Ferrari unveils ethanol-powered sports car


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DETROIT (Reuters) - Fill up your Ferrari at the farm?

The Italian luxury sports car maker unveiled a concept car on Monday that can run on ethanol which it said reflected its engineering expertise from Formula One racing and growing demand for alternative fuel vehicles in the United States.

The sleek Ferrari F430 Spider Biofuel, with green stripes on its silver bodywork, consumes an E85 -- 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline -- mix, a growing fuel blend in the U.S.

Ferrari chief executive Amedeo Felisa said during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show that the concept was part of the firm's efforts to reduce tailpipe emission levels by 40 percent by 2012.

Felisa said Ferrari had gleaned experience in using biofuel in Formula I because of regulations that competitors use gasoline with a 5.75 percent biomass content.

The FIA GT and American Le Mans Series racing organizations require 10 percent ethanol.

For the Spider Biofuel, Ferrari made some changes to the fuel injection system and to the engine's computer chip. The result was an increase in power output, with equal weight and a five percent decline in carbon dioxide emissions.

Ferrari, a unit of Fiat (FIA.MI), shipped 6,400 cars in 2007, up 14 percent on 2006.

Sales to the Asia Pacific rose 50 percent, with 177 cars delivered to China. Sales to the Middle East rose 32 percent.

The operating result was 15 percent of turnover, according to a company statement.

Razor Roman

That's nice. Fill it with ethanol and drive to an O&A event. Then watch Glenn Dandy and Tax Kuntz walk up to your gas tank with 2 straws.