Hot on the heels of BP’s Ultimate Diesel launch last month, Shell is now introducing a new UK diesel which it says will cost the same as its normal diesel while giving better performance and improved emissions. BP Ultimate is premium priced.

Shell Diesel Extra will be available at more than 300 Shell service stations in the North, North West and North East England and will replace conventional diesel. It is described as a fuel with a unique formulation that is designed to clean the engine, making it more responsive and efficient, and this leads to better engine performance and increased fuel economy as well as reduced emissions. Shell Diesel Extra contains a powerful detergent which cleans away and reduces the build up of the harmful fuel system deposits that can collect in a diesel vehicle’s fuel injection system, reducing performance and fuel economy. It is also higher in cetane than conventional diesel. Cetane is an indication of the fuel’s readiness to ignite and a diesel fuel with a higher cetane number will aid combustion. This will lead to the engine running more smoothly with less noise and reduced emissions.

According to a Shell spokesman, research has shown that diesel drivers are expecting more from their vehicles and from the fuel they buy. Diesel is also a growing market in the UK: the diesel car population has grown by more than 10 per cent over the past five years.

Mick McMahon, UK retail director, said: “We are delighted to be launching Shell Diesel Extra. It is a fantastic diesel which continues the Shell tradition of delivering good quality, innovative fuels to our customers. Shell Diesel Extra is also the same price as our current diesel so motorists will not pay a premium for a fuel that gives them better performance and lower emissions. We are launching Shell Diesel Extra in the North of England at more than a third of our 1,100 sites; we will roll it out across the UK shortly.”