Lotus Engineering has developed a bio-ethanol E85 version of the Lotus Exige. The research vehicle is a true Lotus (it weighs just 2050 lbs unladen) and is called the Lotus Exige 265E. 265 indicates the approximate horsepower and is consistent with the naming strategy of other one-off and limited run Lotus variants such as the Lotus Sport Exige 240R; the E indicates the environmentally favorable bio-ethanol E85 fuel (85% ethanol alcohol and 15% petrol / gasoline) that powers this extremely high performing sportscar.
Key to this performance is a slightly modified version of the 2ZZ VVTL-i supercharged and intercooled high revving 4-cylinder engine from the standard Lotus Exige S. This now gives an estimated set of performance figures that would thrash the majority of 'Super-Únleaded' performance cars: 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph! In fact, the Lotus Exige 265E is probably the world's quickest road-legal E85 bio-ethanol car.
Key changes have been made to the fuel system, the engine calibration and the four fuel injectors mounted on the inlet manifold have been enlarged. Two additional fuel injectors have been fitted at the supercharger inlet to increase the amount of fuel being injected in to the engine under higher engine loads and to further cool the charge air prior to combustion.
Bio-ethanol E85 is a fuel which is a mixture of 85% ethanol (an alcohol) and 15% petrol / gasoline. The bio-ethanol can be made from bio-mass plant crops such as cereals, sugar beet, sugar cane and wood. As these plant crops grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which then partly offsets the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced during the burning of the bio-ethanol fuel in the car's engine.
The beauty of ethanol is its ability to produce more power in the engine than with conventional petrol / gasoline fuel. (concept carz) The Lotus Exige 265E now produces 264 bhp at 8000 rpm, and 184 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm, up by 46 bhp or 21% and 25 lb-ft or 16% over the standard petrol / gasoline Exige S.
Source - Lotus
Ethanol has less stored energy per unit volume than gasoline so the fuel economy is less, however as E85 ethanol is 85% sourced from renewable bio matter, there is a net reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2).