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passenger car[′pas·ən·jər ‚kär]
a motor vehicle designed to transport passengers and baggage, with a capacity of two to eight people (including the driver). Four- to five-seat cars with closed bodies are the most common.
Passenger cars in the USSR are classified according to the cylinder displacement of the engine. Very small cars have a displacement of up to 1.2 liters; small cars, 1.2–1.8 liters; medium cars, 1.8–3.5 liters; and large cars, more than 3.5 liters. Soviet industry produces automobiles in all four classes, with a model change every five to ten years. Passenger cars made abroad with displacements up to 0.85 liters are called subcom-pacts; those with displacements of 0.85–1.5 liters are called compacts.
Each class of automobile may also be described according to its weight, dimensions, and average performance characteristics. The present-day level of passenger-car design is characterized by the data in Table 1.
Passenger cars are also differentiated according to the location of the engine and the drive wheels: front engine with rear-wheel drive, front engine with front-wheel drive, or rear engine with rear-wheel drive.
In most cases the car body is of the load-carrying type and is of all-metal welded construction.
Automobiles are manufactured with a variety of body types: sedan (a four-door closed body with two or three rows of seats), limousine (the same as a sedan but with a partition between the front and rear seats), coupe (a two-door closed body), convertible (the same as a sedan but with a folding top), touring car (a four-door body with a soft folding top), and station wagon (a
|Table 1. Main characteristics of modern passenger cars (average data)|
|Engine displacement (liters) .....||up to 1.2||1.2–1.8||1.8–3.5||more than 3.5|
|Empty weight (kg).................||600–850||850–1,100||1,150–1,500||more than|
|Maximum speed (km/hr)..........||110–130||120–160||120–170||more than 170|
|Fuel consumption (liters per 100 km)||6.0–8.0||8.5–10.0||11.0–14.0||14.0–20.0|
closed body having a rear door in addition to side doors and with a folding rear seat, which increases the baggage capacity of the body). A popular two-door body has a slanting rear window with an extra third door built into it, so that the car may be used for both passengers and freight. Various specialized automobiles, such as taxicabs, ambulances, mail trucks, and sports cars, are manufactured on passenger-car chassis.
Automobiles are generally equipped with piston-type carburetor internal-combustion engines. Certain companies install diesel engines and also rotary-piston engines. In a number of countries proposals have been made to complete the development and mass production of cars with electric motors.
Automobile clutches are usually of the dry single-plate type, with four-speed or five-speed gear boxes, pinion final drives, and hypoid gearing. Some cars have automatic transmissions.
Front suspensions are usually of the independently sprung spring-and-lever type; rear suspensions are conventional, with leaf or coil springs. Braking systems are actuated hydraulically. The wheel brakes are self-adjusting and are of the drum or disk type.
In newer models the performance and economy are being improved, the maximum speeds are higher, acceleration is faster, the braking efficiency is higher, and the cars are more comfortable and easier to control. Great attention has been devoted to increasing the safety of design, reducing the toxicity of the engine exhaust gases, lowering the noise level, and improving the appearance and quality of the paint. Better adaptation to use for long trips has been made (for example, roof-mounted mesh luggage carriers; reclining front seats). Some cars are equipped with towing gear for light single-axle trailers (house trailers, boat trailers, and so on). Cars have various equipment to prevent injury to the driver and passengers in the event of an accident.
Taxicabs are the most heavily used automobiles. In the USSR they are driven an average of about 80,000 km per year. Official cars are driven 30,000–40,000 km, and personal cars, about 8,000 km.
In 1971, passenger-car production in the USSR was 529,000 (5,500 in 1940, 64,600 in 1950, and 138,800 in 1960).
The production of passenger cars in the USSR by 1975 will be increased by a factor of 3.5 to 3.8 compared to 1970, reaching approximately 1.3 million per year. This sharp increase is possible because of the start-up of the Volga Automobile Works, which is designed to produce 660,000 cars per year. World passenger-car production as of 1971 was 24.3 million per year.
REFERENCESFuchadzhi, K. S., and Sh. M. Kaufman. Avtomobil’ “Zaporozhets” ZAZ-965A: Ustroistvo, tekhnicheskoe obsluzhivanie i remont. Moscow, 1969.
Gol’d, B. V. Kak rabotaet avtomobil’, 4th ed. Moscow, 1970.
Kratkii avtomobil’nyi spravochnik, 6th ed. Moscow, 1971.
Rodionov, V. F., and B. M. Fiterman. Legkovye avtomobili. Moscow, 1971.
Avtomobil’ “Moskvich-412.” Moscow, 1971.
Avtomobil’ GAZ-24 “Volga.” Moscow, 1971.