With all the issues going around the automotive industry, car makers have to be more mindful of their moves, especially when it comes to the development and production of cars.
Like now, European spec cars had just been given a new set of requirements, and this will mean a production shutdown for BMW’s flagship 7 Series sedan for an entire year. To be more specific, this shutdown really only affects gas powered vehicles, and diesel engine will still be produced. This is quite an odd thing considering that diesel variants have a reputation of being the more polluted engines, especially with the Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal.
The decision to shut down engines began when the new requirements of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (also known as WLTP) were implemented. These rules began in 2017 after new forms of emissions testing has been done, and apparently, these are a better way to measure vehicle emission in real world driving.
The previous system, which is the New European Driving Cycle (or NEDC), was developed in the 1980s and this included a more theoretical emission estimates. Unlike the latter, the new tests examines vehicle emissions under real world situations that include things like acceleration, braking, and is done within a range of different speeds.
To ensure that the new BMW complies to these rules, it needs to be given a complex Otto Particulate Filter (OPF), which will be added to its currently cramped exhaust system. This seems to be quite the problem as it isn’t that easy to do. If you haven’t heard, this is also the reason why the production of the current BMW M3 had to be stopped. According to new reports, the current sedan will reach the end of production by August this year, and the next time we could see this model is probably in 2020.
Like I said earlier, the 7 Series will continue to be available in the diesel variant, because these cars already have enough equipment to pass the new standards by WLTP. However, what they have not confirmed is whether or not the gas powered engines will be available in other global markets, including the United States.
If and when production for gasoline engined vehicles do resume for Europe, we expect it to happen around the same time as the facelifted 7 Series that should come out next year.
As early as now, we have already seen spy photos of the new sedan, and we noticed some minimal updates on both the front and the rear fascia of the vehicle. As for the interior, it will said to have a new digital layout that’s similar to its competitors (Mercedes-Benz and Audi). Production for this model should take place in March 2019.