Controversial tests by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to check whether car companies have been trying to get around a power cap that determines Certificate of Entitlement categories have found their models produce as much power as their manufacturers declared.
The LTA has carried out four "chassis dynamometer tests" since November to ensure the companies do not circumvent a new 130bhp power cap introduced last year to remove luxury makes from Category A COE.
As soon as the new rule was in place, Mercedes-Benz introduced 122bhp models to maintain its presence in Category A.
The LTA told The Straits Times it has tested four models since Nov 3 - the Nissan Qashqai 1.2 Turbo, Honda HR-V 1.5, Honda Mobilio 1.5, and Peugeot 308 1.2. "All four models showed power outputs that are aligned with the declared maximum power output," an LTA spokesman said.
The Straits Times understands the Mercedes-Benz B180 and CLA180 were among cars tested.
Sources claim both cars do not meet the 130bhp cap if their turbochargers are in "overboost" - a momentary power surge that comes on only when the car is driven hard.
However, it was argued that overboost was an intermittent occurrence, and the cars were not designed to have that function. The test was thus recalibrated to take this into account.
The LTA spokesman said the Mercedes-Benz B180 and CLA180 were approved last January, before the dynamometer test became mandatory in November.
"They participated only in trial tests that had no implication on their type approved status," she added.
Because of the dynamometer test, the approval process for new cars now takes two to four months, compared to two to four weeks previously.
The test - which costs $500 to $1,000 per car - rattled German manufacturers the most. They claim it contravenes a proposed free-trade agreement between Singapore and the European Union.