Mitsubishi Motors Corporation on Monday became the latest automaker to announce plans to launch a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) in Brazil.

It will launch there "within fiscal 2007" and is also developing models for the US market for a fiscal 2009 launch.

Mitsubishi also recently announced it would sell a 50-states-compliant turbodiesel in the US by 2010 and is developing a new turbodiesel for European models for which it currently uses Volkswagen, and soon, PSA engines.

"One of MMC's design objectives is to create vehicles that meet the requirements of the century of the environment," the automaker said in a statement.

"This can be seen in the MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative electric vehicle), a next generation electric car that is a core element in the company's environmental technology strategy, and can also be seen in the next generation diesel engine that is now under development.

"In addition to these initiatives, MMC and its local manufacturing and sales unit, MMC Automotores do Brasil (MMCB) have been developing a flexible fuel vehicle for the Brazil market. The FFV can run on petrol, ethanol, or a mixture of the two, and will be launched in the Brazil market within fiscal 2007.

"Practical FFV solutions are also in development for the US market, where a fiscal 2009 launch is planned."

The FFV system uses sensors to measure the concentration of oxygen in exhaust gas passing through a standard exhaust system. This determines the proportion of ethanol in the fuel, so that the amounts of fuel injected and the ignition spark timing can be optimised.

The engine can handle petrol-ethanol fuel mixtures with proportions of ethanol between 0% and 100%. The overall design achieves dynamic (engine) performance and environmental performance (fuel consumption and exhaust emissions) on a par with petrol vehicles, MMC claimed.