Body Development 2
The requirements for the design are manifold. First, it should attract new customers, second, it should repel the course of time for some years, and finally it should fit in with the other cars of the same brand. It seems
that rather slow moving - in terms of design - car manufacturers were more successful as compared to those that were implementing too big a step forward. The latter had to crawl back very often releasing their new
How it works
Looking back some 10 or 20 years, it is obvious that the shape and construction of the bodies have altered. The shapes have become more aerodynamic round, the windshields flatter, and also the headlights
followed this shape. The bumpers changed especially drastic, from being appendages from metal to harmonically integrated parts of the vehicle. They improved, too. Although they often are coated in the same colour
as the vehicle, though with an extremely elastic lacquer, they can handle impacts of up to 8 km/h mostly without a scratch.
Inside the body the sheet metals have become larger and smoother, and the claerance
decreased. The wind has fewer working surfaces. The prerequisite for this is the enormous increase in stability of modern bodies as compared to the past. This comes about by:
- self-supporting windows,
- exactly calculated thicknesses of the sheets of metal,
- more reinforcements.
The torsion resistance has doubled within the last ten years, by reducing drastically the tolerances of the manufacturing process.This in spite of the fact that the bodies still have many destabilizing openings. Besides
the boot lid, which almost mandatorily reaches up to the bumper, also the roof might have large openings. Most cars might have several small or one large glass roof, but there are few cars that have roof
constructions that might be taken apart in certain steps. From sedan to convertible with graduations for situations neither fully adequate for either. Also, the metal soil between convertible roof tray and trunk for
convertibles is no longer mandatory.
Light and space are requested. Light inside the car is realized by designing roofs that might be opened up or with large sun roofs, leaving no space for possible reinforcements in the roof. Additionally, the trend for
vehicles is to increase in terms of height, which is not in favour of their stability. The underbody changed, too, the longitudinal beams almost vanished, even the spare wheel pan, providing a lot of stability due to its
curved shape, disappeared. Instead of the spare wheel pan, there are foldable seats now. Depending on the future fuel, it might be the future spot for high pressure tanks.
The example above is not a particular example of a raw body for which the final vehicle is hard to guess. For some bodies one sees just ramming protection and power consumption systems. Due to the module
technology, it is possible to insert the engine bulkhead and/or the front transverse bracing with the final assembly together with the pre-mounted and before-tested building group. Side panels are partly, interior
fenders nearly always manufactured from plastic. The final car might look awesome, the raw body rather brings up associations with purpose-deformed shelf profiles.