Jaguar mulls small fwd models to meet EU 2020 regulations

Article by Anita Panait, on August 13, 2013

Jaguar Land Rover’s plans to create super fuel-efficient vehicles may need to be reassessed as the European Union looks to tighten its already stringent carbon dioxide regulations, sources inside the carmaker told AutoCar. JLR has been working hard to bring to market its new compact saloon and crossover models, the most fuel-efficient of which have a 99g/km target.

This means that those new models might not be enough to lower Jaguar Land Rover’s carbon dioxide emission fleet average to meet 2020 regulations. Further worsening JLR’s struggle to meet the 2020 regulations is the fact it is selling significant numbers of large sports utility vehicles, which are usually less fuel efficient and emits considerably more carbon dioxide than small cars.

JLR is planning to build and sell and huge number of small front-wheel-drive models that emit lower levels of carbon dioxide just to be able to with the 2020 EU targets, which is expected to become more stringent as years go by. But JLR could be facing another problem.

Creating such series of small front-drive models would entail huge investments in a new, unique steel architecture, which means those vehicle could fetch bold retail prices. Selling small cars that carry a high price tag would be very difficult to accomplish.

JLR, however, cannot help but confront this problem by building a small car that would rival Mercedes’ new compact models and BMW’s new front-wheel-drive 1-series offerings, in order to comply with recently voted EU laws that directs carmakers to have a vehicle fleet which average carbon dioxide emission level is at 95g/km or below.

Carmakers which annual vehicle output is less than 300,000 units could apply for a less severe figure, and JLR would be not one of them, as it is likely to be building up to 700,000 cars by 2020. [source: Autocar]

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