Shell V-Power: Not just for performance cars

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The practice of putting premium, high-octane fuels in performance cars is well established, but what’s not so well known is that it’s still very much worth filling up any car with Shell V-Power. 


As you rack up the miles in your car, your engine is getting dirtier without you realising. Performance-robbing deposits may start to build up on critical engine components when using regular fuels. For conventional petrol-engined cars, this means the intake valves, while for more modern petrol and diesel units, it’s the fuel injectors. 

In older port-injection petrol engines, these deposits form on the back of inlet valves, acting like a sponge, soaking up fuel that would otherwise go into the engine. Injector deposit build-up is a particular issue for modern engines using direct injection, which involves placing the injector inside the combustion chamber, a harsh environment that can accelerate the collection of unwanted deposits. 

Shell’s tests have shown that these deposits rob both an engine’s performance and its efficiency, which is why all drivers can benefit from using Shell V-Power, whether they own a fast car or something more focused on practicality and fuel economy. In addition, Shell V-Power Diesel protects your car’s EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve*** – a pricey part to repair if it goes wrong. 

Prevention and cure  

Shell V-Power has special cleaning molecules that work on those deposits from the first tankful, with unwanted deposits removed from critical engine components so they can be burned away in the combustion chamber. 

Exactly how long the full cleaning process takes depends on numerous factors, including engine type, how a car has been driven and for how many miles it’s been run on regular fuels. In addition to cleaning existing deposits, running a car on Shell V-Power helps avoid them building up in the first place.* 

New and improved

First launched internationally in 1998, Shell V-Power has been continually tweaked by Shell, with each new formulation taking around five years to develop. Shell has around 150 scientists and engineers working to make each iteration of Shell V-Power better than the last. The latest formulation, launched in the UK in 2023, now cleans those critical engine parts we’ve been talking about of performance-robbing deposits by up to 100 per cent.* 

Once fully cleaned, an engine will regain lost performance and efficiency. The ongoing development of Shell V-Power means the fuel technology keeps up with engine trends, which for today’s cars involves prevalent turbocharging and downsizing and the common use of direct injection. In the process, though, Shell has managed to strike a balance with its formulation to ensure the fuel is just as effective for older engines too. 

Additionally, we need to think about the octane rating. The Shell V-Power petrol formulation found at UK pumps is 99 RON, compared to 95 RON for regular unleaded. Using Shell V-Power with its higher octane rating gives a more stable combustion, reducing the probability of uncontrolled combustion or engine ‘knock’. The higher RON means it can tolerate higher compression ratios and/or more advanced ignition timing; engine designers can utilise this fuel quality to tune their engines for improved performance and efficiency.**

Shell and Scuderia Ferrari

A key part of Shell V-Power’s continual development process is Shell’s innovation partnership with Scuderia Ferrari - one of the oldest collaborations in motorsport history. 

Today, there are at least two Shell scientists supporting the team from the Shell Trackside laboratory, which is embedded in Ferrari’s pit garage. Here, the scientists will analyse both Shell V-Power race fuel and Shell Helix lubricant samples at various points over the course of the race weekend. 

Away from the Grand Prix themselves, Shell has over 50 technical staff working to maximise Shell V-Power race fuel and Shell Helix Ultra race lubricant formulations used by Formula 1 cars, with 21,000 combined hours of work going into the development every year. 

While the world of Formula 1 might not seem so relevant to the needs of today’s motorists, whether they drive high-performance cars or not, using and developing fuels in this demanding environment leads to benefits at the pumps. The compounds within the FIA-approved race version of Shell V-Power are 99 per cent the same type of compounds as those found in the consumer version, making many of the race-born improvements transferable to the road.

Explore Shell V-Power

*Removes and protects from the build up of performance robbing deposits on key fuel system components such as intake valves and/or fuel injectors. Cleanliness and engine performance recovery demonstrated using industry standard and Shell proprietary tests. Actual effects and benefits may vary according to vehicle type, vehicle age, vehicle condition and driving style. No guarantees provided. See for more information. 

**Measured using industry standard and Shell proprietary tests. Shell V-Power Unleaded with RON 99 compared to lower octane fuels RON 95 in octane responsive vehicles. Actual effects and benefits may vary according to vehicle type, driving conditions and driving style. No guarantees provided. See for more information.

***Helps to protect the EGR system from the build up of deposits. Based on Shell proprietary methods. Actual effects and benefits may vary according to vehicle type, vehicle condition and driving style. No guarantees provided. See for more information.