Fiat do Brasil has sent a Palio fitted with a flex-fuel system engine to China for demonstration to government and local car company executives during the current visit of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The Brazilian government team is hoping to negotiate a deal with China to export vehicle alcohol fuel technology. Since the 1970s Brazil has continually developed the technology, which uses fuel based on ethanol produced from sugar cane. Having introduced the engine technology to China, the Brazilian government also expects to export the fuel there.

Fiat and Magnetti Marelli executives are taking advantage of the government visit to show off the benefits of a car that can run on petrol, alcohol or a blend of the two.

The Fiat Palio demonstrated in China has a 1.3-litre eight-valve flex-fuel engine developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli and has been sold in Brazil since the end of 2003.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, Bosch is presenting its flex-fuel technology to a group of visiting Chinese car company chiefs.

In Brazil, Bosch supplies its flex-fuel system for some Volkswagen and General Motors models while Magneti Marelli supplies Volkswagen and Fiat. Delphi also supplies flex-fuel systems for some GM models.

Rogerio Louro