New Prodrive rally biofuel offers hope for petrol enthusiasts

After testing on FIA rallies and the Dakar, Prodrive’s new biofuel will be developed for road cars

Prodrive, the British motorsport specialist, has announced its FIA Cross Country Rally cars will be powered by a new eco-friendly biofuel during this year’s racing season. The firm’s Dakar rally racers will also use the same fuel when the event kicks off in January 2022.

The company partnered with Coryton Advanced Fuels for the project, developing its own strain of sustainable fuel which promises to slash the greenhouse gas emissions of its race cars by 80 per cent, compared to running on conventional unleaded petrol.

What’s more, Prodrive’s racing cars don’t require any modifications to accept the biofuel – it’s a direct replacement for normal petrol in the car’s standard fuel tank. The company has already tested the fuel on its Hunter T1+ Dakar racer, using a completely standard engine, and has seen no change in performance.

Prodrive hopes its use of eco-fuels in motorsport will demonstrate the feasibility of the fuel in standard production vehicles, as well as giving the technology a global stage on which to highlight the emissions benefits. The sustainable fuel is manufactured from a blend of processed agricultural waste and efuels created by capturing carbon from the atmosphere.

Once its rally and Dakar racing pursuits are out of the way, Prodrive also plans to run a near-identical blend of the eco-fuel in some of its road cars and further prove the technology – the firm says the fuel should be compatible with almost any petrol-powered vehicle.

David Richards, chairman of Prodrive, said: “I am a great advocate of motorsport taking the lead in developing, proving and promoting new technologies that can help address climate change.

“Covering thousands of miles across the toughest terrains, the Dakar and the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies are the perfect environment to showcase the benefits of the next generation of sustainable fuels and demonstrate that they can be used in road vehicles to reduce the use of fossil fuels, while still offering the same performance and range.”

Much larger companies than Prodrive have also jumped on the synthetic fuel bandwagon. Porsche has already started to industrialise the carbon-capturing efuel process, recently breaking ground on its new CO2-neutral fuel plant in Chile. Like Prodrive, the German brand will also use its fuel in motorsport first to demonstrate its efficacy.

Click here to read all about Porsche’s new CO2-neutral fuel plant in Chile… 

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