The latest performance oil categories have been released in 2020 in response to several driving forces. The two most important drivers to be considered in this new specification are fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to meet the increasing demands of modern engine technologies.


Today engine manufacturers (OEM’s) are being challenged to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy in their new engines in order to comply with the latest round of more stringent environmental regulations. With new standards of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) targets and development of new and smaller engines, OEMs have worked together to evaluate and develop new or improved engine tests to adhere to the new emission standards and protect the engine performance.

  • Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (TGDI) EnginesThis new technology is currently used in many automobiles as it allows a smaller engine to produce the same horsepower as a larger older engine technology, all thanks to the extra power generated with the turbocharge module. The benefits are improved fuel efficiency and lighter weight vehicles. However, combining turbochargers with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), presents several drawbacks, including an abnormal combustion phenomenon known as low speed pre-ignition (LSPI). This phenomenon may cause damage to key engine components. Crankpins and pistons are especially prone to damage (sometimes crankpins may be severely bent and pistons broken). According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), LSPI is an uncontrolled combustion event that takes place prior to spark ignition, often resulting in knocking, and has been widely acclaimed to cause catastrophic engine damage. There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon, including engine design, calibration, fuel properties, and engine oil formulation.  One of the key features of the ILSAC GF-6 and API SP oils is the protection they offer in preventing LSPI in TDGI engines.
  • Start-Stop Engine TechnologyAnother important engine design improvement is the start-stop feature for newer automobiles. These engines stop when a vehicle becomes stationary, and then start back up again as soon as you lift the brake pedal. This new feature helps to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. However, stop-start engines also face problems in terms of wear, sludge formation, and varnish. With the right engine oil formulation, oil marketers have been able to come up with products that have better deposit control and protection. The GF-6 API SP engine oil has shown to fix some of the drawbacks caused by Start-Stop technology.
  • Modern Engine – Smaller engine size, lighter weight vehiclesWith the main aim of seeking fuel efficiency, OEMs have developed more robust technologies with smaller tolerances between moving parts. Some modifications include smaller oil crankcase and increasing effective pressure in the combustion chamber to reach higher output power. These engines have been developed to run using proper low viscosity oil.  With higher efficiency in their engines by reducing the friction between moving parts, it will result in reducing the carbon footprint of the industry. Each oil marketer will devise new and robust engine oil formulation for low viscosity range while ensuring proper protection for the engine.NEW CHALLENGE FOR OIL MARKETERS:

    All those changes in the engine technology have forced API to release a new specification to guarantee the proper oil performance that the new engines deserve. The API SP standard requires engine oils to pass several new tests specifically targeting the challenges modern engines are facing. These tests ensure that SP certified lubricants can prevent the occurrence of LSPI and minimize timing chain elongation (*).  In addition, the new standard also requires engine oils to show performance improvements from the previous generation in various categories, including oxidation stability and sludge control. This new SP standard not only covers every pre-existing standard but also provides enhanced protection for the most critical parts of the engine.

    ILSAC GF-6 has come together with API SP. ILSAC GF-6 has been divided into two separate categories: GF-6A and GF-6B. ILSAC GF-6A will replace the previous GF-5 specifications, covering 5 fuel-efficiency viscosity grade oils, namely 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30. ILSAC GF-6B  will accommodate lower viscosity levels like 0W-16.

    GF-6A: Fully backward-compatible for older vehicles that previously used GF-5 oils.



    GF-6B: Covers the new, lower-viscosity oil grade 0W-16 and will NOT be backward-compatible in most cases (unless specified by the OEM).

    In summary, the motor oils formulated to meet the new ILSAC GF-6 and API SP standards, offer a range of benefits for the environment, OEMs, and consumers.

    Some of the most important benefits include:

    • Improve fuel economy.
    • Protection from the LSPI phenomenon in TGDI engines.
    • Manage greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Help OEMs to comply with environmental regulations.
    • Improve wear protection, especially for newer engine technologies.
    • Reduce sludge formation and varnish deposits for start-stop engines.

    NEW REPSOL SP TECHNOLOGY: Repsol is going the extra mile by improving the thresholds set by API SP/ILASC GF6. While meeting all the rest of the SP/GF-6 parameters, we concentrate to exceed the engine oil performance in LSPI, wear protection, fuel economy and engine cleanliness.

  • Repsol SP technology has 70% better LSPI control than the maximum requested by API SP/ILASC GF6.
  • 30% less wear by protecting the engine which is working at higher pressure.
  • Increased fuel economy by 25% vis-à-vis the minimum requested by ILSAC GF-6 specification, thereby bringing more petrol savings.
  • 10% cleaner than SP/GF-6 specification. A cleaner engine allows it to run more smoothly and more well-protected.

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