Whether the VW diesel crisis promotes a dramatic shake-up in the way cars are designed, engineered and regulated is open to debate.

Experience suggests it will make some difference in all three, but that the automotive world will largely continue as before while VW fights multiple ‘headwinds’.

A business-as-usual approach is pretty welcome for all sorts of reasons, but there is one area where the industry has to reform – its approach to the forthcoming WLTP.

For the uninitiated the WLTP is the World Light-vehicle Test Programme – a global vehicle standard for measuring fuel economy and emissions.

Negotiated under the umbrella of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, which first created a framework to promote international trade in vehicles in the 1950s, the WLTP is intended to streamline three regional tests into one global standard.

It is a laudable aim, turning Europe’s NEDC (EUDC 1990) test, the US FTP test and Japan JC08 test into one test that will make design and development much easier and cheaper for car companies.

But as can be imagined with so much at stake, the body is about to agree a test procedure very similar to today’s and which will not result in major gains in mpg or reduction in CO2 and pollutants.