Testing

New Chinese Regulations Have Put A Halt On Supercar Deliveries

Blame the smog not the communism.

China, a country that built its mammoth economy using cheap labor and relaxed business-friendly environmental laws, is now suffering from the literal cloud of smog it has created for itself. In attempts to undo the damage, Chinese regulators have begun imposing strict emissions requirements on automakers. While manufacturers of small bespoke brands like McLaren and Morgan have typically been exempt from these laws because their cars sell in low quantities and are driven sparsely, Autocar reports that the old paradigm has now changed.

It all has to do with China’s most recent round of environmental legislation. Chinese regulators already required automakers to clear each model for sale by testing it when new to see if it passed emissions and then retesting the vehicle again after 160,000 km (99,419 miles) to see if it could pass again even with an aged engine. That makes sense for your run of the mill Toyota or Chinese-made Chery that's bought by a working class citizen to use for the daily commute, but it’s not as important a mandate for low volume models like the McLaren 720S or 570S Spider. Unless you drive your P1 daily like some rare breeds of owners, a supercar like a McLaren will spend more time in the garage than out on the roads polluting.

Unfortunately, the recent amendment to the law has changed that, forcing supercar manufacturers to adhere to the law requiring a secondary test after 160,000 km. A McLaren spokesperson told Autocar that this is causing a delay in delivery times for these cars, with some owners being told to wait two or more months. Other automakers like Lamborghini, Ariel, Morgan, and a few unnamed manufacturers are seeing delivery delays as well, though the issue has nothing to do with their cars being unable to pass further emissions tests. Ariel boss Simon Saunders told Autocar, "All new vehicles are being designed to high volume Type Approval and legislation standards, so we’re confident that future Ariels will meet China Vl legislation.”

McLaren echoed similar sentiments, claiming that it's confident its cars will pass but that it will take time, which is understandable given that putting almost 100,000 miles on a car so quickly is not easy. In either case, the delays will not cause much more of an impact aside from inconveniencing buyers awaiting their new supercars (life must be so hard for them) and forcing a test driver to sit behind the wheel quite a bit longer. China's regulatory stance on cars has been on the rise, but the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is urging the government to relax laws and make them more reflective of those in place in the US and EU. At least Chinese buyers can still get their fix with a Rimac and give LeEco a reason to build the LeSEE.

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