Does Premium Unleaded Fuel Make a Difference?

The age-old debate over whether spending more money on premium unleaded fuel is worth it has fuelled many discussions among car enthusiasts. To shed light on this matter an experiment using a ford ranger raptor at the VinFast Proving Ground in Lang Lang, Victoria was conducted. The goal was simple – to determine if upgrading to higher octane fuel could make a noticeable difference in the performance of a vehicle designed to run on regular 91 RON or higher.

Before diving into the results, let’s briefly explore the significance of a fuel’s RON, or octane rating. In layman’s terms, the octane rating measures the petrol’s resistance to burning. In Australia, petrol forecourts commonly offer 91 RON regular unleaded, stepping up to E10 (94 RON), 95 RON premium unleaded, and 98 RON premium unleaded. High-performance engines often require higher octane fuel due to their elevated compression ratio, necessitating increased burn resistance.

The experiment involved testing three different fuel types on the Ford Ranger Raptor – 98 RON premium unleaded (specifically, Ampol Amplify), 95 RON premium unleaded, and the standard 91 RON unleaded. The Raptor, rated to run on regular 91 RON or higher, underwent rigorous testing for 0-100km/h, 80-120km/h, and quarter-mile times.


98 RON Premium Unleaded:

0-100km/h: 5.72 seconds
80-120km/h: 3.65 seconds
Quarter mile: 14.01s @ 156.94km/h

95 RON Premium Unleaded:

0-100km/h: 5.97 seconds
80-120km/h: 3.82 seconds
Quarter mile: 14.10s @ 155.73km/h

91 RON Unleaded:

0-100km/h: 6.44 seconds
80-120km/h: 4.32 seconds
Quarter mile: 14.53s @ 150.98km/h

The experiment clearly demonstrated that the choice of fuel can significantly impact a vehicle’s performance. While the Raptor exhibited the expected performance with regular 91 RON unleaded, there was a noticeable improvement when using higher octane fuels. Drivers who opt for premium unleaded, especially 98 RON, can experience enhanced acceleration and overall better performance. So, the next time you’re at the pump, consider the octane rating – it might just make a difference in your driving experience. What sort of fuel do you put in your car?

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