The end of the Era of Downsizing, at least in Europe


The Dieselgate will have more long-term consequences.

The scandal of the emissions of Volkswagen, the infamous Dieselgate, had as its immediate consequence the rethinking of the systems of emissions testing today, but what we could not expect is that it also could mean the end of the era of downsizing, at least in Europe.

According to reports Reuters, based on sources not specified by the manufacturers, the mechanical smaller current are not able to pass the new emissions test for cars european, harder and that will include measures in conditions of actual use, outside of the controlled environment of the laboratory.

, The problems of these mechanics is due to its size, and Reuters cites some very specific cases, in which the engines really within the limits of emission of gases precisely in some conditions of actual use.


X-ray of the Opel Corsa D.

manufacturers affected would be Renault, General Motors Europe and Volkswagen. These three have mechanical below 1.5 litres, so says Reuters, will not have evolution and will be replaced by new blocks of larger size.

The engines mentioned by Reuters in its report are the diesel 1.2-liter employed by Opel and Vauxhall, the diesel 1.4 TDI three-cylinder in the VAG Group and the petrol 0.9 litres H4Bt and diesel 1.6-litre R9M of Renault. According to the report, reducing emissions in cycles of actual use, outside of lab, these engines could only be done in a way that is too expensive, so the brands disposed of these mechanics, in short, replace them by blocks of larger displacement with more torque at lower regime.

According to analysts, blocks gasoline lower than 1.2-litre and the diesel for under 1.5 liters are its days numbered, with a possible horizon in 2019, when it is precisely due to the moratorium that allows the diesel to exceed on the road to 110 percent of the maximum limit of NOx emission, set at 80 g/km and up to that year will approve amounts of up to 168 g/km in terms of actual use.


Engineer of Nissan showing the small block ZEOD RC.

The new test in actual use it will begin to apply upon entry into force of the new regulations, in 2017, and will mark the first step in what seems to be the end point of the trend of downsizing in Europe, the continent where gave the most radical, with displacements less than 1.5 liters. In other major markets, such as north America or even the emerging markets, saving a few exceptions, is not often used blocks of displacements so scarce.