The new emissions rules have made life tricky for the luxury British automaker.

Bentley has joined the list of manufacturers impacted heavily by the introduction of new Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) regulations in Europe.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Bentley CEO, Adrian Hallmark, said the introduction of a new, stricter test protocol was "close to catastrophic" for the automaker.

"We were not quick enough unfortunately to book capacity or prioritise our derivatives within some of the group processes to get them certified on time,” he said, referencing rules forcing unique model variants and trim lines to be tested individually of each other.

According to Hallmark, the new test forced Bentley to be "ruthless" in prioritising its model rollout, and pushed back the introduction of the plug-in hybrid Bentayga SUV until March 2019 so higher-selling cars could be certified on the emissions test bench.

The new WLTP regulations have wrought havoc on mainstream brands, too. Volkswagen had just seven of its 14 model lines granted type approval when the new rules came into force, creating long delays for customers and, naturally, significant frustration among dealers.

"The new tests are more cumbersome and take two to three times longer than in the past. Even limited edition models need to be tested separately,” Thomas Zahn told journalists at the time. “The coming months will be challenging for us.”

Locally, the impact has played out in the form of a slimmer Golf and Passat range.