BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer has called for sensible legislation on emissions rather than a ‘one-size fits all’.

“Customers have very different demands so mid-sized and luxury cars must not be compared with small vehicles in terms of CO2 emissions,” he said.

“We call for different CO2 emission limits for different vehicle classes and sizes. Anything else is not physically possible and not economically sound.”

An EU target limit of 130g of CO2 per kilometre from 2012 will mean that average fuel consumption will be below 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

However, Reithofer said the motor industry cannot overlook the environment any longer in the light of global climate change.

The German car company’s chairman said: “All of us have to do more for the environment and climate protection in the future.”

He added that between 1990 and 2005, BMW had significantly reduced the fuel consumption of its vehicles.

“This reduction should be appreciated and valued even more since new safety standards such as airbags and side-impact protection, as well as legal requirements on exhaust gases have actually added fuel consumption to vehicles.

“In other words our vehicles have become safer and cleaner while at the same time giving higher performance and lower fuel consumption.”

Diesel engines were the way forward for the North American market, he said, and BMW would launch a range of diesels there in the near future.

Reithofer said that BMW’s ‘EfficientDynamics’ strategy would lead to further environmental gains.

“We are about to launch new four-cylinder petrol engines with direct injection and lean-burn mode as well as new high-end diesel engines. Along with other measures we are expecting a further fuel consumption reduction of up to 20%.

“In the medium term, hybrids will be another element of EfficientDynamics as we see these as an interesting possibility for raising the efficiency of traditional powertrains.

“In the long term we consider hydrogen as the most sustainable solution. With the BMW Hydrogen 7 we can already demonstrate that driving without fossil fuels and emissions can be done.”

Mitsubishi wants CO2 flexibility