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+++ AUDI will introduce an A4-sized electric saloon in 2023 as part of its growing range of E-tron models. The brand launched its flagship e-Tron last year, with the sibling car version, the e-Tron Sportback, going on sale later this year. At the recent Geneva show, Audi revealed a Q4 e-Ttron concept, which is due in late 2020 in production guise alongside an e-Tron GT 5-door sports car. Audi design boss Marc Lichte said the brand would also develop a saloon that will be offered at a similar price to the Q4 e-Tron. “There will be electric SUVs and low-floor sporty cars such as the e-Tron GT, which is our ‘halo’ car”, he told. “There will be an e-Tron GT in the A4-sized segment as well. We’re working on this right now”. Lichte said the electric saloon will be built on the PPE architecture, an electric platform shared with Porsche, which is also used on the A6-sized e-Tron GT. Audi is working on a number of electric platforms. The e-Tron and e-Tron Sportback are based on Audi’s adapted MLB platform, while the Q4 e-Tron uses the Volkswagen Group’s bespoke electric MEB platform. Audi CEO Bram Schot said the Q4 e-Tron will be “a major volume player” for the brand and will match sales of the Q3 “sooner than you might think”. Schot has also vowed that Audi can bounce back from its sharp drop in profits in 2018. The firm struggled due to the impact of new WLTP emissions tests, but said a reduction in the number of engine and trim combinations it offers has eased that problem. +++ 

+++ BMW has released pictures of its upcoming, all-electric i4 5-door showing it winter testing in a light disguise. The new model will push the brand’s electric range towards the mainstream market when it arrives in 2021, narrowing the gap between the company’s radical i3 and i8 and its traditional 3 and 5 Series saloons. The new i4 appears to adopt conventional BMW styling. The enlarged connected kidney grille and narrow headlights seen on recent electric BMW concepts have been ditched in favour of the standard 4 Series Gran Coupe’s body shell. Up to now, BMW’s standalone i models have been very distinct from anything else in the firm’s line up, helped by their unique construction and the use of materials, such as carbon fibre, that are notoriously difficult to apply to larger-scale production models. However, to keep costs low and volume-production attainable for the i4, it will be based on BMW’s latest CLAR platform, which is a modular architecture designed to underpin everything from the 3 Series up to the 7 Series, and to accommodate petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric powertrains. BMW confirmed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show that the i4 will follow soon after the iX3 all-electric SUV and the production version of the larger iNext crossover. Company boss Harald Krüger revealed the dates for the pure-electric models that will join the i3 in BMW’s line-up. He said: “we have already over 300,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on the road, and more are on the way. In 2019 we’ll launch the Mini Electric. In 2020 the iX3 will come. Then in 2021 we will launch the BMW iNext and the i4, so by that year we will have five core electric vehicles on the ground. This underlines our strong commitment to future mobility”. BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk told: “I think in the next few years, electric mobility will become standard; it will become normal. It will become just one of those powertrains that you can choose. And that will probably lead to the customers not necessarily wanting a design differentiation. With the original i3, we wanted to give our customers the feeling that they are stepping into the future. But in the future we will offer our customers the choice; they can be very secret about the fact that their BMW is electric, or they will be able to be overt about it”. BMW will use the same battery and electric motor technology developed for the i3 and i8 in the i4, delivering range and performance figures to rival the likes of the Tesla Model S. BMW claims a range of 600 km, a 0–100 km/h sprint of 4 seconds a  top speed of 200 km/h. The head of the German firm’s i division, Robert Irlinger, expanded on BMW’s planned battery tech, stating: “we asked the customers; it seems to be that the starting point for i3 in the early days was okay. But it seems that now, 300 km is the minimum that you can offer to have an accepted range for customers. Then there’s competition: Tesla, Audi and Mercedes are doing 400 km in WLTP. So it seems to be again beyond 300 km: up to 600 km or 700 km. But if you look at the numbers we’ve already spoken about, the iX3 will be beyond 400 km and the i4 will be around 600 km. The iNext will be on top of that as well”. Irlinger admitted that BMW could offer the i4 with a choice of battery capacities for different price points. “It could be that different ranges are a good solution”, he said. “If it’s true that 300 km is enough for some customers, then it could be wise to do a 300 km version and a 600 km version. “We’ll have to look at demand, of course, because up to now, what we’ve found is that the customers tend to always buy the bigger battery anyway. But if you live in a city and do most miles there, and you have your own charging point or good infrastructure nearby, then 300 km at a cheaper price could be fine”. While the i4 may look more conventional than the i3 and i8, it doesn’t mean that BMW’s i sub-brand will be toned down completely. Van Hooydonk insisted that the CLAR platform gives enough scope for the packaging of a pure-electric vehicle but he added: “We will still, when we feel it makes sense, do a complete, bespoke, standalone car. Not all cars have to happen on the CLAR platform”. This could be a reference to the iNext, which is likely to showcase autonomous technologies and could be pitched at the summit of the BMW line-up, necessitating its own architecture. +++ 

