Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Ferarri F430 biofuel-powered launch

Ferrari's press conference here in Detroit was rather short and to the point. The Detroit Motor Show on 16 Jan 2008,has put a spotlight on the looming battle for supremacy in the fast-growing market for green cars, especially between US and Asian auto makers.The 2008 Detroit auto show bring the big news from Maranello is a biofuel-powered prototype based on an F430 Spider.

According to Ferrari, certain modifications were made to the F430 V8’s fuel feed system and most importantly to the engine CPU to allow the engine use E85. Developing the CPU, two fuels (Flex Fuel) can be used by the engine with the same compression ratio. All of the other technical characteristics have remained unchanged with respect to a standard production engine, however. The use of this type of biofuel and the modifications made resulted in an increase in maximum power output (+ 10 hp at the same rpm) and torque (+ 4%) while overall weight was unchanged. The advantages to the environment translate into a 5% drop in CO2 emissions

The bio fuel car on display in Detroit is still labeled a concept, but the company says that it'd like to put it into production as part of its efforts to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions 40% by 2012. The regions where ethanol is readily available – like the Midwest states, Brazil and Sweden – are not major markets for the sportscar maker. But ethanol is already being used in the ALMS and elsewhere, so Ferrari already has some experience with it.

You know that something’s definitely changing in the automotive world when Ferrari decides to show off a biofuel-powered concept. Based on the F430 Spider, the prototype is equipped with a V8 engine that runs on biofuel E85 which was developed with using experience gained in competition. In particular, Formula 1’s technical regulations demand that petrol (gasoline) with 5.75% biomass-derived content must be used, while the FIA GT and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) where Ferrari took part with the F430 GT2 in 2007, use fuels with 10% ethanol.


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