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Sustainable V8 sports car project aims to make muscle car carbon neutral

The British Motor Show and sustainable fuel company Coryton are aiming to demonstrate that a 5.0-litre V8 high-performance sports car be run carbon neutral.

When it comes to sustainable car choices, most people don’t think of a 5.0-litre V8 muscle car. The British Motor Show is hoping to change perceptions by running a Ford Mustang for six months using Coryton ‘Sustain’ biofuel to see if an old-school muscle car can clean up its act.

Using Sustain – a second-generation biofuel that uses agricultural waste such as straw or by-products from farming, food production or forestry, recycling carbon from the atmosphere – the team behind the show will be running the 5.0-litre V8 Ford Mustang, covering over 1,000 miles a month promoting the event around the UK.

As well as using the Sustain fuel, the ‘Sustainable V8 Project’ Mustang will also be run on sustainable oils, use eco tyres and will be maintained using reuseable service parts or second-life spare parts when needed.

“Let’s make one thing clear from the outset – we’re big fans of electric cars, they are the future for sustainable motoring,” said Andy Entwistle, CEO of The British Motor Show.

“However, for some people they may not be able to change yet, they may live in an unsuitable location, such as an apartment block, can’t afford a new EV or maybe they don’t want to lose their fantastic classic. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to be more environmentally friendly, so we want to know how sustainable they can be in their motoring here and now.”

The team will be keeping a diary of all energy, fuel and parts used over the six months and calculating the carbon footprint, which will be offset at the end of the year. The team will also calculate the cost to do this against running a Mustang normally and also against the cost of running a conventional EV.

Ford Mustang Coryton Inline 1

Image credit: British Motor Show

The team will deliver regular updates before revealing the results at this year’s British Motor Show in August, looking at how close they managed to get to running an EV and how much more sustainable biofuel is compared to regular petroleum.

“We want to know if you can run a V8-powered car sustainably,” added Entwistle. “This will be of real interest to classic, performance and supercar fans, as even the most ardent petrolheads still want to make a difference, plus the low ethanol content of Coryton’s fuel will make it much safer for use in classic cars than standard E10 petrol.”

Coryton is a leading supplier of advanced sustainable fuels, creating special blend products using agricultural waste, including waste from crops that wouldn’t be used for consumption, and capturing carbon from the atmosphere to generate 100 per cent fossil-free fuel.

The fuel operates in the same way as conventional petrol – direct from pump into tank – while the company also produces specialist sustainable fuels for motor sport.

David Richardson, Coryton’s business development director, said: “We’re delighted to be working with The British Motor Show on this project. We want to demonstrate to people how effective sustainable fuel can be – products are ready now which can be dropped into any type of engine – and how there’s no lack of performance while there are significant savings in greenhouse gases compared to traditional fossil fuels. If we can show what can be achieved with just one car, imagine what could be achieved across the whole fleet?

“There are 36 million existing cars on the UK’s roads and we need to be tackling those emissions now. Sustainable fuel can reduce those, while EV technology and infrastructure is given the time it needs to develop. The internal combustion engine (ICE) is often seen as the problem, but in reality it is the fossil fuels consumed that render the ICE harmful to the environment. It’s our belief that we need a range of solutions working together to help meet our net-zero target and that sustainable fuels could play a significant role.”

Ford Mustang Coryton Inline 2

Image credit: British Motor Show

The sustainable V8 project was launched in conjunction with Sam Hard, founder of Hard-Up garage and well-known on YouTube, as well as across the classic car and muscle car scene.

Hard said: “I’ve loved American muscle cars all my life, so to see a way forward that allows you to run one sustainably, with renewable fuels and without having to modify it in any way, is a real boost for car fans everywhere.”

The British Motor Show 2023 takes place at Farnborough International on 17-20 August 2023.

The Ford Mustang has been a very popular sports car for decades and has been in continuous production since 1964. While the seventh generation of the classic-style petrol-driven V8 model was presented at the Detroit Motor Show in September 2022, Ford also has a new all-electric crossover Mustang model, the Mach-E, in its line-up.

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