+++ Evelozcity, the U.S. electric vehicle startup, has changed its name to CANOO and said that it will offer a range of EVs to private and commercial customers by subscription only. Canoo is positioning itself as a “boutique California EV brand” and said it will start sales in the United States in 2021, eventually expanding to China. The company, one of dozens of EV startups in the United States and China, has not disclosed its investors but has raised about $1 billion, according to a source familiar with the process. Canoo said it plans to market a 4-model range that will include personal commuter and “lifestyle” vehicles, as well as commercial vehicles for ride and delivery services. The so-called lifestyle vehicle is meant to provide the space and functionality of an SUV, the company said. Canoo did not provide any details on pricing but said it would not have a dealer network. It will offer a variety of subscriptions of different duration, some bundled with insurance and related services. Founded in late 2017 and based in a Los Angeles suburb, Canoo said it is planning a “lean” operation that will rely on a contract manufacturer to assemble its vehicles. The company is in talks with Canadian supplier Magna International and its unit Magna-Steyr to assemble the startup’s vehicles in the United States. Canoo said it plans to partner with a provider of self-driving technology for future automated versions of its vehicles. The startup said its vehicle designs will be non-traditional, with “a minimalist design that maximizes interior space”. Canoo said it has 350 employees and announced several key hires, including former executives of Uber, SAIC Motor and STMicroelectronics. The company was founded by Stefan Krause, Ulrich Kranz and Richard Kim, all of whom worked previously at another California-based EV startup, Faraday Future. Krause is a former top executive at Deutsche Bank. Kranz was a senior vice president at BMW’s electric vehicle unit. Kim previously led the exterior design of the BMW i3. The founding team was joined last year by another industry veteran, Karl-Thomas Neumann, former chief executive of German automaker Opel and head of Volkswagen’s China operation. +++ 

+++ Porsche has admitted that its expensive CERAMIC COMPOSITE BRAKE SYSTEMS may not be the best choice for track days. A website page dedicated to Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) starts off with the sales pitch “proven in motorsport” and explains how the technology provides much more powerful braking forces and shorter stopping distances “even in the toughest road and race conditions”. However, Porsche tech representative Paul Watson warned that “ceramic discs can degrade if you’re hard on the brakes” and “if you’re doing club days we’d always recommend iron discs”. The discs do boast the ability to endure repeated heat cycles without fade. Such conditions apparently degrade the carbon fibers in the disc, however, and lead to much quicker failure. The company initially suggested its PCCB tech effectively made the rotors a lifetime part, though the latest marketing does not repeat such claims. Upgrading from iron discs to carbon-ceramic rotors adds around $8,500 to the price of a new 911. A single PCCB replacement rotor carries a list price of nearly $6,500, or 20 times higher than the $330 iron rotors on the basic model. +++ 

