The days of loud, obnoxious motorsport may well be coming to an end, with Honda announcing that they will be debuting their 100% ethanol powered V8 engines at the Gold Coast Indy race in October.
The ethanol engines use a plant-based fuel which burns cleanly with less air pollution, as opposed to the traditional methanol engines used by Indy cars. Yet they still manage to squeeze out the performance, with cars capable of hitting 160kph in less than three seconds.
Generally ethanol isn't considered to be a suitable replacement for fossil fuels as it requires vast amounts of plant life to convert into fuel, and that can eat into the plants being used to feed us. However, last year Honda uncovered a tech that can just convert the inedible bits of food into fuel, kind of like Mr Fusion in the Back To The Future II DeLorean (or not).
Hopefully we'll see this tech develop into the consumer (and time travel) space.
Honda Turns the Gold Coast Indy 300 Green
Honda is gearing up for the Australian debut of its 100 per cent ethanol-powered V8 engines at the Nikon Indy 300 on Queensland's Gold Coast next month.
Honda is the exclusive supplier of engines for the Indy Car series, which traditionally run on methanol. Ethanol is a clean-burning, renewable fuel derived from plants that reduces air pollution. Ethanol fueled engines were first introduced to the series in the USA at the beginning of the 2007 season.
Honda Australia Managing Director, Yasuhide Mizuno said Honda was committed to finding new and innovative ways to be more sustainable. "We are proud to be contributing our technological advancements to the world of motor sport. The new ethanol powered engine demonstrates it is possible to have an environmentally-friendly fuel that delivers real racing performance".
"Not only is ethanol better for the environment, but the 3.4 litre engines can accelerate the car from 0 to 161kph in less than three seconds." said Mr. Mizuno.
Last year, Honda revealed technology to extract ethanol from the inedible stalks and leaves of plants, leaving the edible parts for human consumption. This initiative overcomes the competing needs of food and fuel sources and Honda has set up an
experimental production facility at its Wako, Japan, R&D campus to further study the market potential of this technology.
In addition to its commitment to the advancement of cleaner power, Honda remains dedicated to its range of environmentally-friendly vehicles, including the Honda Civic Hybrid, Australia's most affordable hybrid at just $32,990*.
The Nikon Indy 300 will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland from 23-26 October.
*Recommended retail price without on-road costs