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Jaguar, Lotus to work on biofuel engine

Tom Armitage
Automotive News Europe
August 12, 2008 15:49 CET

Jaguar has partnered with Lotus Engineering to try to develop a better-performing biofuel engine.

Jaguar will act as a consultative partner on Lotus' Omnivore engine, a single-cylinder research unit that will be ready in January 2009. The engine uses a two-stroke, direct-injection architecture and is designed to optimize fuel efficiency from using sustainable bioalcohol fuels.

"Alcohols possess superior combustion characteristics to gasoline, which allow greater optimization," Group Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley said in a statement. "Taking full advantage of the benefits of sustainable bioalcohols will ensure a greater percentage of vehicle miles will be traveled using renewable fuels."

The need for current flexfuel engines to operate on gasoline limits their thermal efficiency when operating on sustainable fuels, Lotus says.

Lotus Engineering, a division of British sports car maker Lotus, has already developed several cars that run on sustainable fuels. In March, it unveiled the Exige 270E Tri-Fuel at the Geneva auto show. That engine runs on ethanol, gasoline or methanol.

The Omnivore project will also involve Queen's University of Belfast, the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland and the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lotus said.
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