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It used to be that an average stock class drag car was a fast street car. Now it is a fast drag car is a fast street car. It makes sense. The trap speeds of a quick quarter mile car are plenty good for top speeds on a street car and the street car is set up for max acceleration on street tires.Neck snapping fun with a stab of the throttle. Four tires smoking with high torque all wheel drive.

It was a segment on a TV show about factory hybrid high performance that got my attention about new mega torque electric motors. Combustion turbines, steam engines and electric motors all have the characteristic of max torque at zero RPM.The renewed interest in alternative fuels points to yet another performance opportunity. Ethanol powered hybrids are not only economical but totally green.If we must all be tailpipe sniffers, nothing is sweeter to my mind than ethanol exhaust.

Ethanol is a high octane fuel and higher still if it is pre vaporized for fast burn power. High octane allows us to substantially increase static compression, maximum and average torque.The nature of hybrid operation says to use RV and truck style valve timing to keep peak torque at as low an engine RPM as possible.

Less fuel to produce peak torque, power electric drive motors and recharge batteries.For a drag car you only need battery capacity for peak power over 10 to 14 seconds. Why would we need any more for a street car, except to run the combustion engine less frequently, which increases vehicle weight and energy requirements?.

The high compression approach also has a down side. To exceed a static compression ratio on most engines, of 9 or 10 to one requires pop up, domed pistons which have a negative effect on flame travel, therefore, efficiency and torque. Now superchargers look better, especially turbos.

You can use a smaller engine. Less than half the piston displacement. The high octane will allow at least an atmosphere of boost or 15 PSI, maybe 25 PSI.

Tailor the turbo size to make max boost at the same speed the engine makes max torque and we have a tire fryer with maximum fuel economy when we are not frying tires.Since the turbo would be relatively small, it would spool up very quickly and eliminate the need for dual turbos on anything but an all out race car. When the engine is at anything less than full load, the turbo makes the engine more efficient than the same engine, naturally aspirated. In my mind's eye, alcohol fueled turbo hybrids are truly the hot ticket.For the low budget hot rodder, an alcohol fueled, turbo charged, non electric combustion engine makes more sense from an environmental standpoint than any other conventional power plant. A small engine with lots of available boost just sips fuel under idle and cruise conditions, which is 99% of sane driving.

For the other 1%, big engine power is on tap. These are exciting times for enthusiasts of every stripe, no?.

.Ed Howes sought and found, knocked and entered. Now he sees things differently. To see more of what he sees, please visit http://www. or do an author search here at Ezine Articles.

By: Ed Howes

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