Ethanol STi Means Big Power and Big Savings

 

STi on the Dynamometer

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We’ve covered the numerous benefits of ethanol-based fuels over and over on this blog, but rarely through the eyes of the gearhead speed-junkies that make up the core of America’s automotive enthusiasts and enthusiast press.   If you’ve spoken to this bunch, you already that most talk of climate change and Peak Oil concerns fall on deaf ears.  What matters is power, everything else is irrelevant.

Of course, it’s easier to simply ignore this group, but the (sad?) truth of the matter is that many consumer still make their purchasing decisions based on what their “car friends” tell them.  In short:  this group, more than any other, is a group that must be reached for the “green car” movement to really take hold.

Enter:  Dyno-Comp.





Richard Garcia, owner of the Arizona-based Dyno-Comp, is all about building cars for maximum turbo boost – the holy grail of performance tuning.  After pushing as far he could go with regular gasoline, Rich took a hard look at alternative fuels, to get his customers’ cars to the next level.  “The E85 has a significantly higher octane rating than the 91 octane fuel common here in Arizona,” he explains.  “The E85 around here carries a 105 octane rating, which is even better than the 100 octane race fuel a lot of these guys run.  It burns cleaner, so emissions isn’t a problem.  E85 runs cooler, too, which helps in the hotter climate.”

Stock Subaru STi v. E85 STi

Rich cites another benefit to the E85:  cost savings.  “100 octane race gas costs about $7.99 a gallon here.  Even 91 octane costs over $3.00, easily, while the E85 averages about $2.79.  Over time, this is a huge saving.  Besides that, there are more than 2000 E85 filling stations in the US, 15 of them here in Phoenix, alone, so the convenience is there.  With this tuning kit, we can make the horsepower the customer wants, save them money in the long run, and not sacrifice fuel economy or emissions.”

This is a great solution for owners of cars like the STi and Mitsubishi Evo X who are looking for more power, and who usually begin their quest for more power by gutting their car’s factory emissions-control systems!

Like it or not, the enthusiasts need to be reached for a universal change to happen (whether that change is to cleaner-burning bio-fuels, fuel cells, or full electric) and offering them more of what they want (power) in a more environmentally responsible package that doesn’t punish their pocketbooks is a great way to start.

For more information on Dyno-Comp’s green-tuning products, visit their website.

Photos courtesy of Dyno-Comp, from their blog.





About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • MD

    So with the higher octane rating they can increase compression ratio and advance timing… hence more power…

    Same thing has always been done on high output motors.. nothing new…

  • MD

    So with the higher octane rating they can increase compression ratio and advance timing… hence more power…

    Same thing has always been done on high output motors.. nothing new…

  • @MD

    It’s not a new concept, just a new execution and a quick, inexpensive kit: $2995 for the kit shown above. Can’t beat that!

  • @MD

    It’s not a new concept, just a new execution and a quick, inexpensive kit: $2995 for the kit shown above. Can’t beat that!

  • MD

    Wasn’t meant to rag on your article Jo, just that many of the younger crowd have no idea that all of this has been tried before.

    Had a coworker that was always using his laptop to “tune” his Mustang Cobra.

    Same idea behind 500 CID Cadillac engines using 425 heads to increase compression slapping a 1 to 2 inch riser on the intake manifold and bumping up the timing… but that’s not vogue nowadays unless you’re doing demolition derby.

    It’s all good… My little Focus wishes it could have the power plant options its European cousins have !!

  • MD

    Wasn’t meant to rag on your article Jo, just that many of the younger crowd have no idea that all of this has been tried before.

    Had a coworker that was always using his laptop to “tune” his Mustang Cobra.

    Same idea behind 500 CID Cadillac engines using 425 heads to increase compression slapping a 1 to 2 inch riser on the intake manifold and bumping up the timing… but that’s not vogue nowadays unless you’re doing demolition derby.

    It’s all good… My little Focus wishes it could have the power plant options its European cousins have !!

  • Chris DeMorro

    Over 100 (flywheel) horsepower difference from a $3,000 kit? That is actually pretty good.

    And Jo, you’re absolutely right that gearheads need to be reached for the “green” movement to really catch on. There are people who have been building and innovating for high horsepower engines for 4-5 decades.

