Geneva preview: Lotus Exige 270E Trifuel
Deriving its name from the power of its supercharged four-cylinder motor (270hp/221kW at 8,000rpm), the Exige 270E races to 60mph in just 3.88s and carries on to a top speed of 158mph (255km/h). And apparently when Lotus says Trifuel, it really means it - the Exige 270E can run on any mixture of petrol, ethanol or methanol, not just any one of the three. The car is part of Lotus' bid to study and understand the processes that occur inside the cylinder during combustion, which the company sees as important to the transition toward synthetic fuels.
Methanol in particular holds some promise for green-potential in that it can be synthesized from atmospheric CO2 and hydrogen (consult the diagram below for details). While that sort of program depends on technologies and programs not yet fully developed, it provides a path for completely CO2-neutral fuel consumption. And thanks to the ability to run on nearly any fuel that's easy to hand, the Trifuel shows that the transition to alternate fuels may not be as tough as many are making it out to be.