Euro six ' Understanding the fresh regulations
The major significance of the Euro six regulations for diesel cars is a major squeeze on controlling the emissions of oxides of nitrogen, or NOx as they are termed.
This comes as a result of further evidence of the health risks of urban air pollution specifically related to NOx, and a disappointing reduction in cities like London, where NOx pollution remains stubbornly high.
The fresh boundaries are slashed from the Euro five limit of one hundred eighty milligrammes per kilometre to just 80mg/km. It takes effect for all freshly introduced models from September of this year, and all cars from September 2015. In addition, a year later, effective from September 2017, fresh systems of On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) that manage all the engine emissions warning lights and fault recording will have to be updated to reflect the tighter boundaries and monitor the fresh systems involved.
Car manufacturers have come up with varied ways of meeting the tighter Euro six NOx boundaries. The challenge has been to either reduce the production of NOx at source well enough to avoid other more costly measures, which is fairly difficult, or to post-process the NOx-rich harass gases to reduce the level below the Euro six thresholds, effectively by one of two different ways. Manufacturers may employ different methods in different cars in their ranges, and in some cases the same engines may use different methods in different car models, depending on their power output and weight.
Harass Gas Recirculation (EGR) is a key player in reducing NOx emissions, and is based on substituting some of the air in the intake gases with recycled harass gas, mostly carbon dioxide. These gases substitute some of the nitrogen that comprises eighty per cent of air, thus reducing the amount of nitrogen available to be oxidised to NOx during combustion. Engine conditions that cut NOx emissions tend to increase particulate emissions, and vice-versa, which further adds to the difficulties. NOx reduction at source, without any need for further harass processing to reduce NOx, has in some engines been achieved by clever engineering of EGR systems, whilst Mazda has diminished the compression ratio of its fresh SkyActiv engines (to just 14:1) to reduce combustion temperatures and, along with EGR and variable harass valve lift, are meeting Euro six thresholds without any further treatments.
The 2nd method, involving destruction of NOx in the harass system, employs proven NOx storage technology, where a catalytic converter stores generated NOx in certain engine conditions and then, in brief fuel-rich periods, the nasty stuff is released and diminished to harmless nitrogen over a catalyst. Other similar systems involving improvised NOx storage and intermittent destruction are used by several manufacturers, such maintenance-free NOx treatment technics being generically termed NSR (NOx Storage Reduction) or LNT (Lean NOx Traps.)
The third method of NOx control, called Selective Catalytic Reduction, is a system using injected Diesel Harass Fluid (DEF), or commonly known as AdBlue, stored in a separate tank in the car. The active additive component, urea, reacts to neutralise the NOx in the harass gases. SCR is well-proven technology and has been used in intense commercial vehicle engines for some years. SCR, where the NOx is only processed at the end of the harass system, also has some benefits in that harass gas NOx reduces the temperature at which accumulated DPF particulates burn off, reducing blockage problems and there may even be scope for further developments where NOx is specifically targeted at keeping DPFs clear of soot, using the NOx and soot to demolish each other. SCR also holds out the promise of delivering marginally better fuel consumption than the alternative systems.
We may find that Euro six emissions regulations can be met with either improved EGR systems, or NOx storage and later processing on many smaller vehicles, while most higher-powered vehicles may require costlier SCR technology, which may in fact suggest superior fuel economy to NSR. But the maintenance-free systems are seemingly nearing boundaries of effectiveness, and those adopting additive-based SCR may be better placed if even lower NOx emissions boundaries come with Euro 7, and will be well disposed for today’s North American market, where tougher NOx boundaries are already in place.
On the horizon however, we also have the prospect of fresh emissions and fuel consumption test cycles, and the threat of Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) that may be used to do on-the-spot emissions checks. And, dare we say it, systems that might automatically restrict your engine’s operation, and maybe even spectacle, to ensure that its emissions are kept within the legal thresholds; maybe not so much the “limp-home” mode that you can get when your engine’s ECU starts playing up, but possibly “amble-home” when your engine is told that it’s kicking out too many pollutants. Welcome to the wonderful world of Euro 6!