    The green movement could learn a lot about innovation from the same guys who get the worst gas mileage. You just have to convince them the money they save on gas can go towards making their vehicle faster 😉

  • Chris DeMorro

    Over 100 (flywheel) horsepower difference from a $3,000 kit? That is actually pretty good.

    And Jo, you’re absolutely right that gearheads need to be reached for the “green” movement to really catch on. There are people who have been building and innovating for high horsepower engines for 4-5 decades.

    The green movement could learn a lot about innovation from the same guys who get the worst gas mileage. You just have to convince them the money they save on gas can go towards making their vehicle faster 😉

  • Some pretty big power numbers there. The STi’s have always been good performance cars.

  • Some pretty big power numbers there. The STi’s have always been good performance cars.

  • Larry

    I am a car enthusiast (nut) and I take some exception as I have several toys that have been set up for better gas mileage and my daily driver is and will always be a high mileage vehicle. I have a lot of friends who feel exactly the same way. The problem with ethanol is that in order to really get the total picture you need to consider several other factors. How is the ethanol produced? To date, food based ethanol production requires a lot of energy. What is the feedstock? Aforementioned food based ethanol has had a major impact on food prices. From a cost perspective how much of the cost is based on federal tax policy? Lastly, ethanol has only 85% of the energy of gasoline. I am a big fan of ethanol for all the reasons given in this article as well as the political implications of sourcing our energy supply from places other than those that would like to destroy us, but until it can be manufactured in large quantities from non food based sources at a substantial net energy gain it will not be the silver bullet. Hopefully this will be in the not too distant future.

  • Larry

    I am a car enthusiast (nut) and I take some exception as I have several toys that have been set up for better gas mileage and my daily driver is and will always be a high mileage vehicle. I have a lot of friends who feel exactly the same way. The problem with ethanol is that in order to really get the total picture you need to consider several other factors. How is the ethanol produced? To date, food based ethanol production requires a lot of energy. What is the feedstock? Aforementioned food based ethanol has had a major impact on food prices. From a cost perspective how much of the cost is based on federal tax policy? Lastly, ethanol has only 85% of the energy of gasoline. I am a big fan of ethanol for all the reasons given in this article as well as the political implications of sourcing our energy supply from places other than those that would like to destroy us, but until it can be manufactured in large quantities from non food based sources at a substantial net energy gain it will not be the silver bullet. Hopefully this will be in the not too distant future.

  • Hey Jo .. I run E85Prices.com and we have reports of E85 for $2.05 at the Western States Petroleum, 450 South 15th Avenue.. Looks like Arizona has pretty good E85 Prices for a state hundreds and thousands of miles form any cornfield.

    If you are paying $2.79 make sure and look around because you can get E85 for a far better price in your area.

    Larry.. the Corn ethanol is raising Food prices (via ethanol demand raising corn prices) has long be de-bunked. There is literally just pennies worth of corn in any food product.

    You can buy 56 pounds of corn for $3.20 cents ! (1 bushel)

    Take any product that is all corn and do the Math.. 1 lb box of corn flakes.. Retail Price $3.29

    Cost of Corn in 1 lb of Corn Flakes…

    Bushel of Corn weighs 56lbs.

    1 Bushel of Corn @ $3.20

    $3.20 / 56 = 6 cents

    Keep in mind we make almost 2 billion gallons more ethanol today than we did when the Fuel vs Food “debate” arose. In that time corn has dropped $3 a bushel. If there was any shred of evidence that Corn ethanol was responsible for rising food cost the price of corn would be rising not falling.

    There is far more to this story..the Grocers Association (GMA)actually hired a Firm to slam corn ethanol saying corn ethanol was ths reason food prices were rising .simply to protect thier profits !

    Anyway ..Corn ethanol can only provide 15 billion gallons of the 36 Billion Gallon mandate by 2022. We are already at 11 Billion Gallons.. The next 17 billion gallons has to come form cellulosic material and there are some huge break throughs and exciting process starting up.

    Coskata.com can make ethanol out of just about anything including industrial waste and even old tires ! very very cool imo

    Expect to see Ethanol made out of Algae also be very big….checkout http://www.algenolbiofuels.com/

    Corn ethanol you get about 400 Gallons per acre.. Algenol can get 2000 gallons of ethanol out of their algae process now and believe they can get up-to 10,000 gallons per acre in the near future..

    Really exciting stuff coming.

