When the money gurus converge on Davos Switzerland for their annual confab next week they will again be shuttled around in a fleet of Audi A8s. The 81 cars provided by Volkswagen's premium division will be propelled by 3.0L V-6 TDI engines. For the first time Audi will be using GTL fuel provided by Shell. The gas-to-liquid diesel fuel is produced from natural gas and allows the fuel consumption to be reduced by 10 percent compared to the cars used last year. Unlike conventional petroleum diesel, the GTL fuel has no sulfur or aromatic compounds. Some of the benefits of GTL diesel include a 93 percent drop in carbon monoxide emissions, and a 30 percent cut in NOx emissions with no engine modifications. The chauffeur fleet is expected to emit 13 percent less CO2 this year than in 2007. Audi has already been using GTL diesel in the R10 TDI Le Mans racers for the past two seasons.

[Source: Audi, thanks to Christian for the tip]

Audi fleet at the World Economic Forum:
13 percent lower CO2 emissions

• Brand with four rings offers chauffeur service in Davos
• Cars are powered by environmentally sound GTL fuel
• Diesel fleet of 81 Audi A8 3.0 TDI models deployed

Audi will premiere a new fuel concept at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 in Davos, Switzerland, from January 23 to 27. The brand with the four rings, which provides a chauffeur service at the World Economic Forum, will power its complete fleet of Audi A8 models with environmentally sound 'GTL (gas-to-liquid) Fuel' for the first time. In combination with efficient Audi TDI diesel engines, the fuel will allow CO2 emissions from the Audi fleet to be reduced by about 13 percent compared to last year. "We develop innovative premium cars that are environmentally friendly to drive. Our highly efficient TDI and TFSI engines are proof of this. The fact that our Audi A8 diesel fleet in Davos will be using GTL fuel also shows that we are working intensively toward achieving sustainable mobility," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.

Preparations include construction of a GTL filling station next to the Audi pavilion in Davos. The synthetic fuel, made from natural gas, will be provided by Shell. Thanks to the combination of TDI and GTL, fuel consumption is also cut by about 10 percent, while carbon monoxide emissions drop an amazing 93 percent. Sulfur dioxide emissions are completely eliminated. A total of 81 Audi A8 sedans with 3.0 TDI diesel engines will be deployed at the WEF in Davos.

GTL Fuel is produced synthetically through a chemical reaction, is crystal-clear and is free of sulfur and aromatics. This results in nitric oxide (NOx) being reduced by up to 30 percent. And most notably, the fuel can be used for all Audi models fitted with a TDI engine without requiring any retrofitting measures.

Audi has already tested GTL Fuel under extreme conditions – and with excellent results. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006 and 2007, the race-winning Audi R10 with a TDI engine was powered with a special diesel mixture that consisted largely of GTL fuel. These victories were the first for a diesel-powered racing car in this major sports car endurance event.

The chauffeur service for participants at the WEF will employ an 81-strong fleet of silver Audi A8 models – all of them long-wheelbase versions featuring quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Another first is that these luxury sedans are all fitted with a 3.0 TDI diesel engine. This six-cylinder engine generates 233 hp, yet requires an average of just 8.5 liters of diesel fuel per 100 kilometers. There are also twelve armored Audi A8 models for transporting VIPs who require higher security.

Audi has been the exclusive provider of this service in Davos since 1987. The annual meeting of economics experts and politicians in Switzerland has become something of a tradition for the Audi chauffeur service. Monarchs, heads of government, ministers, business leaders and other prominent personalities from all over the world have been chauffeured in the comfort of an Audi A8 at this event.



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