Amid Emissions Clampdown, Brits Face Reduced Access to 34 MPG Mazda
The roadster news just keeps getting worse for British drivers. As hyper-stringent Euro 6 emission standards come into effect in the new year, drivers in the UK will have a harder time getting their hands on a vehicle we all know and love on this side of the Atlantic.
That vehicle is the Mazda MX-5. Available with a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder on this side of the pond, Brits can have theirs in two flavors: 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter. Come 2020, the automaker will do its best to dissuade buyers from choosing the larger mill.
Auto Express, following a report in the Financial Times that claimed Mazda will seek to reduce 2.0L sales by 20 percent, drew an admission from the automaker.
“We take a number of factors into consideration — not just the CO2 targets but also customer trends, pricing and currency exchange rates. But it is fair to say, yes, that there will be reduced supply of the 2.0-litre MX-5 in 2020,” a Mazda UK spokesman said.
The fallout for dealers will be a predicted reduction in volume of 13 percent, the publication claims. A greater percentage of remaining MX-5 sales will be of a lower-margin vehicle.
The earlier report stated that Mazda chose to cut back on 2.0L MX-5 sales in order to meet fleetwide emission standards, which impact small, lightweight sports cars in a similar manner as CAFE punishes small cars in the United States. While a 2.0-liter UK-market MX-5 returns a combined 34 mpg, compared to the 37.3 mpg delivered by the wimpier 1.5-liter variant, there’s enough different in CO2 output to earn the larger mill a black mark.
The news comes not long after the MX-5’s cousin, the Fiat 124 Spider, was discontinued in the UK market, spelling less choice for drivers in the birthplace of the Lotus Elan.
As automakers scramble to adjust their lineups to meet Euro 6 standards, expect to hear more stories like this. Is it any wonder why European car builders are rushing so quickly into electric vehicle development? Such models offset the emissions of ICE-powered offerings like the MX-5. Mazda, of course, does not yet sell a single EV or plug-hybrid.
Interestingly, the lowly but fun Mazda 2, which appears before UK buyers without a Toyota badge, welcomes a mild-hybrid variant to the British market for 2020. Everywhere, it’s getting more expensive for automakers to offer consumers a cheap subcompact hatchback.
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