German automotive supplier Bosch says it’s the first and only supplier to offer water injection to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Bosch’s new WaterBoost system is geared to drivers accelerating quickly or driving on highways, where the additional injected water reduces fuel consumption up to 13 percent. The higher compression ratio in the engine also leads to a carbon reduction of up to four percent in WLTC (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures), Bosch said in a press release.

Midsize cars will see the best WaterBoost fuel economy performance, with the system ideal for three- and four-cylinder downsized engines typical in new car models, the company said. The new water injection system can also make cars more powerful, especially by providing more kick to turbocharged engines, according to Bosch.

“With our water injection, we show that the combustion engine still has some tricks up its sleeve,” said Dr. Rolf Bulander, chairman of the Bosch Mobility Solutions business sector and member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

The BMW M4 GTS, a high-performance luxury coupe capable of hitting 493 horsepower, is the first production vehicle to use a water injection system. Bosch said it’s supplying water injection parts for the car. That offers the turbocharged six-cylinder engine improved performance and consumption even at full load.

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Bosch WaterBoost uses a port injection system that only requires a small amount of water to be kept onboard. It uses a separate water tank filled with distilled water that will need to be refilled about every 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).

WaterBoost was designed on the concept of being a tuning formula using demineralized water that boosts power generation and lowers fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In most gasoline engines these days, additional fuel is injected to cool parts of the engine block.

Bosch said that its engineers were able to exploit this physical principle. Before the fuel ignites, a fine mist of water is injected into the intake duct by the WaterBoost system. Water’s high heat of vaporization means that it provides effective cooling, according to Bosch.

If the driver has forgotten to refill the WaterBoost tank, not a problem. The engine will still run smoothly – though without the higher torque and lower consumption provided by water injection, Bosch said.