+++ CHEVROLET is readying what will be the most radical change ever to its iconic Corvette sports car: the all-new, mid-engined C8, due this year. Switching away from a front-engined layout for the first time in the car’s 66-year history, new spyshots show prototypes testing with different camouflage, detailing additional parts of the body. Prototypes of the C8 Corvette, showing the distinctive long rear deck and cab-forward proportions indicative of a mid-engine model, have been circling for some time. The big mystery remains the car’s reveal date. Reports from the US suggest there have been delays in development owing to significant issues with the chassis and electrical architecture. While it’s not clear yet if those technical problems have been overcome, speculation is rife that the C8 Corvette’s reveal is imminent. One option is next month’s New York motor show, though it’s just as likely that Chevrolet will host its own event a little later in the year. A Corvette dealer in New Jersey has been taking $1000 deposits for the new model, which could suggest we’ll see the C8 sooner rather than later. In a further break with tradition, the C8 Corvette will be sold alongside a version of the current car. Sources inside General Motors, which owns the Chevrolet brand, indicate that we can expect a slightly revised version of the existing C7 as an entry-level alternative. Although the C8 will carry a price premium over its front-engined sibling, it will be sold at a price that significantly undercuts the junior supercars offered by other manufacturers. There will be no surprise in the choice of launch powerplant, with the C8 set to reach the market using a developed version of General Motor’s current LT-spec 6.2-litre V8. Although this engine still uses pushrods, and will be unable to match the low-down torque of turbocharged alternatives, the all-alloy unit has many virtues: it is light, responsive, relatively cheap to build and able to generate around 500 hp with minimal work. It also gives a clear connection between the radical new car and the front-engined Corvette that will continue in production. This could be advantageous given the existing car has an older and more conservative buying profile than other sports cars in the US. Punchier powerplants are a certainty, however, especially given GM’s history of offering faster variants soon after the launch of a base car. Media in the US have previously reported that these will include a newly developed overhead camshaft V8, set to be sold in both naturally aspirated and twin-turbo forms, the latter sure to produce at least as much as the 750 hp of the current supercharged Corvette ZR1. Beyond that, a hybrid version will add an electrically powered front axle to the mix, potentially giving a total system output approaching 1000 hp. Another big change will be a new twin-clutch transaxle gearbox (likely featuring 8 speeds) developed by transmission supplier Tremec and effectively removing the option of a conventional manual version; a significant shift given the relatively high percentage of current Corvettes that are still sold with a clutch pedal. Like its rivals from Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren, the new Corvette will display its mid-mounted engine through a glass cover. Other parts of the design remain a closely guarded secret for now; the test mule gives little away beyond the need for significant cooling at the front of the car. Despite GM’s sale of its European operations to the PSA Group last year, the new car is being developed with significant use of the Nürburgring Nordschleife and we can expect the sort of aggressive aerodynamics necessary for good high-speed performance there, possibly including active elements. But while the C8 will no doubt be extremely fast, the need to keep costs down means that the use of expensive materials will be limited. The chassis is believed to be an aluminium spaceframe, and it will have the glassfibre bodywork that has been used by every previous generation. Carbon brakes are certain to be available, but the new Corvette is likely to stick to a base specification of cast-iron discs for the same reason. While the C7 Corvette has a ‘targa’ roof with removable panels, it seems likely that the C8 will shift to a more conventional split between coupé and a convertible, the latter to follow at a later date. +++ 

+++ Spy photographers snapped the first photos of the FORD Bronco last month and now I’m learning more about the highly anticipated Jeep Wrangler competitor. According to several dealers, Ford unveiled a Bronco prototype at a conference in February. They said the SUV features a retro design with round headlights and a rectangular grille featuring prominent Bronco badging. More interestingly, dealers confirmed the Bronco will have removable doors and a hard top which can be stored in the cargo compartment. Unlike the Wrangler, the Bronco will have its side mirrors mounted to the A-pillars so drivers will still have mirrors even when the doors are removed. Dealers were reportedly shown a 2-door prototype, but were told a 4-door variant is also in the works. The latter will likely prove popular with consumers as the 4-door Wrangler has been credited with significantly boosting sales. Little else is known about the model, but dealers come away pretty impressed. One told that the Bronco is “going to be a game changer”. Another said it was “twice as cool as I thought it would be”. Besides showcasing the Bronco prototype, Ford said it’s working on a “family” of off-road vehicles. The lineup will include the so-called Baby Bronco and a small unibody pickup. The Bronco will reportedly arrive in late 2020, approximately 3 months after its smaller sibling. The pickup, on the other hand, isn’t slated to be launched until at least 2021. Besides unveiling the Bronco, dealers were reportedly shown the Mustang-inspired electric crossover and the Baby Bronco. Photos of the latter model leaked out of a previous dealer meeting and they showed the crossover will have boxy styling, a contrasting roof and circular headlights with distinctive daytime running lights. +++ 

+++ Former Nissan chairman Carlos GHOSN is expected to hold a news conference in mid-April or later, one of his lawyers said. Ghosn, 65, intends to meet the press within April but may need more time to organize his statement against the charges, the lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters. Hironaka also said Ghosn, who remains a director at Nissan, is not seeking to attend the automaker’s board meeting to be held soon. Ghosn failed to obtain approval from the Tokyo District Court when he tried to attend a board meeting on March 12. Ghosn was released on bail March 6 after being arrested in November. He has been charged with understating his remuneration for a number of years in Nissan’s securities reports and transferring derivatives losses from his private asset management company to the automaker. He denies the allegations. As part of conditions for his release, Ghosn is banned from contacting Nissan executives and other people potentially linked to the allegations. He is allowed to attend board meetings at Nissan if the court gives approval. +++ 

+++ HYUNDAI is delaying deliveries of its new Sonata released last week due to quality issues. A press officer for the automaker said the company is currently conducting quality inspections on the new model surrounding the amount of noise and vibrations it produces, and its drive hardness, resulting in delivery delays. He added that the issues are unrelated to safety and that the delay is expected to be resolved “soon”. “We cannot give the exact delivery schedule, but the delivery won’t be delayed for as long as a month from our original schedule”, the press officer for Hyundai said. “The process is to assure better quality of our cars”. Normally Hyundai would start delivering new cars right after the launch event, so the first batch of customers would have their vehicles on the road within a week after the launch. This is not the first time Hyundai has delayed delivery due to quality issues. In 2015, the automaker postponed delivery of its luxury EQ900 sedan for roughly 2 weeks for a similar reason. Hyundai’s popular midsize sedan was launched in 2 versions: a 2.0-liter gasoline version and a 2.0-liter liquefied petroleum gas version. During the launch event, the carmaker said it had reduced noise in the new model by reinforcing sound absorbing and insulating material. The 8th generation Sonata picked up more than 12,000 pre-orders over the 10-day presales period. +++ 

+++ LOTUS is stockpiling parts in case the UK leaves the European Union in a chaotic way that blocks supply chains, said CEO Phil Popham. But despite the concern over the risk of hard Brexit, he said it will not throw off the sports-car brand’s aggressive 5-year plan. “We’re going to get our heads down and deliver it”, Popham said. “In talking with our owners, in talking with our board, Brexit doesn’t change the long term. We all think a deal will get done at some point, whatever that is, and it may be a different world, but there’ll be some normality that comes back again”. That plan starts with a new sports car and extends to include a new platform, possibly new body types and probably a second factory. If such aggressive growth sounds familiar, it might be because of similarities to Volvo’s path as part of Li Shufu’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Geely’s rapid global expansion enveloped Lotus in 2017. Popham, a former Jaguar Land Rover executive who was most recently CEO at Sunseeker International, a yacht company, joined Lotus in October. With global sales of 1,630 cars in 2018, Lotus is not a volume manufacturer, nor does it aspire to become one, even with its expected growth, Popham said. Lower volume protects Lotus from the potential disruption Brexit could bring to larger automakers, he said. “The worst we’re going to get is to leave under World Trade Organization arrangements, which means duty for parts that are coming in and duty paid for imports elsewhere”, he said. “The UK is in the top 20 trading countries in the world, so you’ve got to assume that in the course of time, those trading arrangements and agreements are going to be made”. Volvo can be looked at as a model for the brand’s future. “I would suggest they’re more Swedish now than they were 8 or 9 years ago”, when Geely bought Volvo from Ford, Popham said. “The DNA of the brand, the personality of the brand hasn’t changed. What has changed is the infrastructure in China and in Europe and the investment they’ve made in fantastic product, good-quality product. They’re expanding their range. They’ve more than doubled their sales in that time. That’s a success story for me. We’re different, our brand is different, but that sort of model is what we should see with Lotus”. That means the focus at Lotus will continue to remain on sports cars and all that is important in that segment: the driving experience, performance, handling and dynamics for use on roads and tracks. “We’re a sports car brand, and we are developing a new sports car, which you’ll see towards the end of next year”, Popham said, noting that all future models will be engineered to meet the regulation standards of key markets such as the U.S. Popham said the car that will be shown at the end of 2020 will be within the price range of what Lotus currently offers. The upcoming car will appeal to a wider audience, he said, because of its better ergonomics, ingress and egress, a higher refinement level and connectivity. There has been investment tied to the upcoming model at Lotus’ Hethel plant in England to increase the capacity and level of automation, but Popham acknowledged that with its business plan, Lotus eventually will outgrow it. “We will need to manufacture at some point outside of Hethel” as well, he said, adding that production could be done overseas. The need for additional production capacity is simple. Lotus is investing in a new platform, which will spawn multiple vehicles, Popham said. Lotus can turn to Geely resources and technology found in other brands within the group, such as Volvo, Lynk & CO and Polestar, as well as engineering and manufacturing talent. “We have the opportunity to do that, which will enable us to go beyond just sports cars in the future”, he said. Popham said that while he has not determined everything that will go on Lotus’ next platform, there are options, as long as it looks and feels like a Lotus. “That might differ if it were to be an SUV or a GT or a saloon car or whatever segment we went into”, he said. “It would still have to have the capability of a Lotus in that sense of something you’d expect to be from Lotus”. The company has been hiring for key positions from other premium automakers as the brand embarks on its business plan. One of the most recent hires is a sales and service director who will start at Lotus in the next week or so, Popham said. Part of that role will be developing Lotus’ global retail network. “I don’t think it will be 100 % a traditional model” in the future, Popham said. “We’re going to grow our volumes substantially, but we’re still going to be relatively small in automotive terms. We’ve got to be quite creative in the way we take our vehicles to market and make sure we’ve got a global infrastructure to support our customers”. +++

