The Lotus Exige is already one of the coolest high-performance cars around. One could argue that, at least as far as supercars go, this one is pretty green. The whole idea behind the Lotus Exige, and the Elise, is that very high performance can be achieved with smaller engines if the weight is suitably reduced. In fact, Lotus has been doing this for quite some time, starting with their Lotus 7 sports car of decades ago.
Fifth Gear got to find out what ethanol fuel can do to a cars performance when they tested an Exige that had been converted to run on E85. We have spoken about the performance advantages of E85 in the past. Here is a video that shows you exactly what we were talking about. With the higher octane rating of E85 and the lower burn temperatures, additional power can be made. If an engine manufacturer wanted to make the same amount of power, they could do so with a smaller and lighter engine, making the fuel consumption match that of its gasoline counterpart. As it stands at this time, though, there are no production cars that take advantage of this aspect of the renewable fuel. This leaves the door open for tuning shops to show us the way.
The video also points out another drawback of ethanol: the lack of refueling stations. One could argue, in the Midwestern states in the U.S. at least, that the corn lobbyists have done a good job of fixing that problem. With any luck, farmers will soon realize that corn is not the only, let alone the best, foodstock for the creation of ethanol, and we will see less corn ethanol, and more alternatives in this already alternative fuel.
This is actually not a new video, but seems relevant enough to bring back to the forefront. Thanks go out to Linton, a reader of the site for reminding us how green high-performance can be at the redline.
[Source: Fifth Gear]