The US Department of Energy started EcoCAR3, a four year competition designed to challenge American engineering students, in 2014. The goal is to convert a standard Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid vehicle that maintains the performance of a stock Camaro while introducing the environmental benefits of a hybrid car.
A team of researchers from Utah State University has taken an 80s compact Dodge Rampage pickup and turned it into a biodiesel-powered land speed racer. This isn’t just any biodiesel though; it was created using a unique combination of algae and safflower seeds.
Racer Steve Menendez and UTU research Michael Morgan teamed up on this unique project, which they brought to the Bonneville Salt Flats to set a new biodeisel-powered world record. While there is no official biodiesel class, unofficially the modified Dodge Rampage hit 135 MPH on the salt flats, beating the previous unofficial record by some 30 MPH using a 20% blend of the algae/safflower seed biodiesel. The B20 blend apparently worked perfectly.
This unique fuel is fed into a 1.5 liter Volkswagen turbodiesel engine powering the front wheels. Yes, the Dodge Rampage (a 1984 vintage in this case) is a front-wheel drive compact truck, one of the few to ever grace American shores, and Menendez appears to have kept it that way for his land speed run if this dyno video from last year is any indication.
Using algae as a means to create biodiesel is nothing new, as millions of dollars have been poured into research to create an easy-to-farm renewable fuel. Unfortunately cost still remains a major factor with algae fuels, though the US Navy has been using a jet fuel blend to power a small fleet of aircraft. Biodiesel racing is also a growing trend, with college students and big truck drivers alike embracing greener biofuels to sate their need for speed.
I give this algae-powered Dodge Rampage two green thumbs up.
Source | Image: Deseret News
With an all-electric Bonneville speed record machine and its very own TTXGP/Isle of Man TT contender well underway, the Ohio State University’s engineering program seems like the place to be for talented young people who love the go-fasts. Considering everything OSU has accomplished at the cutting edge of green tech, then, it will probably come as no surprise that OSU has won the DOE’s latest EcoCAR challenge.
The OSU team won the low-emission technical challenge with a late-model Chevy Malibu fitted with an advanced, ethanol-electric hybrid drivetrain that delivered more than 50 MPGe while cutting emissions on the 2013 Chevy Malibu (which is already a super-clean PZEV, according to CARB and the Federal Gov’t) by as much as 50%. That’s nice work for a group of kids who, in theory, know less than the professional engineers who built that Malibu – and the EGR Regal! – in the first place!
You can read more about OSU winning the EcoCAR challenge in the DOE’s official press release, below, and check out some photos of the final judging at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co. announced the winning team of the competition, The Ohio State, as they took home the overall winners title at the EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future finals.
The team’s exceptionally engineered 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with energy storage, electric drive and ethanol (E85) fueled engine technology, earned them the top honor.
EcoCAR 2 – a three-year competition managed by Argonne National Laboratory and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, GM and 30 other government and industry leaders – gave students the opportunity to gain real-world automotive engineering experience while striving to improve the environmental impact and energy efficiency of an already efficient vehicle – the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.
Over the course of three years, The Ohio State consistently met incremental goals that strengthened their position against the other university teams. Their series-parallel plug-in hybrid Malibu excelled at GM’s Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan, earlier this month, where it was put through a series of strenuous technical and safety tests similar to those used for real-world production vehicles.
“The EcoCAR 2 competition has been an incredible journey and learning experience for everyone at Ohio State, and that’s what really matters – winning the top spot is just a bonus,” said Katherine Bovee from Ohio State. “We are all excited to take everything we have learned into the workplace after graduation.”
The team’s unique design achieved 50 miles per gallon gas equivalent (MPGGE), while using 315 Watt-hours per mile (Wh/mi) of electricity. The vehicle impressed the judges with stellar numbers and even lessened the amount of criteria emissions by half, compared to the base vehicle.
“Ohio State met and exceeded the EcoCAR 2 goals at every point in the competition,” said Dr. Michael Knotek – Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Energy, U.S. Department of Energy. “Their innovative work has contributed significantly to the future of energy efficient technology in the automotive industry, and we wish all members of the team the best as they move forward in the next step of their careers, whether in the classroom or in the professional world.”
The second-place team from the University of Washington demonstrated the most energy-efficient vehicle, a B20 biodiesel parallel plug-in hybrid reaching 60 MPGGE and 333 Wh/mi of electricity, as well as the lowest well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions. Pennsylvania State University placed third with their E85 series plug-in hybrid.