• Cleaner running means a lower number of particulates injecting the atmosphere.
• Lower CO2 emissions means lower rates of taxation.
• Better fuel economy results in cheaper running costs.
• For company car users, lower CO2 emissions means less benefit-in-kind taxation.
• Euro six marks the removal of the two per cent loading on diesel engines for company car drivers.
• The technology costs money to install, which is then passed onto the customer in higher purchases prices.
• SCR tooled cars will need the AdBlue fluid topping up at service time.
• Greater complexity means higher repair costs when the items need substituting further down the line.
Already Audi is ahead of some of its rivals, with the entire A3 range (Hatchback, Saloon, Sportback and Cabriolet) and A8 luxury saloon meeting the tougher emissions regulations. Its range of ‘ultra’ models meet them, too, in A4, A5 and A6 guises, with the upcoming facelifted A7 and all-new TT assured to be compliant too. The A3 meets the standard using LeanNOx trap technology, while all of the other models feature selective catalyst reduction, combined with an AdBlue additive. Audi says that by the time the two thousand sixteen model year cars are introduced, in May 2015, every Audi in its line-up will be capable of meeting the tougher Euro six standards.
It’s a gold starlet for BMW, with a significant number of BMW’s model range are already fully compliant with the latest regulations, with any fresh products launched, and there have been a significant number, all meeting the tougher fresh standards. BluePerformance editions of the one Series, three Series, seven Series and old model X6 already meet the Euro six criteria, as does the fresh two Series Coupé and Active Tourer, 335d xDrive, three Series GT (except 318d), four Series, five Series, facelifted X3, fresh X4 and X6 and the X5. That just leaves the non-Blue Spectacle one Series, three Series and seven Series, as well as the X1 and Coupé, Cabriolet and Gran Coupé versions of the six Series to be updated. And with almost all of the engines available in a Euro six specification already in other models, it won’t be long until the entire BMW model range can boast of its Euro six eligibility.
There aren’t any models in the Chrysler and Jeep line-ups that meet the Euro six standards, however, the company says “they will proceed to work to the fresh requirements as set out by the EC within the time frames, in the reduction of vehicle emission output”.
Already Citroën has begun the roll out of BlueHDi engines, meeting Euro six regulations and all featuring selective catalyst reduction. The C4 Cactus has a BlueHDi one hundred engine from launch, and the DS5 has had BlueHDi one hundred twenty and one hundred eighty units since late last year. The updated DS3 will include both BlueHDi one hundred and one hundred twenty engines from next month, with Two.0-litre BlueHDi one hundred fifty editions of the C4 Picasso and Grand C4 Picasso already available. The fresh regulations will mean the death of the 1.4-litre HDi engine, which will be substituted by a fresh 1.6-litre Blue HDi seventy five model, with the Citroën range progressively updated from now until May two thousand fifteen when the entire range will be compliant.
There aren’t any models in the Fiat line-up that meet the Euro six regulations, however, Fiat says it fully intends to obey and will announce switches to the engine line-up closer to the introduction date.
While there aren’t any models in the current Ford range that meet the Euro six emissions standards, work is going on behind the scenes to meet the September two thousand fifteen deadline. The latest 1.5-litre TDCi engine that will be going into the facelifted Concentrate and fresh Mondeo later this year will meet the standards, as will the upcoming Two.0-litre TDCi engine that goes by the codename Panther. Over time, the 1.5-litre TDCi engine will substitute the larger 1.6-litre TDCi units right across Ford’s model range, and will be available in a multitude of power outputs from 74bhp to 118bhp, including a 104bhp ECOnetic edition. For smaller vehicles in the line-up, Ford will use lean NOx traps as one tactic of meeting the standards, with engine recalibration and other refinements helping to meet the tougher standards. Ford is yet to expose any technical information on its Two.0-litre TDCi Panther engine family, but it embarks production next year at Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre in Essex.
