One of the stars of this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) auto show in Las Vegas was a Mazda Miata MX-5 Spyder.
The vehicle was tricked out with fancy after-market bling, such as a fancy new red Haartz soft top, performance tires, and 17-inch, 10-spoke rims.
But the real interest lay under the hood and in the gas tank: powered by Mazda’s MZR 2.0-liter engine, the Spyder is fueled by BP’s isobutanol, a biofuel produced (like ethanol) from agricultural feedstock.
Many consider isobutanol a superior renewable fuel because it can be mixed into existing fuel distribution infrastructure without having to modify blending facilities, storage tanks or retail station pumps.
Also isobutanol reportedly does not compromise vehicle performance for the sake of fuel economy.
As proof, Mazda points to some isobutanol-fueled Spyders that have burned up racetracks in 2011: