Currently reading: Europe's car makers face widespread WLTP disruption
Brands take models off sale and expect production delays as new regime kicks in
3 mins read
1 October 2018

The newly implemented WLTP emissions test has shaken up the European car market, leaving manufacturers rushing to certify models and dropping variants from their ranges.

WLTP (short for Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure) replaced the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test, which had been heavily criticised for not reflecting real-world conditions, on 1 September.

What does it mean for the consumer? In theory, cars that are sold today will be no more or less efficient in the real world than they were before. Many buying from dealer forecourts today will still find cars that have only been tested under the old regime, but even those that have been tested under WLTP rules should return near-identical figures. As our research shows (see right), that is not the case for a lot of cars.

The changes to the test are simply to provide claimed figures that are more representative of the MPG and emissions the cars will produce in normal use. The tests will also provide a rating for the car’s particulate emissions, such as nitrogen oxide. 

What will affect buyers, though, is that several car makers have taken models that won’t conform to the new standards off sale. For example, BMW stopped production of the M3 sports saloon early, while Jaguar has slimmed down the XF range and removed petrol XJs entirely. Subaru has also ceased selling diesel vehicles altogether.

Some models, such as the Volkswagen Golf R, have had their power output reduced to drop tailpipe emissions. Other changes are temporary. For example, Skoda has ceased selling some Octavia and Rapid variants until at least October. Production delays are also on the cards, causing particular problems for the VW Group. Seat sources estimate a four-to-eight-month wait for bestselling models, with similar delays for VW.

Buyers of all brands in the UK are advised to check with their dealer to see which model variants are still on sale, and which will face heavy delays.

Many car manufacturers are testing their models under the new WLTP rules but then converting them back to 'NEDC equivalent' figures, which they are allowed to do by law until 2020 when a new taxation system is brought into place. Autocar has obtained a small handful of the un-converted WLTP figures, and the contrasting changes from the old NEDC figures can be seen below. More figures will be revealed in the coming weeks and months, showing more models with stark changes to their published economy.

WLTP winners and losers:


BMW X5 30d SE: Before (NEDC) 47.9mpg, 156g/km Now (WLTP) 40.9mpg, 183g/km

Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.0d: Before (NEDC) 62.8mpg, 118g/km Now (WLTP) MPG tbc, 143g/km


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Range Rover Evoque 2.0 eD4: Before (NEDC) 65.7mpg, 154g/km Now (WLTP) 48.7mpg, 154g/km

Volvo V40 R Design Pro D2: Before (NEDC) 78.5mpg, 94g/km Now (WLTP) 58.9mpg, 126g/km

Mercedes GLA 200d SE: Before (NEDC) 68.9mpg, 108g/km Now (WLTP) 51.4mpg, 147g/km


Audi A1 1.6 TDI S-Line: Before (NEDC) 76.3mpg, 98g/km Now (WLTP) 74.3mpg, 100g/km

VW Passat 2.0 BiTDI: Before (NEDC) 51.4mpg, 144g/km Now (WLTP) 49.6mpg, 150g/km

Read more 

New WLTP emissions test: when it's in force and how it could affect your car

VW Group hit hard by new WLTP emissions test

Volkswagen deliveries halted by WLTP emissions certification

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1 October 2018

The statement "The tests will also provide a rating for the car's particulate emissions, such as nitrogen oxide" is incorrect.  Of course the new tests provide data for both pollutants, but nitrogen oxide is a gas and not an example of particulate emissions which are solid carbon particles.

That aside, it seems crazy that manufacturers are allowed to convert the new WLTP figures into "NEDC equivalent" figures until 2020. It means that buyers will continue to see optimistic mpg and CO2 figures for a while yet, despite this expensive and disruptive WLTP test having been carried out.   

1 October 2018
LP in Brighton wrote:

The statement "The tests will also provide a rating for the car's particulate emissions, such as nitrogen oxide" is incorrect.  Of course the new tests provide data for both pollutants, but nitrogen oxide is a gas and not an example of particulate emissions which are solid carbon particles.


Youre quite right, thats the third time this year that someone at autocar has suggested that NOx and particulates are the same thing (one comment was something along the lines of "a new particualte filter will reduce NOx emissions" !). Come on Autocar this is basic stuff that you should know.

1 October 2018

All those models which are still in showrooms or storrage or still coming down the line will end up in...RUSSIA, because they dont car about emmissions and stuff like that and they can sell whever youve got at list prices


1 October 2018

...should've mandated that emissions figures for NOx and particulates be provided in addition to those for CO2.

1 October 2018

 Coming up with a new “realistic” emissions and mpg figures was supposed to be good news, better, more accurate, figures that you and I should be able to attain Day in day out, won’t happen because we all have different driving styles, but, why this converting them back to the old test figures?, Car makers have managed to do sort the suspect models, lots of the old figured Cars were on lots at good prices ,punters wouldn’t mind if their new wheels didn’t pass they got a new Car cheaper!, no, if new frogs come in, then, that’s it, no going back, no delay before the law comes in.....

1 October 2018

About time that they are doing a sort of realistic reading on CO2.

Although here in France it means €10500 in added tax  on all new cars with a CO2 of 185 or more,so apart from cars being so expensive over here you have the sliding CO2 tax bill to add on top

1 October 2018

I think the after CO2 figure for the Evoque is incorrect. I make it over 200g/km in combination with the new mpg...

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