The Steed pick-up doesn’t meet the upcoming Euro six regulations right now, but is expected to be upgraded in time for when the tougher requirements are introduced.
Today, none of the Honda line-up are Euro six compliant, tho’ engineers are working on making the 1.6-litre diesel engine meet the tougher regulations ahead of time. The fresh standards will mean the death of the Two.2-litre diesel engine in the CR-V, tho’ our sources suggest that a more powerful 1.6-litre diesel engine is on its way to substitute it.
The roll out of the very first Euro six emissions compliant engines embarks towards the end of this year, with the mid-sized i30 and large i40 saloon and Tourer expected to be the very first recipients. Presently there aren’t any diesel engines in the Hyundai range that meet the standards.
None of the Infiniti range meet the Euro six standards, however, there’s no doubt that they will do by the time the deadline passes. Infiniti engineers are playing their cards close to their chest in terms of introduction times, but of course the engine in the Q50 is a Mercedes-Benz sourced engine, and that same engine in the latest C-Class does meet the latest Euro six standards, so it’s entirely possible that a switch to the newer engine will mean that the Q50 serves. As for the rest of the range, it’s a Renault-Nissan Alliance Trio.0-litre V6 diesel engine under the bonnet, and work will no doubt be ongoing to ensure that the September two thousand fifteen deadline is met.
Presently, the D-Max pick-up doesn’t meet the Euro six emissions standards, however it’s expected that Isuzu engineers will be working on a solution so that it meets the regulations by the time they become law.
Jaguar Land Rover
There aren’t any models in the current Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover ranges that meet the Euro six emissions regulations, however, with a brand fresh engine factory nearing completion in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, this plant will supply a range of in-line Two.0-litre four-cylinder engines to Jaguar and Land Rover products from next year. The very first model out of the traps with the fresh powerplant will be the fresh XE compact executive saloon, expected to be shown later this year at the Paris motor demonstrate, before its arrival in showrooms next year. Also on demonstrate at Paris will be the Discovery Sport, the replacement for the Freelander Two, and this vehicle will use the same range of Ingenium engines, and arrive in showrooms during 2014.
Presently none of the model range are Euro six compliant, however, the programme of introduction will kick off with the all-new Sorento, set to be unveiled at the Paris motor demonstrate in October, and on-sale early next year. The rest of the Kia line-up will receive compliant engines in time for the September two thousand fifteen deadline, with models receiving revised engines at facelift time. Like many other manufacturers, Kia will be taking the selective catalyst reduction route to achieve the tougher standards.
Presently the Ghibli and Quattroporte Diesel serve with Euro five emissions standards, but from next April, Maserati will adopt revisions to the engines, along with selective catalyst reduction, so that they can meet the tougher Euro six emissions standards.
Bravo, almost all of the Mazda line-up already meet the Euro six emissions regulations, with all Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 models already meeting the tougher standards. And Mazda engineers have been enormously clever in achieving them without the need for expensive aftertreatment systems. Thanks to a low compression ratio, the Two.2-litre diesel engine doesn’t require either lean NOx traps or selective catalyst reduction. The upcoming 1.5-litre SkyActiv-D diesel engine that will be fitted to the next generation Mazda2 will also be Euro six compliant. Just one model in Mazda’s line-up doesn’t meet the Euro six emissions regulations for now, and that’s the Mazda5 1.6 Diesel, and that issue will be solved when the model is substituted.
Work has already begun on launching Euro six editions of its engines, with the two hundred twenty CDI version of the A, B and CLA-Class already compliant. In addition, the fresh C, GLA and S-Class also meet the tougher standards, while BlueTEC versions of the E-Class, GL-Class and ML-Class do too. All of the BlueTEC models feature selective catalyst reduction to achieve the requirements. Progressively, Mercedes-Benz will launch extra Euro six engines so that the entire line-up is compliant ahead of the September two thousand fifteen deadline.
