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Old 27th April 2011, 16:35   #1
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Default When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

Hi All,

I have a strange issue with the new generation cars.

It has got to do with their bumpers. If you look at A star, i10, i20, Beat, Micra and Ford Figo a very quick estimate would indicate that the so called bumpers of these cars are actually more than half of their front.

To top it, these bumpers are flimsy. A little knock is enough to bring them down, chip off the overlaying paint for the ugly black substandard plastic to appear.

From what I understand of bumpers is that they are supposed to take some knocking. Delhi roads are famous for their two wheelers without brakes who bang into cars because they are unable to brake to a stop in time.

So if such an incident happens and even a minor one at that, you have half of the car gone trash and a huge bill staring at you.

Is this being done in the name of safety. Or is it being done to jack up the profits.

If you take some of the bumpers of the above cars, what you are left is just the engine hood.

Would like to know what you think.
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Old 27th April 2011, 23:24   #2
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

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Originally Posted by syravi View Post
It has got to do with their bumpers. If you look at A star, i10, i20, Beat, Micra and Ford Figo a very quick estimate would indicate that the so called bumpers of these cars are actually more than half of their front.

If you take some of the bumpers of the above cars, what you are left is just the engine hood.
Nice observation.
Apparently this is some kind of a modern design element. Some cars looks good with it like the i20, but it looks hideous in others.

Another really awkward trend is usage of over-bulbous headlights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by syravi View Post
To top it, these bumpers are flimsy. A little knock is enough to bring them down, chip off the overlaying paint for the ugly black substandard plastic to appear.
Is this being done in the name of safety. Or is it being done to jack up the profits.
Oh, they can be made more robust for sure. It is totally about profits in this case.
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Old 27th April 2011, 23:31   #3
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

Good point. The bumpers are so fragile that even a minor knock can put it out of its place and then we need to empty our pockets for it. And the paint quality is worse.
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Old 28th April 2011, 00:33   #4
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I think the bumpers are there for a reason. They are supposed to absorb the force of the impact and not just offer cosmetic value to the car. i think the bigger the better i.e. the size. I remember once i was waiting at a red light and suddenly i heard a thud from the rear end of the car. i got down from the car and saw that a Ceilo rammed into my car and the bumber was completely disoriented (while the contact between both the cars was still there). After the customary delivery of pleasantries i asked the guy to move his car back and what i see is that the bumper of my car just popped back to its original shape like nothing had happened at all, not even a single scratch
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Old 28th April 2011, 01:55   #5
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

You can blame
  • Pedestrian safety norms
  • Cost cutting.
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Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
.. And the paint quality is worse...
I thought newer car's came with much better paint quality?

On the brighter side, these 'flimsy' bumpers come pretty cheap these days. IIRC, Figo's bumper cost only about 1.5k where as my IKON bumper with grille cost upwards of 10k.

Well, if Mustang. 101 is reading this, I would love to know if the all new Fiesta comes with a dog-bar?
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Old 28th April 2011, 07:46   #6
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

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You can blame
  • Pedestrian safety norms
  • Cost cutting.
Its no so much cost cutting as pedestrian safety norms. As per the new European pedestrian rules (remember we live in a global village where every product is sold everywhere) the car design should be such at even on impact at 40kmph, the person shouldn't be seriously injured. And that is why you wouldn't see sharp edges of the front anymore in new cars. That is also the reason why Defender is going out of production as it doesn't qualify as per the existing safety norms.

As about cost cutting, I don't think there is much scope. One can make slightly heavier and thicker bumper but that would mean changing the overall design, increasing weight, reducing FE et al.
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Old 28th April 2011, 08:04   #7
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

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As about cost cutting, I don't think there is much scope. One can make slightly heavier and thicker bumper but that would mean changing the overall design, increasing weight, reducing FE et al.
Actually you can make lighter and more stronger (tensile strength, stiffness, impact resistant) bumpers in the same mold, i.e., without increasing thickness. But it would increase cost of raw materials.
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Old 28th April 2011, 08:27   #8
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

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Actually you can make lighter and more stronger (tensile strength, stiffness, impact resistant) bumpers in the same mold, i.e., without increasing thickness. But it would increase cost of raw materials.
Absolutely agree. But that is performance engineering plastics. I'm not sure how many of A/B Segment car owners will be willing to pay the added costs.

everybody wants cheaper cars right
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Old 28th April 2011, 08:35   #9
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

All the bumpers are not manufactured for what they meant for, while i have noticed just plastic in an bumper of Maruti 800, esteem, zen. While I noticed more stuff inside bumpers of Ford Escort and cielo (not sure). which is of high quality and not just fancy stuff.

According to the price of cars, the manufacturers design bumpers, all bumpers are not same, and all bumpers dont do their task right. If you have money to get right car with right bumper it will do its job, But at the same time, changing or repairing those bumpers are also costly.
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Old 28th April 2011, 09:19   #10
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

I know the reason for that atleast in most the cars.
If you are not able to digest it, the person to be blamed is the Indian government.

Here is the reason, if the car is a sedan the manufacturers do one thing, they cut off the boot of the car, (which is very obvious with all the CS versions going around).

But since most of the hatches in the Europe are more than 4m in length, the only way the manufacturers can reduce the length of the car is by cutting off the front side of the car. As its very difficult to re-engineer the rear end of a hatch.

All they do is cramp the engine bay and reduce the front side. And to counter that they are forced to introduce crumple zone in front thus the huge bumpers...
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:05   #11
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

Though there is a bit of customization to meet the India 4 mtrs lenght rule to save on excise costs, in general most cars sold here are of the same length, size and shape as the international variant.

The large front bumpers for many improve the looks (debatable), are easlier to clean and maintain (less joints), reduce costs (lesser no of elements to integrate together), faster to assemble, and also interently reduce the lenght of the car making for better packaging. Besides they help pass the pedestrian safety norms better (but that also normally implies a taller hood at the front.)
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:27   #12
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

The most practical one is the old designs.
the one in which a bumper is just a metal or rubber/plastic extension that can take a rub or two with minor accidents.
but now days the design aspect and safety rules mandate these flimsy body coloured plastic bumpers.
for eg. look at the rear bumper of most cars-non existent to the point of being useless for their primary intent.
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:28   #13
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

Linea's rear bumper can be used to build a dog house. It also starts very high after the c pillar. Maybe it saves cost without having to using much steel. And you can always get away mentioning safety
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:38   #14
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

Would you rather fix a bumper or a metal body panel after an accident? Aren't plastic parts much cheaper to repair than metal parts? Then again, dent work on a metal panel may be cheaper than replacing and painting the entire bumper in case of a crack. Hmm, I'm undecided here. Only actual figures will tell.
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Old 28th April 2011, 10:50   #15
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Default Re: When the bumper is more than half the front of the car

Quote:
Originally Posted by syravi View Post
Hi All,

Delhi roads are famous for their two wheelers without brakes who bang into cars because they are unable to brake to a stop in time.

So if such an incident happens and even a minor one at that, you have half of the car gone trash and a huge bill staring at you.
Your example looks incorrect. Two wheelers will bang at the rear bumper and here you are talking about the front bumper being too big.

Front bumper will come into picture if you fail to brake in time and dash into the front vehicle.

With regard to Indian roads and the way 2 wheelers bump into cars, its important to have thick rear bumpers and some level of side bumpers (if that is possible).

But either ways its good to have more plastic than metal. Unless it is tank metal it will still bend on impact and the costs to repair/replace it will be more than plastic. Plus the pedestrian safety norms are additional for front bumpers as someone else pointed out above.
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