Home > About > HPF News > Green Power! VE E85 Flex-Fuel

Can a modified performance car be more powerful as well as be fuel efficient, environmentally friendly and run on a fuel that costs less than unleaded? The answer is, with the new VE range yes it most certainly can.

One of the highlights of the Series II VE Commodores is the addition of a sensor in the fuel system that detects the ethanol content in the fuel supply. This value is interpreted by the ECU which in turn adjusts the fuel and ignition maps to suit. Like many functions of the factory ECU these maps can be adjusted as part of a comprehensive custom tune. In basic terms we are able to adjust the maximum additional ignition advance for E85 fuel and it will dynamically adjust this value depending on the ethanol content of the fuel cocktail in the tank. This is great news for early adopters of E85 as the benefits of E85 can be enjoyed whilst still being perfectly safe in adapting to ordinary petrol should an E85 source not be available at the time.

This certainly sounds good in theory but are the real world results for a modified car just as impressive. HPF recently did an upgrade on a active fuel management, flex-fuel compatible VEII SSV which consisted of a dual 3” cat back exhaust system, over the radiator style cold air intake and a custom dyno tune. Prior to the aforementioned modification the car reeled off just a touch over 200kw at the rear wheels, which with a calculated drive train loss of around 25% is actually a little over the 260kw figure Holden quotes for an automatic SSV.

With the exhaust and intake bolted on and optimisation of the fuel and ignition maps performed to suit 98 octane premium the power figured jumped to a very healthy 230kw at the wheels, or a bit over 300kw at the flywheel, a gain of around 15%. After replacing the 98 octane fuel with Caltex E-Flex E85 straight from the pump and modifying the corrective tables, specifically adding some spark advance, the peak power output jumped to a tad over 240kw. This amounts to around a 5% peak benefit, with gains realised along the entire rev range.

Whilst the power gains are apparent, the real difference is felt at the fuel pump, with (at the time of writing) 98 Octane premium being around $1.30 a litre mark and E85 at $1.00 a litre. The down side; E85 has a lower energy value than petrol so you will use more of it, claims of as much as 30% extra being touted, however figures as low as 5% on the highway (Motor Magazine Dec10) and as much as 20% under heavy use (HPF dyno testing & racing) are probably more realistic.

Environmentally E85 offers a significant improvement being that the ethanol component is derived from plant matter which in itself absorbs carbon dioxide, Holden are claiming a reduction of 20 to 40% in C02 emissions with E85.

Power +5%
Price -30%
Usage +20%
C02 -30%

Also worth noting is the additional fuel saving and environmental benefit on automatic vehicles which are equipped with Holdens Active Fuel Management system which temporarily de-activates four of the eight cylinders in certain driving conditions when less engine power is required.

In summary HPF, Holden and E85 can give more power, cost you less and be better for the environment. Win, win and win.

Click for information on HPF’s range of proven power packages for VE Commodores

More Information:

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HPF Warranty

HPF power packages are warranted for the parts and services installed by HPF. Please contact us for more information.

Additional Notes

  • We recommend all vehicles coming to HPF for tuning run 98 Octane fuel. Please contact us if you have a need to use different fuel.
  • Power figures listed are estimated kilowatts at the flywheel based on results typically obtained by HPF on HPF’s dynos. Typically these are based of a manual vehicle with standard driveline and standard wheels and tyres. Actual power can vary based on each specific vehicle.
  • Modifications such as this package require the vehicle to be in excellent mechanical order.
  • We advise against increasing the power output substantially on high kilometer engines, if your engine has in excessive of 150,000kms please contact us to discuss options.
  • Whilst every attempt is made to ensure prices listed online are correct, they are subject to change at any time.
  • Additional parts may be required in some cases depending on the condition of the vehicle. Cost of these parts and additional labor required may incur additional cost.

5 Comments please add yours...

  1. avatar

    Hi HPF,
    I have a VE SS with full bolt on mods and an ls3 cam, 3.9s and 2200 stall, what is needed to run a eflex fuel sensor to run e85 like s2?

    • avatar

      Hi Harry, You would need to upgrade the fuel system to an E85 Pump setup, Wire in a Flex fuel sensor and set it up in the ECU and then re-tune it suit.

  2. avatar

    Hi guys i’m the lucky owner i would like to say thanks for a job well done extremely happy and the information is very informative once again well done

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