    We can lower our dependence on foreign oil , make a superior fuel that’s cleaner , has more octane and runs cooler so it can be compressed and produce more power as well as mpg.

  • Hey Jo .. I run E85Prices.com and we have reports of E85 for $2.05 at the Western States Petroleum, 450 South 15th Avenue.. Looks like Arizona has pretty good E85 Prices for a state hundreds and thousands of miles form any cornfield.

    If you are paying $2.79 make sure and look around because you can get E85 for a far better price in your area.

    Larry.. the Corn ethanol is raising Food prices (via ethanol demand raising corn prices) has long be de-bunked. There is literally just pennies worth of corn in any food product.

    You can buy 56 pounds of corn for $3.20 cents ! (1 bushel)

    Take any product that is all corn and do the Math.. 1 lb box of corn flakes.. Retail Price $3.29

    Cost of Corn in 1 lb of Corn Flakes…

    Bushel of Corn weighs 56lbs.

    1 Bushel of Corn @ $3.20

    $3.20 / 56 = 6 cents

    Keep in mind we make almost 2 billion gallons more ethanol today than we did when the Fuel vs Food “debate” arose. In that time corn has dropped $3 a bushel. If there was any shred of evidence that Corn ethanol was responsible for rising food cost the price of corn would be rising not falling.

    There is far more to this story..the Grocers Association (GMA)actually hired a Firm to slam corn ethanol saying corn ethanol was ths reason food prices were rising .simply to protect thier profits !

    Anyway ..Corn ethanol can only provide 15 billion gallons of the 36 Billion Gallon mandate by 2022. We are already at 11 Billion Gallons.. The next 17 billion gallons has to come form cellulosic material and there are some huge break throughs and exciting process starting up.

    Coskata.com can make ethanol out of just about anything including industrial waste and even old tires ! very very cool imo

    Expect to see Ethanol made out of Algae also be very big….checkout http://www.algenolbiofuels.com/

    Corn ethanol you get about 400 Gallons per acre.. Algenol can get 2000 gallons of ethanol out of their algae process now and believe they can get up-to 10,000 gallons per acre in the near future..

    Really exciting stuff coming.

    We can lower our dependence on foreign oil , make a superior fuel that’s cleaner , has more octane and runs cooler so it can be compressed and produce more power as well as mpg.

  • MD

    Kind of have to agree with Larry here…

    A friend of ours has been running an absolute beast of an 8L Ford engine on LPG (Propane/Butane autogas)… That engine will rip a standard C6 apart, ever see a Duallie do a wheelie?

    My wife’s uncle still runs his business truck on LPG, no slouch either, duallie on propane, High compression 396 stroker…

    “Green” before the big green washing of everything else… and these guys are not the typical people you’d find down at the organic food co-op, both are heavy duty mechanics…

  • MD

    Kind of have to agree with Larry here…

    A friend of ours has been running an absolute beast of an 8L Ford engine on LPG (Propane/Butane autogas)… That engine will rip a standard C6 apart, ever see a Duallie do a wheelie?

    My wife’s uncle still runs his business truck on LPG, no slouch either, duallie on propane, High compression 396 stroker…

    “Green” before the big green washing of everything else… and these guys are not the typical people you’d find down at the organic food co-op, both are heavy duty mechanics…

  • @ Dan M

    AWESOME stuff, Dan! Thanks for reading through and posting the thoughtful response – I’d love to read more!!

    @ MD

    How do you think LPG and alt-fuels “blipped” my radar in the first place!? We have an ’05 here on LPG that can pull a house off its foundations and run a 14 sec. 1/4 mile … MWAHAHAHAHA!

  • @ Dan M

    AWESOME stuff, Dan! Thanks for reading through and posting the thoughtful response – I’d love to read more!!

    @ MD

    How do you think LPG and alt-fuels “blipped” my radar in the first place!? We have an ’05 here on LPG that can pull a house off its foundations and run a 14 sec. 1/4 mile … MWAHAHAHAHA!

  • One more thing: I got an email from Rich today saying that highway mpg is up as well! Not bad for a fuel with about half the specific gravity of 91 PON!

  • One more thing: I got an email from Rich today saying that highway mpg is up as well! Not bad for a fuel with about half the specific gravity of 91 PON!

