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  Design 8

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So, enough of the all too psychological observations. In the following article we would again, like to concentrate on the actual task of transporting. The designers certainly have these tasks in view. Basically, the motor car has the task of transporting a certain number of people with a moderate amount of luggage from point A to point B. It wouldn't do any harm either, if the car also offered a certain amount of versatility, e.g., could also manage fewer people and therefore, more luggage.

It goes without saying, that today's cars have far more possibilities, thanks to the fold-down rear seat backrest found in some. In the meantime, in fact for a long time now, they can also be found in sports cars. The latter shows that, as in the past, there are special tasks. Not only can up to seven people be transported, but in some cases, only two seats are available. By the way, the car of the future will also be able to search for a parking place, even without the driver being in the car.

The question is now, which type of vehicle makes the highest demands on the design. If you ask me, it would have to be the van or transporter. Indeed, it's quite possible, that there are also some who, because of the enormous customer demands, would say it is the two-seater sports car. The largest spectrum of effectivity can only be confirmed by the practice.

Can we agree on an average of maximum 5 people per vehicle? Although, because of the lay-out of certain rear seats, some four-seater could also be taken into consideration. Apart from which, the average family today, has only one child. It probably also depends on the distances to be travelled. Of course, not all the seats have the same qualities. Tall car-testers make it all sound very simple, they seat themselves behind the wheel, make the respective adjustments and then change over to the seat behind the driver, of course, the space-conception is then discredited.

Did you know, that about 5% of the women are smaller than average and 95% of the men are taller than average? What happens is e.g., one combines the possible steering wheel positions with the adjustment possibilities of the driver's seat, this means that the car is not being built with everyone in mind, 'only' for 90% of the population, so, for each gender, 5% are not considered. This is difficult enough, because this large group must be able to adapt the car to suit their own personal needs.

Back in the 'good old days', the bench-seat up front could accommodate three people. Side support was something foreign and steering wheel adjustment was simply not available, even though it was urgently needed. Let's return to the present day, where speed plays a deciding role when transporting. Strangely enough, just in the last ten years, the possible top speeds of motor cars have increased enormously, this however, has had hardly any effect at all on the actual transporting speed.

At this point, we'll again refer to the advancement that the design has made, whereby, the subject of fuel-saving has probably been the primary target. Certainly, way back in the past, today's cW-values were also found, indeed, only in individual prototypes, unsuitable for everyday use. Nowadays, the shapes and perhaps even moreso, the processing of the car body, partly cancels out the disadvantages of the enormous cross-sectional areas found e.g., in SUVs. 11/14

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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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