In what must be one of the most ill-timed product launches in history, British Petroleum has chosen a time of record pump prices to launch a new brand of ultra-premium fuel that retails for nearly $20 a gallon in the U.K. (that's about $16.32 per U.S. gallon).

BP's new Ultimate 102 boasts an octane rating of - you guessed it - 102, and is made in limited quantities by BP's Specialty Fuels Technology Centre, using the same techniques used to craft Formula 1 race fuel.

What's the point? The high-octane fuel typically boosts power output on modern performance cars by between 4 and 7.5 percent over BP's standard Ultimate 97, provided your ride is willing and able to remap its ignition and/or increase turbo boost.

Ultimate 102 has its own minisite here, and (this must be a first) the fuel will soon have its own blog here. The product is only available in the U.K., at least for now.

[Source: BP]