You may soon see a new fuel option at your local Shell stations. It’s dubbed Shell V-Power Nitro+ and the premium gasoline went on sale this week. To kick off the big day, Shell hosted an launch event in NYC featuring some cool cars along with special appearances from celebs andFormula 1 drivers.
So what exactly is this new concoction all about? Well, Shell claims the premium fuel will help vehicles perform better, reduce engine wear and improve efficiency.
“Nitro+ adds protection against wear and corrosion to the detergents our gasoline already contains,” said Shell researcher Ed Nelson. “Fuel comes in contact with moving metal parts in pumps, cylinder rings and injectors. Nitro+ reduces wear” by adhering to those parts. It also keeps water in gasoline from adhering to the metal parts to reduce corrosion.
Shell demonstrated reduced wear and corrosion with standard industry lab tests, Nelson said. The fuel also has more detergent properties to prevent waste buildup in the engine.
Note, there’s no need to use premium unless your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends or requires it. For instance, BMW now recommends Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline as the only premium fuel for use in its M Series vehicle line-up. Check your owner’s manual or the label inside the fuel door for your vehicle recommendations and read Jerry’s article on this subject under the Car Pro’s Q&A section.
It’s best when a company provides data to substantiate claims for a new product, of course, but Shell’s claims look plausible until there’s independent evidence to support or disprove them, independent experts say.
“Shell is taking their premium fuel and moving it up,” GM fuel specialist Bill Studzinski said. “Reducing wear can help maintain optimal performance through the vehicle’s life,” which will be increasingly important as tougher fuel economy and emissions standards come into play.
Lower internal friction could make vehicles more efficient, said Harold Schock, mechanical engineering professor and director of the energy and automotive research lab at Michigan State University.
“Half the friction in an engine comes from the cylinders and piston rings,” Schock said. “Reformulated fuel could make a difference” there and in high-pressure fuel injection systems.
Shell isn’t saying how much more V-Power Nitro+ will cost compared to other grades. Other grades of Shell gasoline will have lower amounts of the new chemicals. Shell hasn’t made any claims about their impact on engine wear and corrosion, or said anything about price changes for its regular and mid-grade gasoline. There’s no change to any of the fuels’ octane levels.
Photo Credit: Shell/Facebook