After the recent success of the Lotus Exige 270E Tri-Fuel at the Shanghai Motor Show, Youngman Auto, the lightweight English sports car builder’s Chinese partner has submitted a request that the concept go into production, at least for the Chinese market by the end of this year. The alternatively fueled Lotus made its debut at Geneva in 2008, and what set the car apart from normal flex fuel vehicles that can run on a blend of gasoline and ethanol, the Exige 270E adds methanol into the mix. It is no surprise that the Chinese are so interested in the Tri-Fuel, because back in 2007 China became the world’s largest producer and consumer of methanol. In 2008 nearly 1 Billion gallons of the alternative fuel was blended with gasoline in the panda loving country, and mixtures of methanol/gasoline are already available at many gas stations throughout the land.
Check out the diagrams after the jump to see how Tri-Fuel works.
Lotus Engineering, the engineering consultancy division of Group Lotus Plc has developed a bio-ethanol E85 version of the Lotus Exige. The research vehicle is a true Lotus (it weighs just 930 kg 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 favourable bio-ethanol E85 fuel (85% ethanol alcohol and 15% petrol / gasoline) that powers this extremely high performing sportscar.