“For the past three years all 15 EcoCAR 2 teams have worked tirelessly to design the next generation of clean vehicles and we have seen exceptional outcomes,” said Ken Morris, vice president, global product integrity, General Motors. “Ohio State stood out amongst the competition and truly did an outstanding job. All of the teams have helped advance innovative vehicle technology and improve the automotive industry and we thank them for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for this program.”
Source | Photos: EcoCAR 2 Communications.
The Volkswagen Golf GTE is exactly what I was hoping for; an affordable, performance-oriented plug-in hybrid that lets you go fast without the gas-guzzling guilt. With a combined 258 ft-lbs of torque and a top speed higher than the Tesla Model S, this little hybrid Golf promises to be big fun without sucking down a whole lotta gas.
Just as speculation suggested, the Volkswagen Golf GTE gets a 1.4 liter turbo engine good for 148 horsepower mated to an electric motor at the front wheels with a maximum output of 101 horsepower. Combined output of both drivetrains is 201 horsepower, with 258 lovely ft-lbs of torque. Just as important though, the Golf GTE can go up to 31 miles on electric power only, up to a maximum speed of 81 MPH.
That gives the Golf GTE the equivalent of 157 MPG, though real-world numbers are likely to be a lot lower. Still, as the Chevy Volt proved, if your commute is amicable to plug-in hybrids, you can go literally thousands of miles on just a few drops of fuel…and the GTE promises to get you there quickly as well, with the shifting handled by a dual-clutch six-speed slushbox.
The Golf GTE can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.6 seconds, only about a second slower than Volkswagen’s own version of the hot hatch, the Golf GTI. It can also achieve a top speed of 135 MPH given the space, a full 10 MPH more than the standard Tesla Model S (top speed, 133 MPH). It’s the latest addition to the Golf GT line that also includes the much-coveted Golf GTD turbodiesel.
The only real problem as far as I can see it? Volkswagen has no plans to bring this awesome car to America, instead giving us an electric e-Golf model to hold us over. Whomp whomp whommmmp.
America’s natural gas fracking bubble is still expanding, despite some signs that said natural gas bubble is getting ready to pop in a big way. Until the government starts listening (and the right people start talking), however, it might just be something we have to accept … but the government is starting to listen, and Chesapeake Energy just got whacked with a massive EPA fine for violating part of the EPA’s Clean Water Act! This is the same Chesapeake Energy Co., by the way, that is currently fighting off lawsuits in Arkansas for damage caused by fracking-related earthquakes. In other words: it couldn’t have happened to better people.
Cleantechnica’s Tina Casey has the story, below. Enjoy!
The woes just keep piling up for Chesapeake Energy. The company is front and center in the nation’s natural gas fracking boom and it just got hit with one of the largest ever civil penalties for violating Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The penalty…
The 2015 Ford Mustang is already making headlines for the return of a four-cylinder turbo engine, coming in at around 300 horsepower. But a four-cylinder turbo probably won’t be enough to stave off upcoming increases in fuel economy, and one Ford executive has said that all options, including hybrid, diesel, and electric versions of the Mustang are on the table.
GoAuto spoke with Ford’s chief of global powertrain engineering, Bob Fascetti, who is quoted as saying;
“We’re not looking at diesel at the moment, but given where we need to go with fuel consumption we are looking at all our options,” he revealed.
“And diesel is one of those options, along with hybrids and electric.”
Wow. To put that out there in the open, not even a week after revealing the all-new 2015 Mustang, that’s going to hurt some traditionalists. Naturally, I’m even more excited for the Mustang than I thought I could be, as I thought the Mustang was at least a generation away from adopting such radical powertrains. And maybe it still is, though from the sounds of it these options are being considered in the not-too-distant future.
Then again, it only makes sense. With the Mustang going global, Ford has to bend and twist to the demands of markets where gasoline regularly costs $8.00 a gallon or more. Turbodiesels are incredibly popular in Europe and Australia, and are gaining in North America at a surprising rate too.
Specific options weren’t mentioned, but a plug-in hybrid 2015 Mustang with a power boost option from the electric motor is one fun possibility. An all-electric Mustang would be a much harder sell, though it’s hard to gauge how the public might react to a torque-heavy turbodiesel.
