BP had a display at the Brisbane Motor Show promoting their Ultimate Unleaded high octane fuel as improving performance and so reducing fuel consumption. BP Ultimate Unleaded has an octane rating of 98 in comparison to regular unleaded fuel in Australia has an octane rating of 91. Ultimate Unleaded also has three times less sulphur than regular unleaded plus engine cleaning additives resulting in cleaner emissions and more effective and complete combustion.
BP's display had a modified GM Holden Monaro where half the cylinders of the V8 engine were fed regular unleaded, while the other half were simultaneously fed Ultimate Unleaded. Used fuel intake valves had been removed from the engine to display the build up of carbonaceous deposits on the regular unleaded valves compared to the virtually clean Ultimate Unleaded valves. TVs also displayed video of the inside of the fuel intake manifold where again, the regular unleaded had coated the walls with carbonaceous deposits in comparison to the clean walls of the Ultimate Unleaded manifold.
In terms of actual performance results and fuel efficiency benefits, BP says that "Ultimate Unleaded can give you up to 8.3 percent more power, with an average power gain of 5.9 percent. Ultimate Unleaded can increase fuel economy by up to 4.2 percent with an average benefit of 2.8 percent."
Analysis: BP sells their Ultimate Unleaded product at a significant premium over regular unleaded so buyers need to be convinced of the benefits. Lower sulphur emissions and better performance is a good place to start - after all, 2.8 percent really adds up on millions of barrels of oil.