Ethanol-Powered Car Sets New Speed Record

Cindy Zimmerman

EcotecGM Performance Division’s Ecotec-powered Bonneville Student Project Chevy Cobalt SS set a 172.680 mph land speed record this month at the Bonneville Salt Flats in its final run using E85 ethanol.

The car was converted to run on E85 by three female engineering student interns – 19-year-old Heather Chemistruck from Virginia Tech University, 21-year-old Lauren Zimmer from Purdue University and 21-year-old Sandra Saldivar of New Mexico State University.

Running only on E85, the Student Project Cobalt broke the previous 19-year-old record of 152.626 mph set by Doc Jeffries in 1987, and then upped that record twice using E85 combined with nitrous oxide to its final mark of 172.680 mph in the G/FCC class, according to a release on the GM website.