I’m game for any/all of the above in a 2015 Mustang, but can the traditionalists get on board too? After all, women think green cars are sexy, and what could be sexier than a hybrid Mustang that out-performs the V8 and gets 50 mpg?
2014 is right around the corner, and before you say it: yes, I know that’s a 2015 Mustang up there that won’t be on sale until the end of 2014 … but I don’t care. You’ll be able to buy it in 2014, it’s gorgeous, and if you don’t want one then you’re dead inside.
That said, this list of is sort of informally divided up into categories, so there’s no “winner” here- they’re all winners! Shall we get started, then? Here is Gas 2’s semi-official list of the 14 best fuel efficient cars you’ll be able to buy in 2014. Enjoy!
1. Mitsubishi Mirage
I drove this car for a week last month and grew genuinely fond of it. The 44 MPG Mitsubishi Mirage is far from perfect, of course- but nothing this cheap has any business being so thoroughly fun to thrash. When you drive the little car, words like “toss-able” suddenly start to roll off the tongue, and you begin to remember that Mitsubishi isn’t some forgotten victim of the 2008/2009 credit crash- they’re the makers of the original DSM turbos and the giant-killing Lancer Evos.
Is the Mirage as good as the Evos? Not even close- but the DNA is there, buried somewhere under the little car’s stupid-simple dash and supportive seats … and, parking? Don’t even get me started- the Mirage will fit in spaces that aren’t spaces. If you live in a major city and need a low-payment car that’s easy to park, cheap to drive, and backed by a 10-year warranty, this is it.
2. Nissan Leaf
Defenders of the Chevy Volt will probably take issue with my choice of the Nissan Leaf, but if you’re serious about a fossil-free future of fuel, you’ve got two choices: biofuel or pure EV, and Chevy’s Volt is neither. Nissan’t Leaf? It may not have the go any where, any time range-extending quality that the PHEVs from Chevy and Toyota have, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming the hottest-selling car in Norway and swapping the top spot in the plug-in sales race with GM’s Jesus car six times this year.
3. Chevy Cruze Diesel
Maybe it’s because I just drove the Chevy Cruze Diesel last week, or maybe it’s because I’m not convinced Volkswagen’s figured out all of its turbo problems quite yet- who can say? What matters is that the little car that’s not quite right for me is still the one I’d be most likely to recommend to anyone who asked me what to buy in 2014. It’s built solid, has all the goodies, and- while the price is a bit high- that engine! This is the future of fuel for middle America, gang: clean-burning diesels.
5. Honda Accord Hybrid/PHEV
Honda’s 50 MPG Accord Hybrid is sportier, roomier, and more fun to drive than you think it will be, I promise. This latest Accord is easily the best hybrid sedan in the segment- and I drove them all, back to back to back, earlier this year when Honda flew me out to the Accord’s debut in San Antonio. With a $29,000 starting price and a Green Car of the Year award for 2014 as selling points, the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrids were an easy choice for best fuel efficient family sedan(s).
6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Based on the bigger of the two Mitsubishi Outlander models, this crossover operates as an EV, most of the time, with the internal-combustion engine lending a hand at higher speeds or when the Outlander’s batteries run low. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same basic premise behind the Chevy Volt- but with more room, less of a “Look at me! I’m saving the Earth!” exterior, and all-wheel drive. That combination of goodies earned the Outlander a “Technology of the Year” award on the back of its 175 combined MPG (claimed), and makes it an easy pick for best fuel efficient crossover to buy in 2014 … even if it’s only available in Europe and Japan (for now).
7. Toyota RAV4 EV
Like the Nissan Leaf, above, Toyota’s RAV4 EV gets a mention here because it’s a pure EV, except it’s an EV that’s capable of hauling you and the kids- and all the kids’ stuff!
Toyota’s 2014 RAV4 EV is built using battery and motor technology from the EV experts at Tesla, and leases for about $599/mo., making it cost-competitive to, say, buying a base RAV4. I know leasing is different from buying, but you might end up coming out ahead on an EV lease. Besides, with Tesla’s long-lasting batteries, buying your RAV4 EV at the end of the lease might be the way to go!
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
If you want a full-sized SUV that offers truck-like towing abilities with go-anywhere, all-weather traction and 30+ MPG fuel economy, there is only one. Sorta. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel will do it all, and go more than 700 miles on a single tank.