  • Tem Kuechle

    E-Fuel is about to start selling their MicroFueler product (www.microfueler.com). A “for home” digitally controlled Still to distill, store and control the process of making fuel grade Ethanol. There is also the “Organic Fuel Tank” to ferment what ever kind of feedstock can make ethanol (i don’t know the particulars yet). But one could use sacks of unprocessed sugar, water and some yeast with a little nutrient boost to make high alcohol beer for the process. Anyway, it seems to be the real deal.

  • Tem Kuechle

    E-Fuel is about to start selling their MicroFueler product (www.microfueler.com). A “for home” digitally controlled Still to distill, store and control the process of making fuel grade Ethanol. There is also the “Organic Fuel Tank” to ferment what ever kind of feedstock can make ethanol (i don’t know the particulars yet). But one could use sacks of unprocessed sugar, water and some yeast with a little nutrient boost to make high alcohol beer for the process. Anyway, it seems to be the real deal.

  • Dan’s comments about food and corn ethanol are incorrect. The box of Cornflakes argument has been dubunked along with the GMA conspiracy theory. Come to think of it, everything in his comment is wrong.

  • Dan’s comments about food and corn ethanol are incorrect. The box of Cornflakes argument has been dubunked along with the GMA conspiracy theory. Come to think of it, everything in his comment is wrong.

  • Because this site screens out links with sub folders you can say pretty much anything you want without being called for it because with out links, debate becomes a battle between unsubstantiated remarks. So I put more comments here:

    http://www.biodiversivist.com

  • Because this site screens out links with sub folders you can say pretty much anything you want without being called for it because with out links, debate becomes a battle between unsubstantiated remarks. So I put more comments here:

    http://www.biodiversivist.com

  • byron

    “””It’s not a new concept, just a new execution and a quick, inexpensive kit: $2995 for the kit shown above. Can’t beat that!”””

    ———————————————————–

    Actually, this is a new “concept”. You two are correct, using ethanol and methanol in high compression race engines increases power..yes we gear heads know that….dadada…but as far as “green things” go, the real value of ethanol or E85 is AS A FUEL ADDITIVE to raise octane, not a replacement for gasoline, like soo many people keep droning on about.

    SAAB, 3 years ago, was THE FIRST, carmaker to design a high performance mass produced engine designed to get better efficiency using E85. Other “Flex-Fuel” cars today do not get much better performance using E85.

  • byron

    “””It’s not a new concept, just a new execution and a quick, inexpensive kit: $2995 for the kit shown above. Can’t beat that!”””

    ———————————————————–

    Actually, this is a new “concept”. You two are correct, using ethanol and methanol in high compression race engines increases power..yes we gear heads know that….dadada…but as far as “green things” go, the real value of ethanol or E85 is AS A FUEL ADDITIVE to raise octane, not a replacement for gasoline, like soo many people keep droning on about.

    SAAB, 3 years ago, was THE FIRST, carmaker to design a high performance mass produced engine designed to get better efficiency using E85. Other “Flex-Fuel” cars today do not get much better performance using E85.

  • Oz

    Dan M: The concern about corn ethanol raising food prices has most certainly *NOT* been debunked.

    Read this study from the Congressional Budget Office

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10057/toc.shtml

    A quarter of corn production is devoted to ethanol now. The rise in costs may be bearable for us in the west but for the people in the developing world who depend on the North American bread basket it has been a disaster.

    I do agree that if ethanol has a future it will be cellulosic/algae based.

  • Oz

    Dan M: The concern about corn ethanol raising food prices has most certainly *NOT* been debunked.

    Read this study from the Congressional Budget Office

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10057/toc.shtml

    A quarter of corn production is devoted to ethanol now. The rise in costs may be bearable for us in the west but for the people in the developing world who depend on the North American bread basket it has been a disaster.

    I do agree that if ethanol has a future it will be cellulosic/algae based.

  • MD

    Jo !

    Sad news, I just came back from Vancouver Island BC, I found out that the 8L propane beast threw a rod…

    No worries though, it is rebuilt and ready to pull houses off their foundations too!

    My friends are just waiting for a new cab for the F350.. the bodies rot out long before the engines die!

  • MD

    Jo !

    Sad news, I just came back from Vancouver Island BC, I found out that the 8L propane beast threw a rod…

    No worries though, it is rebuilt and ready to pull houses off their foundations too!

    My friends are just waiting for a new cab for the F350.. the bodies rot out long before the engines die!