+++ PORSCHE ’s already working on several electric vehicles, such as the Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo, with the Macan to join the range next decade and, perhaps, a zero-emission version of the Cayenne as well. With these cars, the company has a very solid foundation to seriously start thinking about a new hypercar. So, what’s in store for the spiritual successor of the 918 Spyder? According to CEO Oliver Blume, that could be a fully-electric powertrain. “We have a big history here, and we’ll have one in the future. It has to be the best in the market, the highest performing. Right now, we haven’t got a concept for that car”, said Blume. “But might it be a pure-electric car? Yes”. That definite “yes” would pose new challenges for Ferrari, McLaren and, why not, Lamborghini. The first 2 had the LaFerrari and the P1, respectively, to challenge the likes of the 918, whereas the latter proved that it can be in the electrified game if it wants to, with the Asterion Concept, which was presented just as the 3 hybrid hypercars were at their peak, but never materialized. Porsche has not only the apparent blessing of the Volkswagen Group to consider a new hypercar, as it can also benefit from Rimac’s expertise within the field of electric models. The German automaker bought a 10 % stake in the Croatian startup, which is behind the stunning Concept One and C Two. “Partnering will be much more important in the future. For me, it’s important that we have a challenging partner, with the knowledge, the experience and that works on the same level, or one that pushes us”, added Blume in regards to Rimac, without necessarily referring to the electric hypercar. “Mate Rimac is an expert, very ambitious, and the perfect partner to do prototypes and small, clever solutions. It’s not just in electro-mobility: we have partners in finance, in digitalization. Every month a bigger net of partners”. After 3 years and 918 units built, the 918 Spyder was discontinued in 2015. The hybrid hypercar had a total system output of 887 hp, which gave it the ability to hit 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and a 345 km/h top speed. The 918 could be driven on electric power for short periods of time, up to 150 km/h. Its successor, however, whether it’s an all-electric or not, should not arrive before 2025 at the earliest, as Blume has already stated in a previous interview. +++ 

+++ The SMART brand’s future remains dangerously in limbo. Parent company Daimler will decide whether to approve the development of a 4th generation ForTwo, which would need to be done with a partner, or whether to deep-six the under-performing brand by the end of 2019. The original Smart was presented as the City Coupe during the 1997 Frankfurt auto show. It gathered an immense amount of attention from the public and the press, but converting headlines into sales is easier said than done. Smart has persistently lost money over the past 2 decades, and the ForTwo has never reached its sales target of 200,000 units annually. Even a money-saving tie-up with Renault may not be enough to justify the investment needed to keep it afloat. Annual sales dropped to about 130,000 units globally in 2018, a decline partially blamed on the company’s American division’s decision to ditch gasoline engines in order to go all-electric. It consequently lost twothirds of its dealer network. Its European arm will follow the same path in 2020, and sales will likely drop again. These figures paint a grim picture of Smart’s future. Executives will decide what to do with the Smart brand before 2020. If the brand stays alive, it will need to find a partner to help off-set the cost of developing a 4th generation ForTwo. Renault isn’t interested in extending the agreement, and decision-makers are looking to China. Executives are talking with BAIC, Daimler’s local partner, and Geely, a firm which owns a 9.7 % stake in the German firm. They’re seen as the most likely saviors of the Smart brand. It’s unclear what they would bring to the project, with the notable exception of relatively cheap labor. Any tie-up would move Smart production out of France and send it to China. The Hambach factory that has built the Smart for 20 years will soon begin making an electric Mercedes-Benz compact model, so no jobs will be lost if the ForTwo becomes Chinese. The retirement of Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche means Smart needs to prove beyond a doubt that it can earn its keep in order to survive. Zetsche has always backed the brand; his successor, Ola Kallenius, sees it more as a money-losing liability than an asset. He wouldn’t think twice about killing the brand if it made sense from a business standpoint. +++ 