9. Bruiser/Cummins Jeep Wrangler
Remember that “sorta” up there in the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel paragraph? That’s there because of the Bruiser, a vehicle that begins life as a Jeep Wrangler and becomes something else entirely after it gets stuffed with Cummins’ industrial-strength 4BT Turbo-diesel engine and a durable 4L60E automatic transmission. This is 400+ lb-ft of rock-crawling badassery, and it can be yours, in theory, for about $41,000.
10. Toyota Avalon Hybrid
The last time I was in an Avalon was almost a year ago, and I couldn’t believe how nice it was. That photo, above (of the car’s interior) doesn’t do justice to the look and feel of the leathers, plastics, and the expensive-looking illumination on the dash. With a 30+ MPG EPA fuel economy rating, decent power, a roomy cabin, an interior filled with high-quality details, and a $41,000 MSRP for the top-of-the-line Limited model, you’re nothing but a pawn of the marketers if you buy anything more expensive.
11. Tesla Model S
Tesla’s Model S super-sedan is fast, capable, roomy, distinctive, and uses not a drop of gas. There are so many things that have been said about this car that it’s almost impossible to know where to start- but I’ll tell you this much: Tesla’s Model S has the highest customer satisfaction rating in the business, and I want my wife in one because it’s the safest car money can buy. Make of that what you will.
I know, I know- I just said that anyone buying a luxury sedan that’s more expensive than the 2014 Avalon Hybrid is a pawn of the marketers. So, I’m a pawn. When it comes to my family’s safety, I can live with that.
12. Ford Mustang Ecoboost
If you’re in the market for a sporty car, wait for the new Ecoboost Mustang, set to go on sale as a 2015 model in the latter-half of 2014. The upcoming 300 HP 4 cyl. Mustang is the hot ticket, regardless of what the V8 gear heads might tell you. 300 HP was the domain of the hottest of the hot Cobra Mustangs not all that long ago, and they couldn’t get near the new Ecoboost ponycar’s super-low emissions and near 30 MPG fuel economy.
13. CPO Tesla Roadster
You’re horribly impatient. I get it- and so does Tesla’s Roadster, which rockets from 0-60 MPH in 3.7 seconds without hassling you about “shifting” or other such dinosaurian nonsense. This is the future, man, and you want stuff to happen now! Now! NOW! This, then, is your car- it’s not new, but it’s got a better-than-new 37 month, 37,000 mile warranty from Tesla and all the best cornering bits from Lotus’ legendary Elise.
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller: It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
14. Èlan Motorsports DeltaWing
The Nissan-powered DeltaWing race cars demonstrated that a small engine in a willing, aerodynamic package with superior fuel and tire efficiency could challenge the over-powered, fat-tired ruling class of endurance racing and come out on top. Forget the drama of Don Panoz’ ridiculous lawsuit and the chrome foiled coupe of 2013. What you want is the roadster, in matte black, and a Robin costume for anyone daft enough to get in the passenger seat.
Drive it like you stole it.
Original content from Gas 2.
When is a Honda Grom not a Honda Grom? When it’s a Mike Hailwood-inspired, one-off custom Honda Grom cafe racer like the one Honda rolled out in Thailand a few days ago. The bike was built by Honda to demonstrate the little Grom’s potential for customization – something that’s critical to a bike’s success in the bike/scooter obsessed countries of Southeast Asia.
That potential for customization is fully realized in the Grom Cafe Racer, which features a hand-formed aluminum fairing and historical details like the green number signs, the tank cutouts for the rider’s knees, and the general shape of the exhaust – all reminiscent of the RC166 that Hailwood rode to the 1966 250 cc Grand Prix title. Clip-on handlebars and a cafe racer-style seat round out the custom touches,
What do you guys think? Is this custom Grom cafe racer this just the thing for chasing down Yamaha Zumas at the next Mods and Rockers ride in your town? Should you just buy a Royal Enfield Continental? Would you be better off building a cafe racer out of a boneyard CB200, like that super-awesome 10 year-old, Zeke, did? You can let us know how you’d set up your Grom in the comments, below. As for the rest of the market?
Judging by the Honda Grom’s envy-inducing sales figures, I think the market has heard Honda’s message loud and clear.
Meet Zeke. Zeke is awesome. Zeke is a 10 year-old kid who built himself a custom cafe racer out of a boneyard Honda CB200 with little more than a stack of manuals, access to hand tools, and a little instruction from his dad.
