In previous years, arguably the best product to come out of Pilipinas Shell was the high end Velocity brand of gasoline. A hit with consumers, the aforementioned brand gave vehicles power on demand thanks to additives that increased combustion and cleaned engine blocks from intake runner to exhaust manifold.

Now Shell has a new and better replacement for its high end gasoline brand. Billed as V-Power, this new high end brand of gasoline displays all the previous qualities of Velocity (and more), with a formulation that gives more performance while protecting the engine. And it has the racing pedigree to back it up the base fuel model is the same exact fuel used by the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Formula One (F1) racing team.

Performance and protection

V-Power features a three-pillar approach to getting the maximum potential out of one's car. The first is the base formula of the gasoline, which is the very same fuel used in each and every testing, qualifying and race session of the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro F1 racing team, albeit with minor changes to adapt to a broad scope of vehicles. The base "model" used locally is different than the V-Power base formulations in other countries, primarily because of the country's local transportation (private sector/personal automobile) powerplant needs. "The base formula for V-Power here is different than in, say, Germany, because the engines here are different than engines in Germany. Most European and German automobiles have engines with active knock sensors and usually require fuel with a 100 octane rating. In contrast, very few Philippine vehicles have active knock sensors, thus there is no need to create a 100 octane fuel. We just used 95 octane as the set level for V-Power in the country," said Shell global solutions fuel technology team manager (Asia-Pacific region) Eric Holthusen. And the fact that V-Power's bloodlines emanate from the Ferrari F1 experience makes using V-Power the closest one can get to the Formula One technical expertise on one's engine.

The second pillar is a detergent additive, deemed by Holthusen as the best in the market today. "The detergent additive creates a liquid film that cleans (or gets rid of deposits from) the different parts of the engine, including piston rings, valves, carburetors for older model vehicles and fuel injectors for modern engines. The cleaning benefits can be most felt with fuel injected engines because V-Power's detergent additive influences the injector nozzle's spray characteristics and unclogs areas within the inlet system that prevents air and fuel from combining in the right proportions. The deposits coming from years of using certain fuels acts like a sponge, absorbs fuel required when accelerating, allows a weak mixture of air and fuel into the combustion chamber and results in a significant loss of power and engine response. With V-Power, fuel injectors have a wider spray of fuel into each cylinder because of the unclogged nozzle spray areas," added Holthusen.

For those who have doubts about the effectiveness of V-Power's detergent additive, Holthusen claimed that testing done on several engines native to the ASEAN region (primarily Japanese inline four-cylinder and V6 engines) proved that even the most stubborn carbon deposits can be removed with the said gasoline. "One of our tests regarding V-Power's detergent additives were on Toyota engines with 2000 kilometers worth of engine deposits. We only used two tankfuls to thoroughly clean the engine, and another good news is that the test showed that it (V-Power) was able to successfully blend in with the gasoline previously consumed by the said engines, with no significant drop in performance," added Holthusen.

The third feature is Shell's unique friction modifier technology (FMT), which is an additive that creates a protective film that acts as a lubricant between rotating engine parts. The FMT clings to the metal surfaces of the different rotating parts of an automobile's engine, reducing metal-to-metal contact (better known as friction), preventing carbon deposit buildup in the engine internals and allowing engine parts to turn more freely. The effect is increased engine responsiveness and acceleration, along with increased engine protection. "But this is not a one time deal; V-Power's FMT needs constant renewal because the additive that contains FMT just stays on the metal surfaces. Over time and distance, the original protective coating from V-Power may be removed, so constant use of V-Power is recommended," said Holthusen.
Eco impact and fuel economy

Tree-huggers (or environmentalists) will be glad to know that V-Power is specified to comply with the legislated requirements of European fuel specifications, thus assuring those with Euro III or Euro IV-spec vehicles that V-Power is the perfect complement to their engine's performance. "Moreover, as V-Power helps restore performance, it should also generally improve the engine's efficiency, leading to reduced emissions," said Holthusen.

With regard to fuel economy, Shell claims that since V-Power is meant (and branded) as a high-performance fuel, fuel economy may take a backseat to spirited driving with regards to the use of the aforementioned gasoline. "V-Power is meant for those who enjoy driving, so we prioritized power and performance instead of formulating a do-it-all gasoline. Besides, if you put everything in one product, there definitely will be compromises. V-Power is meant to be strictly a performance fuel," claimed Holthusen.