Friday, June 21, 2013
A Different Kind of Test Drive: Testing Out Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4
The normal or typical test drive for me involves getting a car from a manufacturer and putting it through its paces for a couple of days. Last week though, Petron Corporation offered a unique test drive—one that involved my own car, but with one slight change: a full tank of Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4.
When it comes to caring for my car, everyone can attest to the extreme levels of obsession I give her. Not only have I kept every conceivable vehicle record (down to a photocopy of my downpayment), it actually comes to the point where I would resort to repainting or even replacing exterior/interior parts just because they’re scratched. I’m so obsessive-compulsive that my wife nicknamed my 2008 Subaru Impreza, “Empress” and swears I get ticked off by invisible scratches and imaginary noises.
Now, you can imagine just how finicky I am when it comes to loading Empress with fuel. After all, the right type of fuel is the first key in ensuring the proper performance, smoothness, and longevity of the engine.
There’s a wide range of fuels available in the market today, and the biggest differentiator is RON or the Research Octane Number. RON determines the fuel’s anti-knocking quality or its resistance to detonation. Though a car’s energy is made by the burning of the fuel, it must be done at a precise time. If not, you’ll notice a ‘knocking’, ‘rattling’ or ‘pinging’ sound. This means that the fuel has burned off or detonated before the optimal time. This equates to a waste of energy, and in the worst case, damage to your engine.
Given the importance of the proper gasoline, I always load up on Petron XCS for three reasons: one, because it comes from the country’s leading oil company with a wide network of stations; second, because it meets the minimum RON of my car which is 95; and third, because I actually get cash rebates thanks to my BPI Petron Mastercard. In short, it’s a win-win-win situation.
During the past two years though, I’ve given into the urge of spiffing up my Impreza and it has gone through a transformation with a piggyback ECU, aftermarket headers, an HKS exhaust, and even STI suspension bits. And in the final quest for better power, it was time to shift to a higher octane gasoline, and in this case Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4.
Invited over to Petron’s headquarters in Ortigas, Empress was filled up with Petron’s cleanest fuel to date, so clean that it meets the stringent Euro 4 standard—the first gasoline in the country to accomplish such as feat , a full two and a half years earlier ahead of the Philippine government’s mandate to switch over to this new global fuel standard. This means that the new Blaze 100 has significantly lower levels of sulfur (50 parts per million) and benzene (1 percent per volume).
Though only a dynamometer or dyno can tell whether the switch to Petron Blaze 100 results in more horsepower, as the fuel made its way to through the engine (the car still had quarter tank of XCS left), Empress, felt more powerful through the seat of my pants. There was less hesitation in straight-line acceleration, and getting up to speed didn’t require any immediate downshifts. It also felt way smoother running on this Euro 4 gasoline than it ever did on XCS or any other premium fuel for that matter. In the fuel mileage aspect though, it’s still a toss-up. A tank or two worth of the new high-octane fuel isn’t enough to take into account any changes in the fuel mileage, though it’s worth noting that in my case I averaged 7.33 km/L on this tank of Blaze compared to 7.11 km/L on XCS; an improvement of just over 3 percent.
Besides my personal experience on the new Blaze 100 Euro 4, it’s worth noting that not only sports car will benefit from running a higher octane gasoline. It’s actually beneficial to have older cars run on premium gasoline to reduce the chance of knocking brought about by built-up contaminants and carbon deposits. In addition, the new Blaze 100 adds performance enhancing additives such as an organic combustion enhancer and custom friction modifiers for a better burn.
Though the average motorist wouldn’t care about their gasoline’s RON, for those of us who’re more obsessed with their cars, Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4 arrives at the perfect time. Not only does it offer better engine smoothness, better resistance to knocking, and likely, added fuel efficiency; it’s also the cleanest gasoline in the market—responding to the need to be more environmentally-conscious.
Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4 is now available through 24 service stations in Luzon along major thoroughfares in Mega Manila with a roll out in other key areas in Visayas and Mindanao in the coming months.