“The problem with kids today,” the story goes, “is that they have their faces buried in smartphones and video games and don’t know how to do anything with their hands.” That may be true, in some cases. If you believe guys like professional odd-ball Frank “Rinspeed” Rinderknecht and PopSci’s wussy/professional attention-whore/traitor to all that is good and Holy, Dave “Look at me! I’m a millenial!” Mosher, that’s the future. Here at Gas 2, though, we hold out hope for bigger, better, and brighter minds than those two nitwits – minds like the 3 pounds of cafe racer building goo floating around in Zeke’s skull.
Because Zeke, as I explained, is awesome.
Cafe Racer TV caught up with Zeke and his dad at the Barber Vintage Festival a few weeks ago, and he told them about the build, his plans with the bike, and – of course! – how it’ll hit 75 mph in 3rd gear. Because he’s 10. Also: awesome.
You can check out Zeke’s interview, here …
… and get a sense of the quality of Zeke’s 10 year-old handiwork in some of the photos of Zeke’s cut-down Honda CB200 cafe bike, below, taken from screen captures during the Cafe Racer TV video, above. Enjoy!
Source | Photos: CafeRacerTV.
It is astounding to me that it has taken until this moment in American history for an automaker to fit a full-size truck with a small, efficient diesel engine. Chrysler has done it though, and the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel could have a profound effect on the rest of the truck industry, especially if the marketing team’s claim of a 27 mpg combined rating turns out to be true.
The Ram 1500 with the Pentastar V6 engine already lays claim to being the most fuel-efficient pickup you can buy, with the EPA rating sitting at an impressive 25 mpg on the highway. But the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 is turned for even more efficiency, and while the official numbers aren’t out yet, a recent test drive event yielded some impressive numbers.
In combined city and highway driving, many journalists managed to get in the mid-20s for fuel economy, with one even managing to get 27 mpg, which Chrysler marketing reps hinted will be the combined rating. That means the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel could get over 30 mpg on the highway. In a full-size truck weighing near 6,000 pounds, with an engine option that costs just $2,850 over the 5.7 liter HEMI V8.
Chrysler reps estimate that at this price point, most customers will see a return-of-investment in as little as three years, which would mean an annual fuel savings of $1,000 over the HEMI V8. If that really turns out to be the case, small diesel-powered pickups could come to dominate the American market, and we’ll collectively realize what we’ve been missing out on all this time. Nissan might also regret its decision to install that larger 5.0 liter Cummins diesel into its Titan pickup once they see this story.
With word that the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel is also B20 biodiesel compatible and backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission, I am left wondering how to shoehorn one of these motors into a restomod muscle car. But that will come later.
Do you really think Chrysler is about to debut a 27 mpg pickup? Or is it all just hype?
We’ve been looking forward to the reveal of the Chevy Cruze Diesel for some time now, and finally the day has arrived. Annnd…we’re kind of disappointed with both the price and the EPA rating, at least at first glance. But if you take a step back, the Cruze Diesel still has a lot to offer if you’re the kind of person who buys a car, and keeps it.
First let’s talk price. The $25,695 price tag represents a $2,550 gap over an equivalent Chevy Cruze 2LT with the 1.4 liter turbo engine. The Cruze Diesel comes with a leather interior, 17-inch wheels, a 17-gallon gas tank (that lessens trunk space by two cubic feet) and the Aero Performance Package. The 2.0 liter diesel engine is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, and gets 42 mpg on the highway, equivalent to the Chevy Cruze Eco.
However, the diesel engine holds a few perks, most notably their ability to consistently outperform their EPA ratings. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI can reportedly reach 50 mpg on the highway with relative ease. Diesel engines also make more torque, with 258 ft-lbs on tap as well as 148 horsepower. Diesel engines are also known for their reliability and longevity, so if you’re in it for the long haul, the Cruze diesel could be a great long term investment.
But if you take things at face value, and factor in the higher cost of diesel fuel, then you could be looking at it taking a century or more to get a return-on-investment. The 2.0 liter diesel can also run up to a 20% blend of biodiesel (B20) but requires a refill on the urea fluid every 10,000 miles to keep that clean diesel clean. Perhaps once GM offers a “stripper” model sans the leather seats and big wheels at a lower cost, the Cruze diesel might make more sense…and cents.
