Currently reading: VW Group hit hard by new WLTP emissions test
Volkswagen estimates the profit burden of meeting the new rules will be more than €1 billion (£890 million)
Jimi Beckwith
News
3 mins read
29 August 2018

Car makers are racing to ensure their ranges are compliant with the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) for emissions and fuel consumption before it comes into force on 1 September.

The WLTP test will replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) procedure and includes real-world testing and a greater focus on individual models and lines.

Cars sold after 1 September must have passed the new test and that has led to certain models, particularly those with heavily tuned, downsized engines and more strained high-performance units, being withdrawn from sale while they are reconfigured to meet the new WLTP test.

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

Doing so has been hugely costly for manufacturers. Volkswagen estimates the profit burden of meeting the new rules will be more than €1 billion (£890 million). Mercedes-Benz has also warned that it expects its profits to fall later this year as a result, although it now says that it has tested all models according to the new standards. 

To gauge the impact of WLTP, an Autocar survey of car firms revealed that, while most were expecting no issues or delays due to WLTP, several have been forced to suspend production or axe models to meet the new rules.

Volkswagen Group brands have been particularly affected by the change in tests. Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW all issued a similar statement that they are restricted from disclosing exactly which model linesare due to change or are experiencing delays.

Several key VW models have had their emissions or fuel consumption ratings changed by the WLTP tests. The emissions and fuel consumption of the VW Up GTI were increased to 127-129g/km and 42mpg from 110g/km and 49mpg. The Golf R’s power output has been reduced from 306bhp to 296bhp due to WLTP, a decline understood to be due to a more restrictive exhaust system to cut NOx emissions. The Seat Leon Cupra R will also have its output reduced by 10bhp.

New WLTP emissions test could force heavy discounts on unsold cars

Several models have been suspended from sale or withdrawn because of the new test. Porsche suspended orders for its entire range due to the WLTP switch and has yet to confirm the engine range for its recently revised Macan.

The most notable car removed from sale is the VW Golf GTI, which won’t be replaced, with the next-gen model due next year. The Audi SQ5 is suspended and the 1.4-litre TFSI-engined Audi A4 has been replaced with a 2.0-litre TFSI unit with the same power output.

Skoda’s range-topping Superb has had its output cut from 276bhp to 268bhp, and the 1.4-litre TFSI Kodiaq engine has been swapped for a 1.5-litre version.

The delays in switching production to WLTP-compliant cars has caused deliveries to fall behind: Seat sources estimate a four-to-eight-month wait for bestselling models.

Elsewhere, Peugeot halted production of the 308 GTi 270 in May and build of a WLTP- compliant version will not resume until October. Similar production suspensions have affected 128bhp and 163bhp versions of the 2008, 3008 and 5008.

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spqr 29 August 2018

What the?

German cars have to be tested over and over because of their options lists? WTF has a Bose stereo upgrade got to do with emissions testing? Possibly having 18 inch wheels instead of 16 inch wheels etc leads to a very slight issue to be accounted for but the MX5 or most Infiniti or Lexus models come with options for bigger wheels too. BMW is notorious for big wheel options they are ready. They don’t seem to have the same issues as VAG. Ah, yes, that is because they don’t lie like VAG. 

The Apprentice 29 August 2018

Its a right pain if your

Its a right pain if your trying to pick a company car at the moment, so many diesel models have  disappeared off the choice lists, or go and come back with 'magically' hugely higher CO2 values making them non contenders due to high tax. Many companies still have limitations on petrol vehicles for their employees or CO2 caps, leaving the choice list pretty sparse.

scotty5 29 August 2018

German makers are disadvantaged because...

I thought these tests took in to account the many options available on a car? Easy peasy for Toyota etc to submit a car because the opeotion list is near blank. However as German cars are highly configurable, they have to tested over and over again.

I note SEAT recently changed their approach with the Ateca. When first launched, you had four trim levels then could pick and then chose from a heft options list. Now they've introduced more models but drastically cut the available options. Wonder if that's VW group + other German marks long term plan?

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