U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-23-2017, 05:21 AM
 
1,117 posts, read 2,243,793 times
Reputation: 1268

Advertisements

I was curious to learn about the new Camry and whether it is going to be the kind of big improvement Toyota has hyped. So, I read this article in the Daily News and it seems as though it really is going to be a very different car. We'll see...

But, the article got me thinking about "structural rigidity," based on the author's assertion that the new global platform introduces increased "stiffness" into the chassis. I've heard this kind of thing from numerous automakers for decades with each new model generation and I've come to the conclusion that we're lucky the fenders stayed on cars forty years ago (not to mention that we're lucky the doors and wheels didn't fly off around corners).

If I believe the amount of increased "stiffness" carmakers talk about over time, I have to assume that structural rigidity on most cars has improved by 1000% over that time period. And yet, I don't feel anything different in modern cars than I did in @ 1990 cars. Thoughts?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-23-2017, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
2,983 posts, read 1,898,025 times
Reputation: 4552
The reason you don't generally feel the difference (though you would if you drove a sports car or convertible) is that the compliance found in the chassis has made it's way to the suspension. With increased structural rigidity, the suspension can be tuned a bit softer while still giving excellent control. This is why cars corner much flatter today than before.

If the vehicle's chassis flexes too much, the wheels, and therefore the vehicle itself, will move in directions other than the one which the driver intended. Not a Good Thing. This movement doesn't have to be large to be noticeable. The need for constant steering corrections while driving may be due to frame flex (among many other possible causes.) This can be tiring at best (a definite safety factor), and can make a car's cornering abilities less than optimum - another very negative safety factor. In the "good olde days" when automobile chassis were less rigid than today, sports cars often had very stiff suspensions. This reduced unwanted wheel movement. It also reduced comfort, and, seemingly paradoxically, sometimes reduced handling abilities as well. No paradox, really. The tires must be in contact with the ground in order to transmit acceleration, braking, or cornering forces. A too-stiff suspension will have wheels rebounding into the air, where the tires do nothing.

More structural rigidity also reduces noise from rattles and squeaks as the car doesn't flex around it's fasteners as much. Old cars flexed quite a bit end developed a lot of noises early on. And it's one of the reasons cars were often worn out by 100k miles.

And lastly, safety is noticeably better, both active safety (handling) and passive (crumple zones). With a more rigid chassis, engineers can make the car crumple in specific, designated areas and directions, thus controlling how the car absorbs the energy of a crash.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
5,791 posts, read 2,784,129 times
Reputation: 6375
Quote:
Originally Posted by rranger View Post
And yet, I don't feel anything different in modern cars than I did in @ 1990 cars. Thoughts?
On good cars you'd notice it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 07:34 AM
A02
 
74 posts, read 58,535 times
Reputation: 80
Sounds promising... I have heard the current one already feels grounded to the ground.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 07:48 AM
 
1,117 posts, read 2,243,793 times
Reputation: 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by A02 View Post
Sounds promising... I have heard the current one already feels grounded to the ground.
Yes, and very rigid.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 07:49 AM
 
1,117 posts, read 2,243,793 times
Reputation: 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by eaton53 View Post
On good cars you'd notice it.
Definition please.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 07:53 AM
 
1,117 posts, read 2,243,793 times
Reputation: 1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffer E38 View Post
The reason you don't generally feel the difference (though you would if you drove a sports car or convertible) is that the compliance found in the chassis has made it's way to the suspension. With increased structural rigidity, the suspension can be tuned a bit softer while still giving excellent control. This is why cars corner much flatter today than before.

If the vehicle's chassis flexes too much, the wheels, and therefore the vehicle itself, will move in directions other than the one which the driver intended. Not a Good Thing. This movement doesn't have to be large to be noticeable. The need for constant steering corrections while driving may be due to frame flex (among many other possible causes.) This can be tiring at best (a definite safety factor), and can make a car's cornering abilities less than optimum - another very negative safety factor. In the "good olde days" when automobile chassis were less rigid than today, sports cars often had very stiff suspensions. This reduced unwanted wheel movement. It also reduced comfort, and, seemingly paradoxically, sometimes reduced handling abilities as well. No paradox, really. The tires must be in contact with the ground in order to transmit acceleration, braking, or cornering forces. A too-stiff suspension will have wheels rebounding into the air, where the tires do nothing.

More structural rigidity also reduces noise from rattles and squeaks as the car doesn't flex around it's fasteners as much. Old cars flexed quite a bit end developed a lot of noises early on. And it's one of the reasons cars were often worn out by 100k miles.

And lastly, safety is noticeably better, both active safety (handling) and passive (crumple zones). With a more rigid chassis, engineers can make the car crumple in specific, designated areas and directions, thus controlling how the car absorbs the energy of a crash.
All of what you say is true; I'm simply wondering whether there are really any incremental, noticeable differences in rigidity over, say, the same car 20 years ago. Cars are definitely safer as time goes on (offset impact standards come to mind), but I really question whether there has been that much of an increase in handling performance over that time period. For example, does a "more rigid" 2017 Accord really handle any better than a 1997 one? I'm dubious.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 08:03 AM
 
Location: WA
5,510 posts, read 22,324,014 times
Reputation: 6191
I certainly have noticed a difference over the years. A more rigid platform allows the suspension components to work as designed and imparts more precision and consistency to ride and handling. More aggressive driving and higher speed maneuvers is possible where they would be dangerous in the past.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
2,983 posts, read 1,898,025 times
Reputation: 4552
Quote:
Originally Posted by rranger View Post
All of what you say is true; I'm simply wondering whether there are really any incremental, noticeable differences in rigidity over, say, the same car 20 years ago.

Yes, I can feel it, especially in convertibles, but also in sedans.


Quote:
For example, does a "more rigid" 2017 Accord really handle any better than a 1997 one? I'm dubious.

Vastly better, in fact. Not necessarily outright grip (that's more a function of tires) but in slalom and emergency avoidance maneuvers.


You'll also notice much tighter tolerances and gaps on doors and the like on the newer Accord and Camry vs their mid '90s counterparts, This is due to less need for play in the parts as they flex.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2017, 08:36 AM
 
Location: NYC
17,485 posts, read 11,143,157 times
Reputation: 20937
Perhaps they put some Subaru engineers to help them since Toyota has a huge stake in Subaru. The Subaru Legacy has always been a sportier sedan than both Accord and Camry. It has a stiffer chassis and suspension just compliant enough damping without being too stiff. I always find the Camry is soft because that's what most people want. A comfy ride without feeling all the road imperfections. If they try to copy Mazda here it may backfire as many female and older drivers don't like feeling the road's bumpiness. I also think that having so much HP is bad for avg drivers. It can translate to more car accidents.

I keep seeing car crashes more and more on the news the last few years and I blame it on poor driving skills and cars with higher HP. It's easy to go faster these days but reaction times and driving skills have not improved for avg drivers.

So I'm not so sure having a sportier Camry is a good thing.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top