Flex-Fuel Ferrari? So What? Makes No Difference At All

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2012 Ferrari FF

2012 Ferrari FF

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Ferraris aren't typically known for their green credentials.

In fact, they tend to be known for everything but green credentials: High performance, for example. High-revving V-8 and V-12 engines. Being painted very, very red. Not being painted green.

Most methods of extracting greater power from the 2012 Ferrari FF's 6.3-liter, 650-horsepower V-12 probably aren't very green either. Unless, says AutoBlogGreen, it's been converted to run on bio-ethanol.

One Norwegian firm is offering to convert customer FFs to E85 bio-ethanol, raising power to 875-horsepower and dropping carbon emissions by a claimed 80 percent. That the conversion costs a little under $2,000 at today's exchange rates sounds too good to be true.

Except that, for most customers worldwide, it's utterly pointless.

Not the extra performance, you understand, though we're not quite sure who takes a 650-horsepower supercar and thinks "You know... it just feels a bit... sluggish".

No, the real problem is that, save for a few countries in Scandinavia, E85 bio-ethanol is largely unavailable - or at least, very rare. In the United States, it's difficult to find anything above E10 - even E15 is hugely controversial, over worries about what it may do to some components in older engines.

So it all comes back to the same problems we had with the 2012 Bentley Continental Supersports a few years ago, which Bentley designed to run on enthanol. This is great for territories in which ethanol is widely available, like Sweden, but largely irrelevant everywhere else, where it isn't.

What we actually have here then, is an un-warranted, 875-horsepower work of art that you can't use.

Or, you can buy a regular 650-horsepower FF that you can use... but won't be able to convert to run on bio-ethanol.

A bio-ethanol-powered Ferrari FF then: One step forward, two steps back...

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