Work is ongoing at MG so that the six hatchback and Magnette saloon, powered by the 1.9 DTi engine, obey with the Euro six regulations ahead of the September two thousand fifteen deadline. It isn’t known which route the company will take in achieving the tougher emissions standards.
The fresh generation MINI Hatch and its five-door sibling already meet the Euro six regulations, with the recently updated Countryman and Paceman also meeting the tougher standards. Over time, the remaining models will be substituted by vehicles sitting on the fresh MINI UKL1 platform, and they will be powered by the latest Euro six three and four-cylinder engines found in the fresh MINI.
There aren’t any models in the current Mitsubishi line-up that meet the standards, however, work is going on so that the engines meet the regulations ahead of the September two thousand fifteen deadline.
Presently none of the Nissan line-up meet the Euro six regulations, however, the company says that they are committed to meeting the tougher standards, without any compromise to the spectacle or economy of the vehicle.
Peugeot already have a number of Euro six compliant engines in its line-up, that power the 308, three hundred eight SW and five hundred eight BlueHDi models. Progressively, the company will introduce fresh engines to its model range so that by the September two thousand fifteen deadline, all of the range will serve. The tougher regulations are achieved thanks to selective catalyst reduction, using an AdBlue additive.
The brand-new Macan S Diesel is already Euro six compliant, and it is expected that the Panamera and Cayenne engines will be uprated so that they meet the more stringent regulations ahead of time. The Macan uses selective catalyst reduction to achieve the standards and it is predicted that the V6 and V8 diesels in the rest of the line-up will adopt it too. A facelift for the Cayenne is on the horizon, and it is likely that the fresh Euro six engines will be ushered in then.
Engineers at Renault are busy updating the diesel engines to meet the latest regulations with the very first Euro six 1.5-litre dCi engine to be seen in the Megane and Scenic ranges. It will then be a gradual replacement programme up to the September two thousand fifteen deadline. Diesel Car spoke to Yorick Duchaussoy, project Director in Renault’s Engineering Department who told us that there’s a lot of work going in to ensure that the latest engines meet the Euro six standards. In addition to after-treatment technologies to reduce NOx, like LeanNOx traps and selective catalyst reduction, the company is working on reducing CO2, particles and NOx through continual improvement of the diesel particulate filter, and the development of fresh Energy engines that feature improved internal combustion, diminished friction and overboost. Yorick predicts that a car featuring selective catalyst reduction will cost around €400 (£320) more than a vehicle tooled with a Lean NOx trap, and so that’s why smaller passenger cars are likely to use the Lean NOx trap technology and large cars and commercial vehicles will go down the selective catalyst reduction route.
There aren’t any models in the SEAT line-up that meet the upcoming Euro six emissions regulations right now, but the company plans to begin roll-out of the fresh engines towards the end of the year, so that by mid next year, all models will obey.
With Skoda part of the vast Volkswagen Group family, the company will adopt similar switches as its siblings. So that will mean LeanNOx traps for all of the diesel engines, with a gradual introduction ahead of the deadline. A fresh Fabia arrives later this year, and this will be one of the very first Skoda models to feature Euro six ready engines. But for now, none of Skoda’s diesel engine line-up meet the tougher Euro six emissions regulations.
None of the models in the current line-up meet the fresh standards, but work is ongoing to ensure that they hit the September two thousand fifteen deadline. SsangYong’s upcoming compact crossover will be Euro six compliant when it hits the showrooms next summer.
The innovative Boxer diesel engine is fitted to the XV, Outback and Forester and is expected to be uprated in advance of the September two thousand fifteen deadline. A fresh Outback will arrive here next year, and that will feature a Euro six compliant powerplant.
