5 examples of excess weight affecting the car

You like to enjoy the silence on board, rigorous handling, safe braking, first-class passive safety and heated seats. But all this is paid at the price of an indispensable excess weight for certain car models, which have seen the needle of the scale make the complete turn on the dial. And if at one point a more restrictive weight penalty was mentioned, in the end it only applies to vehicles over 1800 kg in France. The honor is, apart from the intermediate categories, hailed by the French, but this does not prevent certain icons from abusing a little too much technological delights and good little dishes sprinkled with sound insulation, large rims and foam plastic.

Read also: the heaviest cars sold in France in 2022

These cars that have gained weight

The most telling example of the European car: Mini, which is no longer!© Saxton4x4

These are just a few of many examples based on access patterns. Almost the entire car fleet has increased in weight and centimeters over the past forty years. The prize unsurprisingly goes to the Mini Cooper with a weight increase of around 63%and a 33% increase in gauge between the 1950 and 2018 version.

Mini Cooper (1950 vs. 2018)

  • + 33% in width
  • + 5% in height
  • + 64% by weight.

Range Rover (2013 vs. 1981)

  • + 23% in width
  • + 3% in height
  • + 36% by weight.

Ford Fiesta (1980 vs. 2017)

  • + 23% in width
  • + 11% in height
  • + 44% by weight.

Ford Mustang (1964 vs. 2015)

  • + 10% in width
  • + 7% in height
  • + 48% by weight.

BMW 3 Series (1983 vs 2019)

  • + 27% in width
  • + 1% in height
  • + 42% by weight.

Obviously, the current plug-in hybrid variants (especially for Range Rover, Audi Q7 or BMW X5) lead to much bigger differences! But the trend is confirmed every time: no car has been slim.

Weight, but no more consumption

Despite massive weight gain and centimeters in width, modern cars consume no more than old ones. And even less for the most part, at a similar level of performance. This is thanks to the many efforts made in all areas: aerodynamics, tires, lubrication, injection, reduction of internal friction, transmission efficiency… but we can’t help but think that all these efforts would have been even more sublime if our dear cars were not so heavy. To do this, we have to agree to make concessions to technologies on board, the level of comfort and sound insulation or even driving aids, whose role is now slightly overestimated by crash test organizations, as we noted this with the latest results.

Cars that have become too big?

The parking spaces adapt to cars.  Here the floor
The parking spaces adapt to cars. Here, the “XXL” floor in Geneva!© TCSGE

Another problem, even more annoying: the overload of modern cars. In many cities and parking lots, the current family car is no longer suitable. That’s what got some underground car park managers up to it to imagine floors specially reserved for “XXL” vehicles. This has especially been the case in Switzerland for years. At the Mont-Blanc car park in Geneva, a specific floor with 250 spaces opened in 2018 for large vehicles… but not only! “It’s a winning bet! Our offer clearly corresponds to an expectation and the use of XXL seats is in line with our ambitions. And not just for large vehicles… In fact, our user profile is very eclectic; it goes from the mother of a family who is looking for space to open the doors wide and without risk to her children, to seniors with more precarious mobility who pass by the owner of a sports car or collection who wants to protect his property as well as possible. , explained Thierry d’Autheville, the operator’s director. Access to this specific part naturally generates an additional cost of the order of 25%.

So where is the big car problem? Development of the underground to accommodate increasingly larger cars has led to the elimination of 130 spaces, i.e. 10% of the car park’s total capacity. 130 spaces, and maybe as many cars that end up on the surface, in the city… in streets that are too narrow.

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