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Shell petrol station displaying V-Power brand

Shell V-Power is the brand name given to Royal Dutch Shell's - aka Shell - enhanced high specification fuels for road motor vehicles.

Initially used for Super Unleaded petrol/gasoline, (formerly known as Optimax in some regions), it is now additionally used for high specification diesel fuel.

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V-Power petrol

Petrol or gasoline is assessed and categorised by an octane rating. Generally, in most areas of the world, the Research Octane Number (RON) is used, but in North America, the Anti-Knock Index (AKI) is used. Conventional 'standard' "Premium Unleaded" petrol in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia has an octane rating of 95 RON, and in North America it is AKI/RdON/PON 91-93 (RON 96–98). However, higher quality "Super Unleaded" usually has a higher octane rating, usually at around 98 RON in mainland Europe; however this varies by market. Most oil/petroleum companies now 'market' their own Super Unleaded petrols under a unique name - and the current name for Shell Super Unleaded fuel is "V-Power". Like most Super Unleaded petrols, V-Power also contains higher concentrations of detergents and other additives to help clean the engine and smooth its operation.

In the United Kingdom and Denmark (where Super Unleaded must be a minimum of 97 RON), V-Power has a rating of 99 RON (whereas V-Powers' predecessor Optimax was rated at 98 RON).

In The Netherlands, it has a 95 RON rating, although officials from Shell stated it is effective 97 RON, but classes are limited to 92 RON, 95 RON, 98 RON and 100 RON.[1]

In Australia, from October 2006, Shell and Coles Express re-branded Optimax to V-Power (98 RON). V-Power Racing, the ultra-high performance variant has a rating of 100 RON although as of July this is being phased out, instead recommending V Power. The previously obtainable higher grade V-Power Racing which contained 5% ethanol to boost V-Power's octane rating to 100 RON has now been phased out by Shell due to a "changing market".

In the United States (U.S.), at around 2004, all U.S. Shell gas "Premium" was rebranded as "V-Power". In 2008, Shell in the U.S. launched the new Nitrogen Enriched Shell V-Power.

In Hong Kong, V-Power sold reaches 107 RON 107; it is the highest native RON for consumer grade commercial petrol across worldwide.

In New Zealand, from 2007, Shell rebranded 95 Premium Unleaded as V-Power. It is still rated at 95 RON.

V-Power Diesel

V-Power Diesel is Shell's version of an enhanced diesel fuel. It is designed for modern diesel engines, to offer enhanced performance along with increased engine protection, for more consistent operation and engine longevity.[2]

V-Power Diesel is a blend of regular petroleum-based diesel and synthetic diesel, created using gas to liquids (GTL), along with some extra additives designed to clean the injection system and improve fuel pump and injector lubricity.

One characteristic of V-Power diesel is that it is a lot clearer and odorless than normal diesel, mainly due to the synthetic GTL component.

The fuel is slightly less dense than regular diesel so, per volume, the unit energy is actually lower than regular diesel. This is offset, as the fuel tends to burn more readily (and thus has a higher cetane rating) than regular diesel, and a side benefit of this is that it tends to produce less soot during combustion.

Anecdotal evidence shows that its performance varies depending on how an engine is set up. In most cases, it will make a rough-sounding engine run noticeably smoother, and can also alter the performance characteristics; typically some low-end torque is lost, but performance in the middle of the rev range and above is increased. In some engines however, particularly well-tuned common rail turbodiesels, very little effect can be seen or felt.

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