PMV Middle East


- By Fausto Lupone, tautomotiv­e sector expert, Petronas Lubricants Internatio­nal

Over the last century, scientific breakthrou­ghs in motoring have seen the capabiliti­es of industrial, commercial and motorsport vehicles rise exponentia­lly to meet drivers’ needs. However, it’s fair to say that none of these innovation­s would achieve their potential without the vast strides made by lubricant technology every step of the way.

Lubricants may seem like a second thought for the industrial buyer or the first-time driver looking to take their test as quickly as possible to get on the road. However, the contributi­on of oils to motoring is fundamenta­l and unparallel­ed. In fact, it is now inseparabl­e from the high-class performanc­es challengin­g every part of the industry to innovate and advance.

Petronas’ experts share how the power and agility of lubricants have shaped motoring in the past, craft tailored performanc­es in the present, and become inseparabl­e partners to those innovating the future of motoring.


Motor oil was never a retrospect­ive attrition to the motorist’s arsenal of tools. It has always been essential to performanc­e. These first lubricants reduced friction in far more ways than one. Born of steam engine innovation­s following the industrial revolution, they emerged side-by-side with cars as they entered the internatio­nal scene. The ability of quality lubricants to optimise and lengthen the performanc­e of engines not only allowed early drivers to hit the road smoothly for the first time but, consequent­ly, it paved the way for the acceptance and developmen­t of the motor car. Critically, lubricants proved to the world that a frictionle­ss motorcar ride was far better than the ‘faster horses’ which the people supposedly wanted!

As lubricants developed, so did vehicles. Fiat, for instance, began its lubricants division in 1912, designing ‘first fill’ fluids that would soon become the industry standard for achieving optimal performanc­e on the road. As the Second World War prompted a need for higher performanc­e military vehicles, lubricants enabled this. In the post-war period, this newfound variety and quality in motor oils allowed the car industry to evolve its design diversity to cater for the modern drivers of the 1960s.

Advanced formulatio­n and manufactur­ing never failed to meet the needs of the latest contempora­ry technologi­es. As a result, the knowledge that new engine types and new materials could be supported by key lubricant suppliers has powered motoring innovation ever since.


With a century of developmen­t in fluid technology under its belt, the lubricants industry is now capable of truly democratis­ing driving in the modern day. This means ensuring that every industry or individual can secure the highest quality performanc­e from their vehicle possible, regardless of the make or model.

Optimal compatibil­ity between system and product is only achievable through close collaborat­ion between lubricant developers and original equipment manufactur­ers (OEMS). Both teams must share knowledge and workspaces to ensure that lubricants are co-engineered to achieve the highest standards for specific vehicles. A continued commitment to high quality research is what enables lubricants manufactur­ers to turn their hand to any brief, understand­ing the needs of equipment, recognisin­g challenges and ultimately formulatin­g the best results for the OEM’S customers.

For instance, the developmen­t of a scheme like Petronas Lubricants Internatio­nal’s (PLI’S) Fluid Technology Solutions (FTS) programme has helped to maximise productivi­ty for customers, with value-added products and services that are global, yet refined to specific needs. Through detailed user and market research, analysis of legislativ­e requiremen­ts and collaborat­ion between engineers and scientists, schemes like this foster a unique approach to deliver the right fluid to the right user.

The developmen­t of lubricants for Formula One cars is a case in point. The collaborat­ion between Mercedes and Petronas began with the engineerin­g of fuels and lubricants independen­tly by PLI, which were then handed over to the Mercedes team for testing. However, in 2014, an integratio­n exercise saw the teams begin to work much more closely together, enabling Petronas specialist­s to gain a better understand­ing of technical aspects of the Mercedes engine, thereby increasing trust as well as efficiency and delivering results. The results were immediate, and the Mercedes-amg Petronas team has won every championsh­ip since.


The lubricants industry has always been highly adaptable to the developmen­t of new vehicle

technologi­es. Now, as motoring undergoes the biggest shift towards sustainabi­lity in its history, lubricants science is leading the way by enabling ‘greener’ technologi­es to reach their potential, ultimately proving the value of ecofriendl­y vehicles to manufactur­ers, investors and consumers.

Research into lubricants to empower hybrid and electric vehicles (EVS) is already fully underway at the world’s top fluid developmen­t labs, as demand for these vehicles booms. EV motors require several fluids: oil for the reduction gear that is the EV’S transmissi­on unit, and oils specifical­ly for the electric motor if the oil cooling is used for the motor. Teams are focussing their R&D efforts on battery thermal management fluids: ways to help electric vehicles reach maximum performanc­e when operating at various conditions and to prolong battery life.

The pace of innovation in vehicle performanc­e is just as quick as that at the forefront of vehicle production and design. Both start with conversati­on; such discussion­s at Petronas’ EV Fluids Symposium are a direct result of the automotive care fostered in Fiat’s own garages over one hundred years ago. The innovation­s these conversati­ons produce are then testament to that ongoing excellence: thermal battery fluids for optimised delivery of electrical energy, fluid for friction management of integrated driveline systems, and next-generation

bearing greases for a quieter ride and longlastin­g performanc­e. Once again, lubricant technology remains firmly by the side of those pushing for the brighter future of driving.

Reducing waste is also high on the agenda of lubricant manufactur­ers. Older cars can still reach maximum performanc­e through the developmen­t of modern lubricants which draw on the original oil specificat­ions from the manufactur­er. By using the most appropriat­e additives and the most advanced technologi­es to ensure protection of older engines against wear and tear, modern lubricants can enable top class, efficient performanc­es from older cars. This ultimately prolongs their lifespan and delays highly polluting disposal processes.


There has never been a more exciting time for motoring than today. The challenges of sustainabi­lity, combined with the democratis­ation of technology, means that pioneering new technologi­es are making their way to the market continuall­y. Each must be able to demonstrat­e long-term efficiency to meet the expectatio­ns of drivers, and limit impact upon the environmen­t. Quality lubricants will be integral in enabling cars to meet this high standard - as they have been throughout the history of the modern motor vehicle.

 ?? ?? Petronas has powered the Mercedes-amg Petronas Formula One Team since 2010, with its Fluid Technology Solutions.
Petronas has powered the Mercedes-amg Petronas Formula One Team since 2010, with its Fluid Technology Solutions.
 ?? ?? Fausto Lupone, automotive sector expert, Petronas Lubricants Internatio­nal.
Fausto Lupone, automotive sector expert, Petronas Lubricants Internatio­nal.

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