Auto Executives Agree – Higher Octane Gasoline Needed for Advanced Engines


Raising the octane level of pump gasoline in the U.S. is integral to optimizing advanced combustion engines now in development, said GM and Honda executives at the 2016 CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI.

During a panel discussion on future powertrains, Dan Nicholson, VP of Global Propulsion Systems at GM, and Robert Bienenfeld, Assistant VP of Environment and Energy Strategy at American Honda, agreed that the industry must push for a higher fuel-octane “floor” in the U.S.

Honda’s Bienenfeld pointed out the benefits of higher fuel octane levels on advanced turbocharged engines operating under high-load conditions and in large-vehicle applications. He noted that boosted gas engines, hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles are on the future-development path at Honda. Nicholson touted the trend toward higher Otto cycle compression ratios and said his engineering teams are looking at Miller cycle combustion, in conjunction with turbocharging, “earning its way into the portfolio.”

Raising the U.S. octane “floor” will be essential for new combustion strategies currently in development for the 2020s including advanced Miller cycle and those combining lean-burn and stoichiometric operation aimed at achieving peak efficiency levels of 50%. and above.

In Europe, the 102-RON (research octane number) “super premium” gasoline that’s widely available helps deliver a 10% increase in fuel efficiency for engines running compression ratios above 11.5:1, compared with engines running 9.0 to 9.5:1 using the 95-RON fuel that’s marketed as the mid-grade gas in Europe.


PHOTO: Your Car Angel