Text: Zyed Ahmad Hassan
Photo: Weststar Brochure
In early days almost every motor vehicle had a frame. As technology advances cars migrated to unibody construction. Most of us are familiar with the ladder frame chassis construction as it is associated with strength. That is also my old school of thought and it is also the simplest and oldest of all designs. It consists merely of two symmetrical rails, or beams connected by cross members. A very good classical example is the Land Rover. The ladder frame was gradually phased out in favour of perimeter frames and unibody.
Let‘s us have a look at the unibody. Why Maxus Van and many other motor vehicles are using unibody construction is some thing we should understand and care about. Unibody is by far the most common design in use today. To make it simple, unibody is a type of vehicle body construction in which the frame and body are a single unit or single moulded unit. The vehicle’s integral floor pan forms the vehicle’s underside and it is also the main structural element to which the mechanical components are attached. This design makes the vehicle overall weight lighter and is the basis for virtually all passenger cars. Maxus V80 uses this proven technology of passenger cars to achieve greater control, car-like driving and riding comfort and hence greater driving performance.
Unibody cars generally have a front sub frame that holds the engine and front suspension and a rear sub frame that holds the rear suspension. These sub frames are in fact sub-assemblies that bolt to the vehicle’s chassis, and those sub-assemblies act as major supporting members in the chassis.
Maxus body is described as monocoque with an integrated sub frame. That refers to the same subject of unibody we are talking about. Monocoque is the term used in Europe and in the US, it is referred to as unibody. In monocoque or unibody construction the structural members around the window and door frames are strengthened by folding the metal several times. In some other models, they use layers of carbon fibre.
One disadvantage about monocoque body is that repair time of the body after accidents takes longer time because the body would require straightening by specialists.
On the other hand, unibody vehicles use high tensile strength but light weight materials for construction of its body. This results in greater driving efficiency and lower fuel consumption. That sounds real great for this size of van as compared to other vans in the same class or category. Unibody also offers high resistant to torsional flexing giving it a high level of cornering and driving stability and hence a non- compromising handling and road grip.
On safety aspect Maxus has good crumple zone to protect the occupants and hence lowering rate of deaths and serious injuries. The Maxus V80 has also been subjected to collision crash tests for several times and it passed the European Commercial Vehicle Collision Standard.
Thus the Maxus integrated unibody structure provides high rigidity ,high intensity body to enhance comfort and to protect the passengers effectively. With this integrated frameless monocoque body design, it minimises injury to passengers during crash, collision and roll-over.
Those wanted to buy large van, give these features in Maxus due consideration and you can have a good night sleep.