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Ferrari F430 Spider Biofuel concept (2008): first official pictures

Published: 15 January 2008

Everyone was going green at Detroit - even Ferrari. It unveiled its new, hitherto rarely seen green side in an attempt to woo the increasingly environment-conscious America.

The F430 Spider Biofuel runs on E85 fuel, meaning 85 percent of the mix is renewable ethanol. But while other companies already produce E85 cars (from Saab to Koenigsegg), Ferrari has no immediate plans to put a biofuel car into production.

But the supercar maker is deadly serious about reducing its emissions: Ferrari wants a 40 percent reduction by 2012. It’s a bold claim and the F430 concept points to a possible role of biofuels in future Maranello products.

Ferrari has already used E10 biofuel in the F430-based GT2 racer last year, and found the upshot was an increase in power. Hence the E85 Spider has an extra 10bhp and a 4 percent torque increase, despite the engine mechanicals being unchanged. The CO2 emissions drop by 5 percent, some way short of the company's four-year target but good nonetheless. Fuel consumption is actually slightly up, but the fuel is mostly renewable.

But instead of biofuel cars Ferrari plans to cuts it emissions by cutting weight. From the start of 2008, the company's cars all come with carbon brakes as standard, cutting at least 15kg per vehicle. It's a start, but expect more drastic weight reduction, and possibly downsized and turbocharged engines, all in the style of the Mille Chili concept.

They say: The Ferrari that is green, not mean.
We say: A small gesture, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.
CAR verdict: 2/5

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