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La Citroën AX de 1986 incarne une époque où le rendement primait sur tout. Résultat, un poids-plume mais une sécurité passive quasi-nulle.

Night Road – Weight (not always) is our enemy

It is true that the statistics are loud. 1986 Citroen AX 11 RE weighs 645 kg, current Citroen C3 1.2 1,077 kg. I.e. increased by more than 400 kg. Between the two, a saxophone weighs 1.1 825 kg.

This weight is found among all manufacturers: would they have told themselves to refurbish us the most expensive and profitable, heavy cars? Not really. The main reason why our mounts go on the bulky track is not the gear, as you ask. An air conditioning unit / 4 electric windows / sound system weighs less than 50 kg.

The description is elsewhere. In the mid-1980s, manufacturers began to take seriously the problem of passive safety as a whole, which acknowledged the worst flaws in most cars.

This led to the formation of very strong but heavy crusts. For example, the Fiat Depot in 1988 weighed in at 100kg more than its competitors and weighed at least 150kg more than the modified Ridmo. But the depot was very resilient in the event of an impact. Increase sequence from AX to Saxo (825 kg in 1.1), but created from the same platform.

The 1996 citroen saxophone, an evolution of the AX, weighed 180 kg in front of it, and its passive protection was very poor. However, this is on the rise.

However, when you look at EuroNcap, Saxo gets very bad results (1 star and a half), so you wonder how the AX is doing in the crash test. In my opinion, absolutely scary.

The Saxo became the 1st generation C3, weighing 980 kg in version 1.1 or 155 kg more than its predecessor. But it has made tremendous strides in terms of passive security, rising to 4 stars in EuroNcap. Following that, progress in this area slowed, and the weight gain of cars followed the same trend.

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The Citroen C3 replaced the Saxo in 2002 and still weighs 100 kg.  But it also protects its passengers innumerable better in the event of an impact.
The Citroen C3 replaced the Saxo in 2002 and still weighs 100 kg. But it also protects its passengers innumerable better in the event of an impact.

So what do we need? Lightweight and dangerous cars in the event of an impact, or heavy cars that effectively protect their passengers? The answer is obvious. The other option is to use ultralight products, but they are more expensive. It is no coincidence that BMW has largely replaced its I3 with carbon fiber: despite its high cost, it has not been profitable.

Another source of weight: the hunger for SUVs, the pet of many enthusiasts. These tarnish the minds of buyers again and again without worrying about the minivans they have modified. However, with the same engine, the VW Tiguan (SUV) weighed only 20 kg more than a Touran (minivan). Powerful, the Renault Sinek (minivan) weighs 107 kg more than the Katzar (SUVà) with the same engine (140 hp petrol) without being too spacious. Crazy, right?

On the other hand, the desired electrification for environmental reasons constitutes an enormous cause for weight gain. Europe is forcing manufacturers to go down this path, the only way to quickly respond to restraining orders based on CO2 emissions during use. But not in production, a fundamental question that is not of interest to decision makers!

    The SUV, the Renault Kadjar, however, weighs a hundred kilos less than the Scenic with the same engine.
The SUV, the Renault Kadjar, however, weighs a hundred kilos less than the Scenic with the same engine.

Switching to hybrid means an additional 200 kg, and a Electrification In total, almost 300 kg. For example, a Peugeot 208 Burtech 130 weighs 1,158 kg and the power 136 hp 1,455 kg. With a small battery of 50 kWh, it does not offer a miraculous autonomy. And to think that the sale of new thermals will be banned in 2035 …

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Here again, the more progressive EU policy would certainly have allowed for a shift towards significant reductions in CO2 emissions, which would not have produced a significant increase in these emissions from production. You need to know what you want, and above all, be familiar with the automobile, beyond the clichs that operators say about their fears and their anger. This is because switching to all electricity will not solve the global emissions problem at all.

The Peugeot e-208 is considered virtuous because it is electric, yet weighs 300 kg more than a thermal 208 at equivalent power.  Therefore its production emits more CO2.
The Peugeot e-208 is considered virtuous because it is electric, yet weighs 300 kg more than a thermal 208 at equivalent power. So its production emits more CO2.

Do not completely liberate manufacturers who have made a profit before the inventions, to the extent that all of the current traction engines with cross-section engines make proper use of the engine configuration introduced by the Fiat 128 in 1969! Their immobility, in particular, opened a royal route to Tesla and later to the Chinese manufacturers of electric cars, much better than the Europeans.