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Porsche Says It's Working on Synthetic Fuels That'll Be as Clean as Electric Power

Road & Track logo Road & Track 2021-02-23 Mack Hogan
a car parked on the side of a road: The company is planning to trial a synthetic fuel that could work in modern internal-combustion engines with no modifications. © DW Burnett The company is planning to trial a synthetic fuel that could work in modern internal-combustion engines with no modifications.

The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 represents the pinnacle of naturally aspirated performance, with a stratospheric redline and 503 free-roaming horsepower. It's the latest in a long line of phenomenal Porsche internal combustion engines, from the cammy charmer in the 1967 Porsche 911 S to the underappreciated insanity of the 918 Spyder hybrid's rev-happy V-8. This is a company that's built a business around great engines and it's not quite ready to give up on them yet.

Electrification, as we know, is coming. Porsche's not hiding from that. The Taycan is among the best electric cars on sale and will surely be followed by more engaging and exciting EVs. Yet Porsche's Vice President of Motorsport and GT cars Dr. Frank Walliser thinks there's still a future for the internal-combustion Porsche. It just requires a cleaner fuel than gasoline.


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The company, Walliser told Evo Magazine, is planning to trial new synthetic e-fuels starting in 2022. Wallister believes that they can reduce the carbon footprint of the fuel by around 85 percent. If that's achieved, he says that e-fueled internal combustion cars can match the full life cycle emissions of an EV when you factor in manufacturing costs. Plus, they should work in Porsche's current generation of internal-combustion cars, meaning you won't need to retrofit your GT3.

That doesn't mean it'll become a one-to-one replacement for gasoline, though. E-fuels still require massive amounts of research and investment to get off the ground. And there's no guarantee that we'll ever be able to make them as clean as promised, as cheap as gasoline, or as widely available as electricity. But for those who still want the thrill of a high-revving naturally aspirated car, hopefully they'll provide a sustainable, long-term way to make that happen.

Via reddit.com/r/cars.

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