With the Swift diesel now departed from the Suzuki line-up, it’s just the SX4 S-Cross and Grand Vitara that needs to serve with the latest regulations on the diesel front. And with both engines supplied from other manufacturers, Fiat and Renault respectively, it is expected that switches will be made ahead of the deadline so that the vehicles can proceed to be sold. For now there’s no news as to the route that will be taken to meet the tougher standards.
Diesel Car spoke to Gerald Killman, Toyota Europe’s President of Powertrain Research and Development. He said “For Diesel, with Euro six emission standards coming close to petrol levels for NOx, we are working on technologies like selective catalyst reduction and NOx-storage catalysts, depending on vehicle size”. He went on to say “For hybrids, which are based on petrol engines with the Toyota D4S injection system or port injection, there is no essential hardware switch required to fulfil the emission regulation switch from Euro five to Euro 6. Certification for Euro6 will be aligned with the introduction of facelifts.” The Lexus CT 200h already meets the tougher Euro six standards, and the very first diesel engine is expected to be exposed early next year.
The roll-out of Euro six engines has already kicked off, with Vauxhall’s fresh 1.6-litre CDTi unit percolating across the company’s model ranges. An aluminium cylinder block, together with the use of weight saving materials, means that the fresh unit is 20kg lighter than its predecessor and has been optimised for diminished friction and quicker warm up. Progressively substituting the aged 1.7 CDTi engines, as well as high power 1.3-litre CDTi units and lower powered Two.0-litre CDTi powerplants, the Meriva, Astra and Zafira Tourer line-ups already use the fresh engine. The lighter cars – Meriva and Astra – have the fresh engines with lean NOx traps, while the Zafira Tourer utilises the powerplant with selective catalyst reduction, with an AdBlue tank. The 134bhp edition arrived very first, with 109bhp and 94bhp variations of the same basic engine arriving in showrooms over the next few months. Vauxhall engineers also promise more powerful editions, too, in the future. Across Vauxhall’s engine portfolio, thirteen fresh engines will be launched, both petrol and diesel, substituting eighty per cent of the company’s current engine range. In addition, smoother shifting manual gearboxes are being spinned out across the range, with improvements to the six-speed automatic transmission to improve efficiency, before it is substituted by a brand fresh eight-speed unit that will enhance fuel economy by three per cent, compared to the outgoing gearbox.
A significant amount of work has already been done with regards to Euro six compliance, with a number of key models already meeting the standards. The Golf GTD was the very first diesel model to adopt the latest Euro six engine, with the facelifted Polo, Scirocco and Touareg, all due later this year, to be fully compliant with the standards. The Touareg will employ selective catalyst reduction to achieve this, including AdBlue and a blocking catalytic converter designed to reduce ammonia, whereas the majority of the smaller engines meet the regulations thanks to the inclusion of a Lean NOx trap. All but the BlueMotion version of the fresh Golf SV medium MPV will meet the tougher standards, too, and a revised Jetta, expected to be announced shortly, will go after suit. Volkswagen says that by mid-2015 model year, its entire model range will be Euro six compliant. Of course, one of the fattest fresh cars for Volkswagen is the fresh Passat saloon and estate that will be shown at the Paris motor display in October, before arriving in UK showrooms around January time. As well as adopting the latest generation Euro six 1.6 and Two.0-litre TDI engines, there’s a barnstorming Two.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine that packs 237bhp of power and a massive 369lb ft of torque.
Late last year, Volvo announced its latest four-cylinder turbodiesel engine family, originally in 178bhp D4 guise. This unit obeys with the latest Euro six emissions regulations, featuring selective catalyst reduction to achieve the tougher regulations. The fresh 1969cc unit will step by step substitute Volvo’s entire engine line-up, in time for the September two thousand fifteen deadline. The next all-new product to feature the engine will be the company’s fresh XC90, its flagship off-roader, which arrives in Volvo dealers early next year.