• Apr 25th 2006 at 2:58PM
  • 65
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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Vivian Lindblad
      • 9 Years Ago
      What the hey! The queen and the rest of the Royal Family can afford it. I hope they think it is worth wasting the money on.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Just as a point of interest, Today's Formula 1 cars use 80 octane fuel - that is the lowest the FIA will allow them to go. Traditional thinking would lead you to believe that with a 2.4 litre engine that is putting out 750 HP and spinning 20,000 RPM you would want the highest octane number fuel you could find but this is not the case. The reason is that because they spin those engines so fast a slow burning, high octane fuel just would not have enough time to burn completely before the exhaust valve opens, much less burn in an efficient manner. The engines run what could basically be described as 'controlled detonation'.

      I learned this information from a colleage named Rick Gold who owns ERC racing fuels in northern california. He does not supply any F1 teams currently but he is extremely sharp. The point is, I didn't pull this info out of my butt.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thats just for the rich, We poor folk just get by and thats all.
      And the rich dont care about us poor folk at all.
      I pray they change before they die, God help them if they dont.
      • 9 Years Ago
      F1 Race Fuel!
      Bring it on. Back when they converted to unleaded fuel I drove a 340 AAR Cuda with 13.5 to 1 compression. It need 92 octane pump gas just to idle around town. My race fuel was made by CAM2. At that time only Merrit stations had 92, but only sometimes. We only had two Merrit staions, and one of them was too far away. In a few months time I ruined that engine using the only fuel I could get which was only 87. That race engine would spark knock at idle on 87. I put in a bone stock 340 out of a 68 4 speed Dart. It would run somewhat on 87, but it felt to be about 350 horses short of a full boat. To put that another way, I went from 9.69 in the quarter to 14.8.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Didn't Sunoco have a Octane Grade of close to 98 years ago? I kind of remember Sunoco having a super high Octane. ~Thanks~
      mike kelley
      • 9 Years Ago
      high octane fuel is made to make engine cooler there for incresing the way the enginr can be ran ie harder without blowing the engine ie higher rpms can be used.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This company should have a heavy tax for contributing to our dire shortages of earth resources and encouraging irresponsible behaviors. This tax should be distributed to companies in earnest research of economical fuel resources world wide.
      • 9 Years Ago
      i have to agree with #20 octane determines the rate of burn, the only time an engine benefits from such octane is if the engine was built for such fuel.and at 16 dollars a gallon???no way. and by the way,has anyone heard of the profit exxon has made in the last quarter?8 BILLION DOLLARS!!! does anyone else see something funny there?i think this whole gas price thing is sickening anyone that makes that kind of money and claims gas shortage or shipping cost or whatever it is,they certainly could lower the cost substancially and still make a profit , just my opionion.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Don't they actually do this because they have to use 'pump fuel' in F1? I heard that Shell just came up with a new fuel for the F1, so I don't find the announcement too surprising.


      • 9 Years Ago
      VP and Sunoco race fuel is already over $12 per gallon here in the USA, and we dont have the draconian fuel tax that Great Britain does.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What's wrong with the timing? This would have the same market niche as always.

      Fuel economy / price isn't a consideration to the people who carry Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Porsche keys in their pockets.

      But anyone posting to an automotive blog would already know that, right?
      Carl Brown
      • 9 Years Ago
      If we want to give the common people a break from high gas prices, why doesn't the administration force the EPA to lift their ban on the importation of the volks-wagon mfg in Germany that is a diesel/electric thar is getting from 99 to 105 mpg. Why doesn't the EPA lift their ban on the Smart Car mfg by Mercedes/Benz being
      impoted by and sold in Canada that has a diesel engine that is getting 75 mpg. Seems to me our government and the EPA works for the domestic auto and oil industry. Anyone have an answer for this?
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