At yesterday’s press conference on the first firing of Proton’s new family of GDi/TGDi, Chairman of Proton Holdings Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad repeatedly emphasised that this new family of engines will comply with European emission regulations beyond 2020.
“This would mean that we will soon be able to resume selling our cars in the UK and Europe,” said Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who was also keen to emphasised that the new engines will be able to meet the toughest Euro 6c exhaust emission regulations, and will be able to meet the C02 emission target of 99 g/km.
Proton announced yesterday that it is developing six new engines with powertrain specialist Ricardo, all due by 2017. The engines are:
There’s also a separate ‘E01’ programme for a 2.0-litre four cylinder engine, also due by 2017.
Curiously, despite the apparent European Union centric push, there are no plans to introduce any diesel engines – the dominant engine type in Europe.
Driven by a CO2-based road tax system, and an added tax on fuels, diesels which are inherently more fuel efficient and have lower CO2 emissions than their petrol counterparts, are favoured by many European drivers. Vehicle registration data published by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association show that nearly 60 percent of all new cars sold are powered by diesels. While they may have lower CO2 emissions, diesels are particularly poor on NOx and particulate matter (PM) emissions, pollutants which the latest Euro 6 regulations is clamping down hard on, thus making petrol engines more attractive once again.
When asked about the omission of diesel engines from Proton’s 6+1 (GDi/TGDi and E01 engine development programme) family of new engines, Tun Dr. Mahathir said “Well diesels were the preferred engines in Europe but now they have different ideas. You know what happened to the record of the performance of diesel engines recently, so now people have to rethink – whether [to support] diesel engines or petrol engines. Petrol engines will continue to be around for a long long time, if not in Europe at least in Asia.”
Tun Dr. Mahathir was most likely referring to the Volkswagen Group’s exhaust emissions scandal involving its diesel engines.
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