There are drawbacks to every kind of alternative to burning fossil fuels in our cars. Electric cars don't have enough range. Hybrids are burdened with what essentially boils down to two parallel powertrains. Hydrogen is limited to where it is available. Bio-ethanol has its own drawbacks, but don't tell that to the performance enthusiast. That's because E85 – similar to what IndyCars run on but mixed with 15 percent pump gasoline – is not only a renewable and cleaner source of energy, it also provides more power.
Take the Koenigsegg Agera R, for example. With 927 horsepower on tap from ordinary 95-octane gasoline, the Koenigsegg is already one of the fastest, most powerful cars money can buy. But fill it with E85 and it offers up almost 1,100 hp. Now, a Norwegian firm is offering an aftermarket bio-ethanol conversion for the Ferrari FF that provides a similar transformation.
Whereas the stock FF (which could now just as easily stand for Flex Fuel) already drives a prodigious 650 horsepower to all four wheels, the converted version packs a whopping 875 hp for a sub-three-second sprint to sixty, all the while dropping the car's emissions figures by some 80 percent. The conversion costs just €1,500 ($1,930 U.S., at today's exchange rates) – rather insignificant considering the FF's $300k+ sticker price – and has reportedly been fitted by an authorized Ferrari dealer to at least one customer's car, though that doesn't mean it's covered by (and very well might invalidate) the FF's warranty.