Ethanol has proven itself a viable fuel for tuners that want to get the most power from their automobiles. The alcohol has a higher octane rating that gasoline, meaning that an engine tuned to run on ethanol can make higher horsepower without the risk of detonation. This fact has prompted some companies to use ethanol for their performance cars, allowing them to offer extreme performance along with being able to market the vehicle as a greener option. The latest example of this strategy comes from Climax, makers of a new mid-engine British sportscar.
The Climax uses a lightweight aluminum structure underneath a body pounded either from aluminum or molded from carbon fiber. Power comes from a flex-fuel capable and Prodrive-tuned version of Subaru's latest turbocharged boxer four cylinder engine, tuned to run on ethanol, which powers the rear wheels. Performance figures are impressive, with the run to 60 taking less than four seconds. Top speed is estimated at around 170 miles per hour. Combined fuel economy is rated at 27.4 miles per gallon. A full provisional spec-sheet is available (.pdf link). It's definitely a good-looking car, though its green credentials may be debatable.