03 June 2007 02:01
A green Koenigsegg? Surely some mistake?
For those who find themselves a little underwhelmed by the 806bhp power output of CAR April's cover star, the Koenigsegg CCX, check out the new CCXR. Unveiled to a stunned Geneva audience, the CCXR packs a barely believable 1018bhp and - get this - it runs on environmentally friendly E85 biofuel. 'Our engineers couldn't quite believe the figures when we tested the car,' Christian von Koenigsegg told CAR Online when he showed us the car. 'Apart from a few minor changes to the fuel injection system, fuel lines, upping the supercharger boost pressure from 1.2 to 1.5 bar and changing the piston rings, the engine is the same as that in the CCX,' he explained.
The 26 percent power hike comes from the E85 bioethanol. As its name suggests, it’s a fuel made up of 85 percent bioethanol and 15 percent unleaded. It’s the bioethanol that’s the green ingredient, as the crops grown soak up CO2 during production. It also burns more efficiently than regular gas because it has an extra oxygen atom attached to the alcohol molecule in its make-up. The result is a higher octane rating, greater thermal efficiency – exhaust temperature drops by as much as 150°C – and more power. Power boost aside, it’s not difficult to understand E85’s appeal. A member of the alcohol family, bioethanol is produced from the fermentation of the sugar or starch in crops like sugar cane, maize or sugar beet. When viewed over its entire lifecycle, from field to gas station, bioethanol is almost carbon neutral because of the high degree of CO2 absorption by the crop as it grows. This means that cars that run on E85 produce around 70% less carbon emissions compared with unleaded gasoline vehicles. Von Koenigsegg has yet to test the CCXR, but it should hit 60mph in less than three seconds and should top 250mph. The conversion to run on E85 costs £53,000 over the CCX’s £450,000 asking price, though. Ouch.