The other week Shell invited me to the launch of their new fuels, Shell V-Power Nitro+ Unleaded and Diesel. The fuels hit UK forecourts on 18th April, completely replacing their predecessors, Shell V-Power Unleaded and Diesel, with their exciting new fuels technologies that your engine, either unleaded or diesel, will thank you for using.
Former BBC presenter Jake Humphrey was at the event to launch the new V-Power formulation to the press, and Shell’s scientists were on hand to tell us about it and to help us design our own F1 fuel for Ferrari – something which I’d previously had the chance to do when the Shell V-Power Network of Champions visited Thornton back in 2011.
The new Shell V-Power Nitro+ fuels have been designed to instantly get to work inside your engine on deposits that can reduce the performance of your car. With more than a century’s experience in fuels innovation, Shell’s top scientists have developed the new Unleaded formulation in partnership with Ferrari to contain 25% more Friction Modification Technology (FMT), something which Shell have been using in their race fuel for Ferrari for years. It is designed to instantly reduce friction in critical engine areas to help the engine turn more freely, unlocking valuable energy which can help lead to improved acceleration and power. As for their Diesel formulation, it contains Shell’s most powerful detergent technology to date. It has been specially formulated to deliver a faster and more effective clean-up of diesel fuel injection systems, which helps to restore and maintain engine power.
David Moss, Shell UK & Nordics Retail General Manager, says:
“Shell V-Power Nitro+ fuels come with a racing seal of approval having been inspired by the Shell Technical Partnership with Ferrari, the titans of Formula One racing. At Shell, we are committed to making better fuels for our customers. Formula One helps us to deliver those better products.
“Our Shell V-Power Nitro+ fuels are the result of over 60 years of innovation and shared passion for performance with Ferrari in the motorsports arena and we’re excited about giving UK drivers the opportunity to try them for themselves and experience just what these new fuels can do.”
To celebrate the launch, I went down to Battersea Power Station in London to learn about the new fuels and to take part in a Fiat 500 Abarth challenge which involved a series of manoeuvres, driving around some cones, into a tight garage and reversing out of the garage and back into the starting bay as quickly as possible without hitting anything – not as easy as I first thought it would be. Jake Humphrey also took part in the challenge and after a time penalty for hitting the cones, I’m pleased to say I beat him by 6 seconds! For those of you in the UK (sorry to those of you anywhere else in the world) who want to see a video from the launch, visit: www.shell.co.uk/vpower.
I had a chat with Jake Humphrey at the event, and this was what he had to say about his involvement in the day…
“I’m fascinated by just how closely linked Shell’s V-Power Nitro+ fuels are with Formula One fuel. I’ve always been one of those sceptics when I’ve been to the petrol station in the past and I’ve seen the more expensive fuel and the regular grade fuel, and I’ve thought ‘is that stuff really going to make a difference to my car?’, and I’ve just used the regular stuff. So when Shell rang and said ‘do you want to know what the difference is and what is does for your engine’, I said ‘yes, show me and convince me’ and they absolutely did.
“We went to Hamburg where they create every drop of fuel for the Ferrari cars and where they developed this new fuel. There, not only are Shell working really closely with someone on the F1 programme on the Wednesday and on a Thursday they’re working on the road car fuel so the two are intrinsically linked, but they’re spending Formula One level money, billions, on developing this fuel. They showed me some internals of some engines and they showed me the actual workings of the cars and the difference from using the Nitro+ fuel and using your regular fuel is unbelievable. I’ve always thought that because people can’t see inside the engines of their cars they just assume everything is fine and its only when you see those cameras inside an engine block you realise the difference it actually makes.
“I also like the fact that when I fill up my car now, I know that the fuel I’m using is 99% the same as what Fernando Alonso is using, so if I’m late getting to work it’s not because the fuel isn’t quick enough, it’s because my driving isn’t quick enough or the roads in London are bad!
“I just think Shell should be celebrated for 500 races or more with Ferrari, over 100 victories with them, and for being the first company to bring out a fuel specifically for motor racing. They’ve done a lot for motor racing over the years and I’m proud to be involved.”
I know what Jake means. Call me a geek, but from what I learnt in Thornton about the way in which Shell V-Power looks after your car’s engine, I too find fuels technology fascinating and it definitely makes me think about the fuel I put in my own car.