+++ TESLA has announced that the Model 3 fleet has collectively tallied more than one billion miles. The milestone was reached little more than a year after Model 3 production began and just 5 months since the company celebrated building the 100,000th unit. The Model 3 mileage curve will presumably keep its exponential track as the $35,000 base model begins rolling off the assembly line. Tesla has likely taken advantage of the miles to help train and calibrate its Autopilot platform. The company aims to roll out more advanced semi-autonomous features later this year, though a timeframe for launching true hands-off self-driving remains unclear. A federal judge in San Francisco dismissed for the second time a securities fraud lawsuit brought by Tesla shareholders alleging that the company made misleading comments about the production status of its Model 3. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sided with Tesla, granting the electric vehicle company dismissal of the lawsuit brought in October 2017. Breyer dismissed the original lawsuit in August but allowed plaintiffs to file an amended one.  The lawsuit sought class action status for shareholders who bought Tesla stock between May 3, 2016 through Nov. 1, 2017. It said shareholders bought “artificially inflated” shares because Musk and other executives misled them with bullish statements about the production ramp of the Model 3, failing to disclose that the company was “woefully unprepared” for the vehicle’s production. Tesla argued in its defense that it had been forthcoming about challenges with Model 3 production, including repeated statements by Musk that Tesla was undergoing “production hell”. Breyer wrote that the allegations of fraud ignored Tesla’s “repeated warnings about Model 3 production risks”. +++ 

+++ The European Commission has tightened the WLTP test regime for new cars sold in the bloc after claims that automakers were gaming the tests. The updated regulation, which came into force in February, requires automakers to switch on all emissions-saving technology, such as the stop-start function, and use the same driver-selectable modes for each model tested, for example Eco mode instead of Sport mode. The Commission discovered that automakers were turning on functions during tests that increased emissions in the runup to the introduction of WLTP testing on Sept. 1, the green pressure group Transport and Environment said. The Commission found that some automakers were manipulating tests to burn more fuel and increase emissions with methods such as switching off the start-stop function in cars being tested, adjusting the gear-shift patterns, using the Sport instead of Eco mode, T&E said. By artificially increasing their CO2 emissions now, automakers hoped to weaken future reduction targets, T&E said. The manipulation partly explains why there is a huge disparity in average emissions between different automakers, T&E said. CO2 emissions increased when homologation tests in Europe switched to WLTP from the former NEDC homologation regime. The range of the increases was between 1 % to 81 % depending on the automaker, T&E said. It did not name the brands. ACEA, the body representing automakers selling cars in Europe, welcomed the rule tightening. The changes make the WLTP testing procedure “even more robust and to prevent any test manipulation”, ACEA said in a statement. T&E warned that automakers might have to retest models. “If carmakers want to sell them in 2020 when WLTP values for 2025 CO2 targets are measured, they either have to prove to their approval authority that they meet the new requirements, or re-homologate”, Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles and emobility manager at T&E, told. “It remains to be seen whether or not the new WLTP amendments will have closed all the loopholes. It is something we will be watching closely in the course of this year”, Poliscanova said. T&E called for governments across Europe to stop using CO2 to calculate tax bands for cars tested before February this year. “The data suggests the WLTP figures are unstable”, it said. Automakers are under increased pressure to find loopholes in the testing system as the EU introduces tougher CO2 reduction targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The EU replaced NEDC with stricter WLTP tests to reflect better the on-road fuel economy and CO2 emissions of new cars. Under NEDC the gap between emissions figures from laboratory tests and those achieved in independent real-world tests increased to 31 % in 2013 from 8 % in 2001. +++

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