Audi develops clean ‘gas-to-liquid’ fuel concept

While most carmakers around the world are focusing on downsizing engines to reduce carbon emissions levels of their fleets, one carmaker, Audi, has set out to create a new type of fuel that not only reduces CO2 by up to 13% but also cuts fuel consumption by about 10%. Audi will premiere its new fuel concept, dubbed ‘GTL (gas-to-liquid) Fuel,’ at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland, next week. In fact, dignitaries will be chauffeured around by a fleet of A8 limos running on the new stuff.

The synthetic fuel is derived from natural gas through a chemical reaction and is free of sulphur. Most notably, the fuel can be used for all vehicles fitted with a TDI engine without requiring any retrofitting measures. The fleet of A8s at the upcoming event all feature 3.0L TDI diesel engines and only consume 8.5L/100km, while still generating 233hp.

The new fuel is still in the testing phase but is already showing promising 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, and since the fuel has been co-developed with Shell we could soon see regular fuel stations supplying the special stuff.

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