Ever wondered, the term Chassis, which people keep talking about? So much so, that even while registering a vehicle, a unique Chassis Number is asked for. A car chassis is like a skeleton holding the car together. Similar to any living being’s skeleton, It's the solid foundation that keeps all the car parts in place. Different types of chassis make cars work in different ways. We are here to help you understand about the chassis and what considerations can be looked into while making a choice about your car purchase.
Types of Car Chassis
1. Ladder Frame Chassis
Imagine a ladder lying under a car - that's basically an explanation of the ladder frame chassis. It's like the basic structure that cars used to have a long time ago. It's really strong, like a weightlifter, but it can be a bit heavy. Because of its heaviness, cars with this chassis may not be super great at taking tight turns like a race car. It is till date one of the most reliable car chassis types. They are easy to assemble as the parts are separate from each other, making them easier and handier to replace. Some of the leading cars from the Indian market include Toyota Fortuner, Force Motors Gurkha, and Ford Edge. If you are looking for a Robust Heavy vehicle, ladder-frames are the way to move forward with.
2. Backbone Chassis
This one is named after the backbone in our bodies because it looks similar to our own spine. A backbone chassis has a hollow shape with a tube running through it, connecting the front and back parts of the car. It's good at protecting the car's driveshaft (a propelling component) , which is like the car's backbone. But if something goes wrong with the driveshaft, it can be a big task to fix. While this type of Chassis can be effective in case of trucks, off-roading vehicles, etc., it is not the best type to choose from in case of your ’friendly neighbourhood car’.
The example from the Indian Market can include Skoda Rapid, proving it is not popular in this case. The cars adopting this design have excellent ground clearance, making it a choice for enthusiasts.
3. Monocoque Chassis
The word "monocoque" means "single shell." This type is like a protective cage around the car. It's strong and keeps you safe if there's a crash, but because it's like a big protective shell, it can be a bit heavy. Still, it's a good choice for keeping everyone safe and for easier fixes.
The modern cars have adopted this Chassis to the fullest extent. It offers great customisation ability, is budget friendly and ensures good fuel economy. Features such as lightweight, aerodynamic and seamless make it ideal for our daily use cars. The car ranges in this segment of the Indian Market are Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Swift, Dzire, Tata Punch and a lot more. Another advantage of this type is optimised space management, as you get more space to store your belongings. This feature ensures more passengers as well.
4. Tubular Chassis
Imagine a bunch of straws connected in a network - that's it, a tubular chassis. It's like a web of tubes that are super strong, especially for race cars. But building cars with this chassis is quite tricky and time-consuming. Now talking about a very different segment altogether, it is important to understand this as an enthusiast as well. Also, for regular cars, it might not be the best choice as it can make things a bit complicated. It can be said as an integrated version of a ladder chassis but for performance and speed. It is robust and ensures an aerodynamic shape.
Having an excellent ratio between strength and weight, this cute little boy is a beast hidden underneath. The only disadvantage is that they can’t be manufactured with conventional technological methods, making them costly and not suitable for passenger cars.
We have summarised the above in an easy to read and understand format for your use. We hope that helps you gain a better understanding of each of these types.
|Ladder Frame Chassis
|H-shaped frame with a tube connecting front and rear suspension.
|Two large lengthwise beams supported by smaller cross-sectional beams.
|Three-dimensional cage-like structure made of tubular pipes.
|Single body type structure, all components and mechanical parts interconnected.
|Good for off-roading, heavy usage, trucks.
|Mostly used in SUVs for off-roading purposes.
|Primarily used in race cars due to enhanced safety.
|Commonly used in modern passenger cars, hatchbacks, compact sedans.
|Good connectivity between axles and road surface.
|Easy to assemble, provides different body styles.
|Offers higher rigidity than similar frames with the same weight.
|Lightweight and strong, body components directly connected to chassis.
|Stable, good torsional rigidity.
|Provides some protection between body and road surface.
|High rigidity-to-weight ratio, strong and lightweight structure.
|Considered safe due to single construction.
|Ideal for off-roading vehicles.
|Suitable for going off-road, provides high ground clearance.
|Not common in passenger cars due to feasibility issue.
|Prevents off-roading of the vehicle due to extreme stiffness.
|Difficult to access driveshaft, expensive.
|Easy to replace and repair parts, cheaper.
|Complicated design, cannot be mass-produced.
|Difficult and expensive repairs.
|Tends to be very heavy.
|Lightweight, offers good fuel economy.
Each type of chassis has its own cool stuff and not-so-great stuff. Some are super strong but can make cars heavy, while others keep us safe but can be a bit complex to fix. It's like picking shoes - some are comfy but not super stylish, and some look cool but might not be as comfy! Car chassis may seem like just the boring stuff underneath, but they're the real heroes making cars run smoothly. As we explored, most of the cars around are having a monocoque chassis and for good reasons. Understanding these chassis types can help us choose cars that match what we need, like choosing the right superhero for the job!