During the Salzburg Festival, Audi will fuel its fleet of A8 models with the eco-friendly diesel fuel GTL fuel, which is extracted from natural gas using a special technological process that liquefies the gas (Gas To Liquids). In combination with efficient TDI diesel engines, this measure enables the CO2 emissions from the Audi fleet to be reduced by around 13 percent compared to last year.

"Audi proves time and again that sporty driving and efficiency are not mutually exclusive. We are consistently lowering the fuel consumption and emissions of our cars – throughout our entire portfolio of models, and this is where new fuels are particularly helpful," said AUDI AG CEO Rupert Stadler. "Our high-performance and efficient TDI and TFSI engines are the central factor for our success in this area. In running its fleet at the festival on GTL fuel, Audi is underlining its systematic approach toward sustainable mobility."

GTL fuel is synthesised from natural gas through a chemical reaction. It is crystal clear and free of sulfur and aromatics. No sulfur dioxide emissions are produced and soot formation is lowered by 35 percent, while carbon monoxide is lowered by a full 93 percent. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are reduced by up to 30 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) is lowered by about five percent. By combining TDI and GTL fuel, fuel consumption is lowered by about 10 percent.

Audi GTI Power - GTL Fuel (2008) - picture 1 of 2
Audi GTI Power - GTL Fuel (2008) - picture 2 of 2

And the best part: the fuel can easily be used in every Audi model with a diesel engine without any retrofitting required. The development and testing of this new fuel was the result of cooperation between Shell and Volkswagen Group Research. Three years ago, the developers of the pioneering fuel were awarded the "Prof. Ferdinand Porsche Prize", presented by the Vienna University of Technology, the engineering accolade that comes with the highest prize money in the world.

Audi has already used GTL fuel under extreme conditions – and with success: at the 24 hours of Le Mans race, the victorious Audi R10 with a TDI engine was filled repeatedly with a special diesel fuel mix that included large proportions of GTL fuel. It was the first time a racecar with a diesel engine won this prestigious event.

On the first weekend of the Salzburg Festival, a fleet of 80 silver Audi A8 models featuring quattro permanent four-wheel drive will be available to escort visitors. Some of the luxury sedans are equipped with a 3.0 TDI diesel engine. The six-cylinder engine generates 233 hp, but consumes just 8.5 liters of diesel per 100 km (27.67 mpg). Along with these, A8 models with a 4.2 TDI diesel engine stand at the ready. The eight-cylinder engine generates 326 hp and requires an average of 9.4 liters of diesel per 100 km (25.02 mpg).

This is not the first time that the carmaker with the four-ring logo has fuelled its fleet with GTL fuel. The entire Audi fleet at the 2008 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January was powered by the environmentally friendly fuel.