Dodge Viper Wilmington NC

An E85-powered Dodge Viper in Wilmington broke the world speed record for a street car in the standing mile. The Viper owned by Karl Jacob reached speeds of 220.7 miles per hour from a standstill in a one-mile run.

D & J Dodge Chrysler Jeep
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Dodge Viper

E85-powered Viper Breaks Speed Record

Author: Anthony Fontanelle

In an industry where eco-friendliness is very much sought after, the presence of bio-ethanol is a promise of better things to come. Automakers have been under pressure for years now to produce environment-friendly vehicles. In order to meet this demand, automobile manufacturers have developed technologies which use alternative fuel and an example of which is E85 - a combination of bioethanol and gasoline.

One problem encountered though by carmakers and consumers as well is the scarcity of refueling stations offering E85. But in terms of popularity, E85 is gaining ground which was recently given a boost when an E85-powered Dodge Viper broke the world speed record for a street car in the standing mile.

The eco-friendly Viper is owned by wealthy entrepreneur Karl Jacob. According to experts, the record set by Jacob’s E85-powered Viper proves that power and performance does not need to be sacrificed for environmental concerns.

The Viper’s engine produces as much as 1,200 horsepower which enabled the car to reach speeds of 220.7 miles per hour in just one mile of running. That mile was covered by the alternative fuel-powered Viper in just 27.41 seconds. The record was set at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan. The Viper eclipsed the former record of 217.85 miles per hour record set by a gasoline-powered car.

“Going green does not have to mean going slow,” said Jacob. “We built this car to break the world speed record and bring attention to the importance of renewable fuels. These fuels decrease our dependence on oil and reduce overall emissions. As we've demonstrated E85 enables us to go green and go fast.”

The car was made by Ron Misjak Jr. who works for SVS, an aftermarket vehicle modification company based in Chicago. The company specializes in computer controlled engine management which is one of the focal points in the development of the Dodge Viper SRT-10. Although the Viper may have components better in quality than other Dodge auto models, the reliability of Dodge auto components such as the Dodge Neon shifter is also evident on the E85-powered Viper.

In the process of developing the Viper, Jacob and Misjak realized that E85 does not only provide high performance but optimal performance as well. Thus the choice of fuel for the Viper was solved. In the circle of performance cars, the Viper is not the only car to run on E85. The Indy Racing League has also realized the potential of E85 and has made it the official fuel of the league starting with the 2007 season. Aside from this, Volvo also fields E85 powered cars in races in Europe.

The record, of course, is welcome news for groups advocating the widespread use of the alternative fuel. “We are pleased to see such support of this clean, renewable fuel in the great state of Michigan,” said Michelle Kautz, the deputy director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition. “We thank Mr. Jacob for his outstanding efforts and are proud to have him as a member of our coalition.”

Jacob concludes his quest by saying: “The E85 Viper project sets out to prove that we don't have to give up high performance cars in order to save the environment. In fact, we discovered during this project renewable fuel performs much better than today's gasoline... My first car was a 69 Mustang we bought for $750 and turned into a race car. This is the story of what happens when a kid who loves cars and the environment, grows up then builds an e85 powered Viper.”

About the Author:

Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

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