First Look
Lotus Exige 265e
British, Racing, Green

Lotus has developed a bio-ethanol E85 version of the Lotus Exige. Although a research vehicle, it's still a proper Lotus (it weighs just 2050 pounds unladen) and is called the Exige 265E. 265 indicates the approximate horsepower; the E refers to the environmentally-friendly bio-ethanol E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol alcohol and 15 percent gasoline) that powers this high performance sports car. At its heart is a slightly modified version of the 2ZZ VVTL-i supercharged and intercooled high-revving four-cylinder engine from the standard Exige S. Lotus claims some impressive figures: 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph. This could well be the world's quickest road-legal E85 bio-ethanol car. Changes have been made to the fuel system, 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 sent into the engine under higher loads and to further cool the charge air before combustion. Different bio-fuels were considered: bio-methanol, bio-ethanol and bio-butanol. E85 bio-ethanol allowed the project engineers to enhance engine performance. Ethanol has a high octane rating, which allows an optimum timing for ignition and has a fast flame speed in the cylinder, so it burns faster, increasing engine efficiency. We love it when a plan comes together.