While European automakers like Volkswagen have not been shy about importing diesel engines from Europe, Ford has been coy, even going so far as to say diesels don’t “make sense” for America. But the Blue Oval seems to have changed its mind with the announcement that the Ford Transit van will be available with a 3.2 liter 5-cylinder diesel engine right here in North America.
The press release doesn’t specifically say the U.S., though the engine will be installed in Ford’s Claycomo, Missouri assembly plant, which received a $1.1 billion investment to build the new Transit van. The Transit van will also be one of the only vans on the market available with a turbocharged engine in the form of an EcoBoost motor.
The 3.2 liter DuraTorq engine option is good news for Ford fans, who were limited to diesel offerings in Ford’s big Super Duty pickups. Rated at 197 horsepower and 347 ft-lbs of torque, in the global Ford Ranger platform this engine has enough power to tow a locomotive…literally.
Alas, Ford still doesn’t seem to have any plans on bringing the Ranger to America. Yet a fuel-efficient five-cylinder diesel engine is a great first step to re-introducing America to the potential of clean diesel. The engine is also expected to be B20 biodiesel compatible,and in the Ranger can deliver an average of 28 mpg, though some drivers have reported 35 mpg or more during testing.
Diesel is making a comeback in America…and even Ford is getting on board.
While some people may scoff at the notion of using seaweed and pond scum to power our vehicles, the potential for algae to replace petroleum as a sustainable fuel source is there. Last week four San Francisco Bay-area gas stations began selling a biodiesel blend of 20% algae-sourced fuel at market rates.
The B20 biodiesel fuel comes from Propel Fuels, with 20% of the diesel sourced from sustainable algae. The price of $4.25 a gallon is on par with regular diesel fuels, and will soon go on sale at four gas stations around the Bay area. It can be run on any standard diesel-power car with no modifications.
The algae fuel is better for the environment both at the production and emissions level. Algae grows on a steady diet of CO2 and sunlight, therefore absorbing some of the carbon dioxide it puts back into the air. The fuel itself also emits 30% less particulates, 20% less carbon monoxide, and 10% fewer hydrocarbons.
While an important step, the limited scope of the initial sale means limited availability. However, algae could become an important player should oil prices skyrocket. Right now you can find Propel biodeisels and E85 ethanol blends in 29 different gas stations across California. They eventually hope to offer their fuel in hundreds of stations across the Golden State. But will algae-based biodiesel ready for prime time should an oil crunch hit?
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle
The Land Down Under has many unique muscle cars, chief among them the classic Ford Falcon XR. No doubt most of these cars guzzle more than their fair share of petrol, but at least one Aussie businessman is taking green to a new level. He has built a beautiful, biodiesel-powered 1967 Falcon XR that uses almost entirely recycled parts. He calls it “ZERO’D.”
The idea of a completely-recycled muscle car comes from Mick Fabar, owner of the Green Homes Australia. He wanted to build an eco-friendly luxury muscle car that combined his passion for horsepower with the undeniable coolness of going green.
To that end Fabar took one of Australia’s most iconic muscle cars, the 1967 Ford Falcon XR (not to be confused with our own Ford Falcon; same name, different car) and dropped a 7.3 liter Ford Powerstroke turbodiesel engine into it. Fabar and his crew then converted the Powerstroke to accept a B20 biodiesel blend, which is 20% sustainably-sourced diesel. That is enough to reduce exhaust emissions by up to 70%, even though the engine still produces in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower.
That’s at least a decent effort at going green…but more importantly, Fabar insisted that his team use as many recycled parts, inside and out. That meant finding second-hand body panels, and stitching together the leather seats with scrap leather that are normally not used. This is the next level of going green with your car. The name “ZERO’D” certainly applies to this ‘67 Falcon.
Though America has shared its love of gas-guzzling muscle machines with the world, automobiles are actually one of the most-recycled products you can buy. Major automakers like Ford are going the extra mile to include sustainable materials in every aspect of car production. It is a trend that is also starting to catch on with many aftermarket shops and automotive tuners, who are encountering customers that want to make more than just a statement on the drag strip.
Ethanol Nissan GT-Rs, propane Mustangs, and CNG supercars are all being used by drivers across a multitude of sports. To see these fuels and conservation trends trickling down to muscle cars, which I think are fair to call the poster boys of air pollution, is very encouraging. Sure, the ZERO’d Ford Falcon is all the way in Australia…but maybe its time we learned a thing or two from the Aussies.