Off-road: cigars: how long will be viable?

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The Jeep Wrangler is not an SUV, as they would like them

In full invasion of the SUV, already almost we have forgotten when it was totally normal for an suv was based on the chassis rails and cross members, H -, or ladder. Today the most normal thing is to use a chassis monocoque.

For non-scholars in the field, a chassis monocoque is bound jointly and severally to the body, forming a single piece by welding. In an off-road classic, the body goes bolted to the chassis, which is independent of, and usually riding solid axles and/or suspension of ballestas. Each solution has advantages and disadvantages.

The chassis on ladder have traditionally been more robust for the practice of off-road more rough, in which -for example – may be two opposing wheels in a diagonal in the air, so that the chassis supports an enormous torque. The genesis of the SUV was as well, until came the Jeep Cherokee XJ in 1984, with the first monohull in the category.

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You started it all, Jeep Cherokee XJ

In the Spanish market there are few models with chassis traditional, such as the Jeep Wrangler, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class or Toyota Land Cruiser; besides, we can mention the now defunct Land Rover Defender. In the united States we should also mention the Toyota 4Runner or the Lexus LX and GX, all related to Land Cruiser.

The SUV is now fitted with coachwork monocoque, because it allows for a weight saving remarkable, are better on the road, the needs of stiffness are not as great, and because they tend to be based on platforms of passenger cars. In the crossover, more still.

however, the chassis on ladder is not finished

manufacturers are recognizing that there is still demand for these vehicles, and economically they make a lot of sense, at least in north America, the Middle East, etc., on the one hand, the low prices of the fuel still makes them viable with newer engines, and on the other, on the basis of a chassis for pick-up, to create an off-road derivative has little additional complication: it is part of a work already done.

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The mythical model will return very soon to north America

by 2020, Ford will introduce in the american market, the Bronco, absent for more than 20 years in those places, sharing the chassis of the new generation of pick-up F-150. As the F-150 is the pick-up ever sold in the united States, automatically can be a profitable project, the chassis must develop the same.

on the other hand Toyota has no plans to retire the 4Runner, also based on the chassis easily be repaid, the Land Cruiser. Land Rover surely reediting the Defender with chassis ladder, and the same can be said of the next Class G. These models have some guidance to luxury, especially the German.

With high prices it is much easier to justify a production from low-spin

As the market pulls strongly towards the SUV and the crossover with chassis monohull, the competition in off-road pure is decreasing. Although there are SUV quite capable, even in low-range, more challenging terrain are for off-road traditional. Yes, there will be a sale so massive, but are amortized by sharing parts with light industrial or enfocándolos to an audience of a lot of purchasing power.

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The future G-Class will not be a SUV of the lot

To the end of the chassis ladder will have to wait for a cheaper considerable amount of composite materials to achieve chassis monocoque with the same specifications of stiffness required, also linked to the safety regulations. A chassis on ladder is worse in active and passive safety.

In march, are vehicles for the more clumsy and has the worst touch, build up more inertia and are clearly worse on the road. In a collision the energy is not dissipated as optimized precisely for being designed to have the chassis rigid: they do more harm to them and to those who go in your body.

In short, the 4×4 of truth will last as long as they are cost-effective

on the other hand, an increase in fuel prices in the medium term, or environmental regulations more stringent will decrease the demand for these vehicles in a sense recreational. Their professional versions do not give as much money, are much less equipped, although there are cases and cases, there are also pick-ups of “luxury” with all the comforts of a tourist, but with a chassis that hard.