New safety regulations introduced last month have made at least 20 technologies standard on all new cars sold in the EU and the UK – and will legislate some out of existence.
The new arsenal of standard safety equipment, brought in under the anonymously titled General Safety Regulations 2 (GSR2), will also add more costs to cheaper cars, likely increasing their prices.
The changes had been in discussion at the UN and the EU for a decade before the EU finalised its proposals in 2019.
They’re being introduced in two main phases. The first went live on 6 July and the second will come in 2024, although some technologies are on a slightly different timetable.
That means all new cars launched after 6 July 2022, regardless of price or engineering suitability, have to comply; and in 2024, existing cars already on the market will have to be modified or retrofitted to stay on sale.
This retrofitting is what will kill off the Toyota GR86. The camera needed for intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and emergency lane-keeping system (ELKS) can’t easily be built into the car’s architecture, which was carried over from the Toyota GT86, designed more than a decade ago.
“We would have to raise the roof and move the windscreen to accommodate the camera,” said Toyota, which announced the GR86’s short European-market lifespan of just two years at its launch.
The insurance and safety industry, of course, is much more sanguine about the introduction of GSR2.
“This is essentially tidying up existing laws and an update of GSR1, which has been around since 1998, especially since many of these new safety features are already incorporated into existing Euro NCAP [safety] ratings,” said Matthew Avery, boss of UK insurance-and-safety organisation Thatcham Research and a senior Euro NCAP team member.