UK firm launches "biofuel" for classic cars – with an eye-watering price tag

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A UK petrol company has launched a new ‘biofuel’ which it claims is designed to work in classic cars – but the emissions-reducing petrol blend comes at a hefty premium compared to unleaded from the regular fuel bowser.

British start-up Coryton markets its biofuels – which contain a blend of unleaded petrol and bio-organic compounds from agricultural waste – as ‘Sustain Classic’, claiming it can reduce tailpipe emissions of classic cars by “at least 65 per cent”.

While the company’s focus is selling its fuel to classic-car owners, it does not say why its product works better in older vehicles than existing biofuels – or regular unleaded petrol – on the market.

Coryton sells three ‘levels’ of biofuels: ‘Super 33’ and ‘Super 80’ contain 98-octane unleaded petrol and 33 to 80 per cent renewable content respectively, while the company’s flagship ‘Racing 50’ is a blend of 102-octane motorsport fuel and 50 per cent renewables.

However, Coryton’s biofuels come at a substantial mark-up compared to ‘regular’ 98-octane petrol in the UK and Australia.

Super 33 starts at £3.80 ($7.25) per litre and Super 80 costs £4.65 ($8.85) per litre – with Racing 50 setting buyers back £5.24 ($10) per litre.

Despite its high price, Coryton has secured a contract to supply its biofuels to at least one high-profile client in the UK, with the British division of Japanese car-maker Mazda now using the petrol to run its fleet of heritage vehicles.

In a media statement, Mazda UK said its press vehicle fleet – which includes 15 cars, from an classic RX-3 rotary coupe to MX-5 convertibles from the 1990s and 2000s – will be filled with Super 80 “each time the cars are driven or loaned to media”.

There are also just two ‘sustainable’ fuels available from petrol stations in Australia: E10 – which is the most common and contains 10 per cent ethanol – and E85, the latter of which is mainly used in modified high-performance cars. With both E10 and E85, a car’s fuel economy is also reduced due to ethanol containing lower energy levels than petrol.

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