One disturbing trend for those concerned with both performance and fuel economy is that cars have gotten more and more heavier over the years. Compare the original Mk1 Golf GTI to the latest Mk5 version, the original was only 810kg in stock form, while the latest TFSI Mk5 weighs in at 1,340kg – thats more than 500kg heavier!
Rather than see 2,000kg hot hatches sometime in the future, someone has decided to do something about this and hopefully force everyone to follow suit – Thomas Weber, board member in charge of R&D over at DaimlerChrysler.
Weber admits that the weight of cars have been growing alarmingly over the past few years. DaimlerChrysler has moved weight reduction into the middle term concerns, together with improving drivetrain efficiency and energy management. Special project teams devoted to lightweight construction were formed in late 2006. DaimlerChrysler is now using ultra high performance steels in highly stressed structural parts and aluminum at chassis locations that are under less strain. Every parts designer is given goals for weight reduction in his area.
According to surveys, vehicle weight increases every year from about 1% to 1.5%, plus vehicle length grows about 5 to 10cm from one model generation to another. Weight increases because of increase in vehicle size as well as increase safety, amongst many reasons. In this age of fuel efficiency concerns, will we see this trend reversed?