlay of cash.

Ethanol, which is an alcohol fuel commonly distilled from corn here in the United States, mixed with 15-percent gasoline carries an octane rating of about 105, compared to the low 90s for the best freely available pump gas. This fact means that engines, when tuned properly and especially when using forced induction, can make more horsepower on E85 than pump gas – and sometimes nearly as much as pure race gasoline.

Cobb Tuning claims to be the first company to outfit a Nissan GT-R for use with E85 fuel and is displaying a dyno graph that indicates very high levels of performance is available when Godzilla is tuned properly for ethanol fuels. How much power? Currently with Cobb's catless midpipe, prototype cat-back exhaust, stock intake, twin Walbro 255 fuel pumps and 800cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors, the GT-R is putting down 574 ponies and 585 pound-feet of torque. After some additional fiddling, Cobb expects to see 600 horsepower at the wheels.

Sounds great, right? Well, hold on to those drunk alcohol-hungry horses for a minute. Ethanol, especially when derived from corn, isn't necessarily the pinnacle of green motoring, and modifications (including high-flow fuel injectors in the case of the GT-R) and required to run an engine with high concentrations of alcohol fuel. Still, something tells us that the promise of cheap and easy horsepower will keep ethanol in the greenlight limelight for the foreseeable future.

[Source: Cobb Tuning]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      BTW, this headline is far better than the one over at ABG for a change :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ethanol fuel requires a horrible waste of resources to produce. I read in National Geographic that when using corn as the feedstock (as in the US) the requirements to produce 1 gallon of ethanol it takes 4 gallons of diesel and 1,000 gallons of water. Ethanol production under the current process in North America should cease completely until we can develop a means for it to be truly a "green" fuel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Question: How much would the GT-R make on JUST the injectors, fuel pump upgrade and a chip?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "If you use stock intakes the stock fuel pumps appear to offer enough fuel flow for non-ethanol based fuels no matter what kind of injector used."

        They maxed out what a stock-intake car could do at about 513hp, with the midpipe. The injectors weren't close to full-duty cycle for non-OH fuel.

        The OH fuel, for the same amount of air, is less fuel efficient. Which is why on stock intakes, you can pump more of it (requiring larger pump and injectors), allowing you to approach 600whp without re-doing the intake.


        Those that choose to do the intake can ramp up their injectors pump and get close to 600whp and stock turbos without going OH fuel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Want to get to 60mph in 2.9 seconds in a car, this is probably one of the cheapest ways to do it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In Cobb's blog post there is a dyno graph that shows Stock vs Stage 2 92 Octane vs Stage 2 E85.
      http://blogs.cobbtuning.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/e85-vs-stage-2-vs-stock1.jpg


      E85=cheap race fuel :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @8complex

        That concentration of ethanol has different combustion properties than regular gas so higher compression ratios can be used. This allows extracting more energy from the same fuel and compensate for the energy/weight issue.

        Then ethanol is actually about as caustic in a lower concentration in fuel as in high concentration and even more caustic than pure ethanol. From what I understand the mix is worse than the pure form of either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When it comes to turbo cars, E85 is cheap race fuel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wouldn't go so far as to say that E85 was cheap race fuel... a thought process like that and kids will be blowing up their cars left and right.

        It IS cheaper per gallon, but you need to use 25-30% more E85 by weight to gasoline in order to get the same power potential levels. This means what takes 3 gallons of gasoline to produce takes 4 gallons of E85.

        What this REALLY all means to people looking for cheap power is, the injectors in your car (and tuning) will likely not cut it if you're looking to use E85 for more power.

        Let's also not forget that ethanol is corrosive to your fueling system (pump seals, rubber lines, injector seals, etc). Modern vehicles can handle prolonged exposure to (I believe the rating is) E20 fuels, however above that you're going to run into long-term issues. I've seen people use E85/E10 at a 50/50 mix for several years without harm, though (making a roughly 45% ethanol fuel).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Probably not important to some but isn't the shelf life of E85 about the same as E10? (90 days or so) What happens when the octane rating starts to diminish, do things start to go kaboom?

      --and correct me if I'm wrong on the shelf life since I'm not up to the latest in blend / flex fuels let among tuning with the stuff.
        • 5 Years Ago
        correction: let alone tuning with the stuff (is what I meant)
      • 5 Years Ago
      The GT-R continues its quest of crushing its competitors out there for a much lower price.