In general, it’s simply safety and convenience that is making the late-model cars heavier. A close look into the matter however brings out other concerns as well, why the extra pounds add costs to owning of new vehicle, and what are automakers doing for bringing down the weight.
The major vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3Series, and Audi A4 has also added weight to their productions, somewhat 550 pounds. But now the lightest light emitting diode, the glass in the window, and other such components are being redesigned for a thinner and quieter make.
However, when vehicle longevity, passenger safety, fuel economy and performance are measured than every ounce of the weight added will count. Let’s first see how the latest features are adding mass to the vehicles and also understand as Motor Trader explains how more weight costs more money?
Safety Feature Add Weight
As per the law of automobile industry, the latest vehicles are required to be fitted with all a variety of various safety oriented features and equipment (air bags, door intrusion beams, anti lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring systems etc.). Despite great significance of these safety features, they also add weight.
Comfort and Convenience Features Add Weight
Convenient features are not new; cars always came with luxurious fittings. But the latest models are accompanied with an overflow of features that make driving easier and even convenient. Consumers on the other hand that reaches dealers and sellers for purchasing latest cars desire fully complementing luxury and power equipment and the latest technologies. But on the whole, the trade off for added convenience is weight.
Remember Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Inertia?
Here’s a recall: “an object at rest tends to stay at rest”. Why we’re using this is to add value to our topic today. More power is required when trying to move a heavier object. Thus, what type engine is placed and how fuel efficient the car is- the power plant is working harder and burning more fuel whenever the added weight is accelerated
How Does Adding Weight Cost Money
The expense of additional weight and parts does not just stop at increased fuel cost. An object that is heavier will require bigger tires, heavier brakes and a sturdier suspension-this all constitutes to more weight addition. Just because the vehicle has more weight, the added components wear out more easily as compared to a vehicle that is light weight. This even count for the manufacturer, heavier parts cost more and the manufacturing cost increases.
Moreover, the increase in mass also asks for increased engine power. Although the latest engine technology has been able to offset increasingly greater engine displacements. Let’s take the example of Toyota Corolla, in 1990 a 1.6-liter engine and automatic transmission had an EPA mileage of 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway, whereas its counterpart in 2010 with a larger engine of 2.4-liter returned an identical fuel economy.
The conclusion is that automakers are also under the pressure of consumers for offering greater luxury and safety features, while the latest outline of the government regulation outlines more stringent fuel economy standards. Yet it might seem a tough battle, but it doesn’t have to be. Vehicle manufacturers are trying hard for exploring more innovative technologies in building parts that can reduce the weight and increase fuel economy and improve performance.