The affordable performance car might die. Sound melodramatic?

Oh, well, it might be, to be fair: but you know, headlines, opening lines, they’re meant to be dramatic. Big up the worst case. Glass half-empty. You know how it is.

There will always be sports cars, I guess; although car industry regulators are not exempting them from becoming cleaner. And that is the problem for the affordable performance car, because a fast low-emissions car isn’t easy to make.

As it stands, if you produce a lot of cars, their average exhaust CO2 output will have be a lot lower (95g/km on what’ll then be the ‘old’ NEDC drive cycle fuel economy and CO2 calculations), across the board, by 2020, than it has been previously.

And then it will need to be lower again after that, by an amount yet to be decided on the ‘new’ WLTP regulatory standard; inconveniently, because regulators are deciding things some way behind the development curve of pretty much every single car maker. Anyway, regardless of how short or long these targets are, they’re proving hard to meet while keeping cars cheap.

Now, for manufacturers that make fewer cars, there are different reductions and averages that will keep the conventional, pricey sports car safe. There’s one for makers of between 10,000 and 300,000 cars a year, another for those who make 1000 to 10,000 cars, and an exemption for those who build fewer than 1000. That’ll give these car makers a little more room to manoeuvre, and companies can ‘pool together’ too.