A recent (and rather shocking) proposal made by the European Commission calls for the end of new ICE car sales as early as 2035. That has to be voted by the 27 members of the European Union in order for the ban to come into effect, but in the meantime, automakers will likely be forced to shave off their petrol and diesel offerings. Why? Euro 7 regulations are inbound.
Expected to come into force in 2025, the more stringent CO2 emissions will put small cars powered by internal combustion engines in jeopardy. The reason being is that it will be tricky for automakers to still make a profit after tweaking the petrol and diesel engines to make them comply with regulations. The same holds true for high-performance cars with their typically petrol-guzzling engines. For these reasons, Mercedes is thinking ahead and it's planning to eliminate many engine variants.
Gallery: 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680
In an interview with Autocar, the three-pointed star's Chief operating officer Markus Schäfe admitted Mercedes will basically halve its engine variants later this decade: "[We] will reduce the number of engine variants, going through Euro 7, by about 50 percent." With the next-gen AMG C63 switching from a V8 to an electrified version of the AMG A45's four-cylinder engine, the transformation is about to start.
How will Euro 7 change engines? According to proposals made by the European Commission's Consortium for Ultra Low Vehicle Emissions (Clove), cars could be fitted with a multi-stage "supercatalyst." The same British publication looked at the documents and found out petrol-fuelled cars could get a heated electric catalyst, dual three-way catalysts, a particulate filter, and an ammonia slip catalyst.
Not only that, but Euro 7-compliant cars might feature a diagnostics system built into the car's computers to analyse the engine at all times and make sure it meets emissions for 150,000 miles (241,400 kilometres). It all sounds quite expensive to implement, which is why we'll be hearing from other automakers about their plans to simplify the engine portfolio.
It would seem the Euro 7 will be another nail in the internal combustion engine's coffin, effectively forcing automakers to accelerate the switch to EVs. Several brands have already announced plans to transition to an all-electric lineup by the end of the decade, including Jaguar (2025), Opel (2028), Ford of Europe (2030), Volvo (2030), Bentley (2030), and others.
As for Mercedes, it too wants to abandon the combustion engine by the end of the decade, but it will only happen "where market conditions allow." It's an ambitious target coming from a luxury brand that still sells what is the equivalent of a dinosaur in the automotive industry – a V12 engine. The twin-turbo 6.0-litre powerhouse is available only in the Maybach S-Class and the recently introduced armoured Mercedes S-Class Guard.