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Old 28th September 2014, 17:14   #16
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Sheet metal thickness may not be a big deal when it comes to actual ratings,owing to crumple zones,safety features and all.
Call me old school,however; just for the feel of it, in my books its a big deal.

Once you get used to the vault like feel, the assuring thud of the doors and good suspension behavior
,its pretty hard to go back to a car that feels light and flimsy.(its safety rating may be higher though.)
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Old 28th September 2014, 17:51   #17
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Moving a segment above for ease of explanation- if the newer generation feels like a Honda City (No offence meant to owners. It's their preference) (with a VW 1.5 TDi to make it even) as against the original Vento, I would pick the latter anytime no matter what improvement the 0-100 timings bring.

A question though- why would anyone buy a Volkswagen/ Skoda/ FIAT/ Ford for that matter if they all felt just same as the Japanese brands?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Moving a segment above for ease of explanation- if the newer generation feels like a Honda City (No offence meant to owners. It's their preference) (with a VW 1.5 TDi to make it even) as against the original Vento, I would pick the latter anytime no matter what improvement the 0-100 timings bring.

Are you talking about the all new Honda city? Is it that flimsily build? I knew there were people complaining about cost cutting in the new city, but never took it that serious.

I am asking this because I currently own a late 2012 Honda city VMT, a Honda brio and a VW GT TDI. I drive these three back to back on a daily basis. I have no idea what these "flimsiness" of Hondas everybody talks about is.

Sure the Brio feels cheap compared to the Polo. But then it has to be because it is significantly cheaper.

But between the city and the Gt, there is nothing in it other than the lighter doors, hood and boot-lid. Everything else in the city , the interiors, the plastics, the build quality inside feels just as fine to me. Also the city has done nearly twice the miles of the GT, done quite a few outstation trips, gone through roads that would give a Duster a good workout and still after 2 years feels just like new apart from the dirty seats. The polo on the other hands puts up some rattles and creaks now and again on really bad roads.

So there you go the city is just as competently build like the polo,is just as safe but without the really heavy doors.

The thing is though the Polo actually weighs quite a bit more than the city and that is just disturbing me. Think about it. Why is a hatchback weighing more than a considerably more spacious sedan. It doesn't need to. Had the polo weighed as much as a hatchback of its size should be weighing, my Gt would have been even more faster than it already is.

The fact is if maruti had launched a swift with 90bhp it would easily be a match for my Gt despite the 15bhp power deficiency because my polo weighs 150 kilos more. 150 kilos of unnecessary weight that shouldn't be there. 150 kilos that just serves to make the door go thud. This is what is bothering me.

IMO The thick sheet metal build of german cars is highly overrated and is actually more of a burden to its cars
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

I know this is OT on this thread, but just wanted to clarify that the Linea's extra metal weight alone did not make City better performing than the T-Jet. The nature of the 2 engines is very different. 0-100 timings alone shouldn't be used as the only yardstick to conclude that a T-Jet is slower because it is heavier than the City! It is the other way round almost always, unless the City is revved hard and high. So, let us not base performance figures on weight or build alone. There are other factors also which come into play.
Yeah it is off topic. I just took the heaviest car in the segment (the linea) and compared it to the lightest one (the city).
Yeah I know the details, high-revving N/A vs turbocharged engine debate can never be brought to an end.
But still that T-jet could have been a really fast 9 second to 100 car had it not been so porky. (Sorry had to say it)

Last edited by nakul0888 : 28th September 2014 at 17:53.
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Old 28th September 2014, 17:56   #18
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

  • Ultimately it's the underlying frame and it's design that's crucial
  • Sheet metal is like your skin over your skeleton It is meant to take light impact
  • NCAP tests will determine the effectiveness of the crumple zones in your car. At crash speeds, the extra 0.5~1 mm in the sheet metal is not going to much of a difference
  • That said, sheet metal of a thicker gauge will survive better to minor dents
  • European priorities are different compared to Japanese priorities. Europeans have a great attention to detail to each and every aspect of a car. The cars are meant to be premium
  • Japanese look to squeeze the maximum out of the last drop of fuel and use as much less power as possible. The are efficiency conscious, so they will compromise on sheet metal. It shouldn't matter that much
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Old 28th September 2014, 18:02   #19
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

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Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
Yes, but the link you shared for zero stars of polo and figo mentions clearly that all cars were the base models without airbags. Predictably all got zero stars. Interesting and infact a good thing is that after the tests, Volkswagen introduced airbags on all variants of polo

However we are still at the basic question. In a typical Indian scenario with no airbags or with just 2, how do the cars compare? Till the time I have a concrete answer to that, I am tempted to believe that a well built car with thicker sheet metal may be more safer than one with thin sheet metal in many of the accident scenarios ( like side impact, roll over etc. and not just frontal impact).
that this theory works out for the cheaper cars. But won't all these discussions apply to the premium cars.

For example take an Elantra and an Octavia. The Elantra is significantly lighter and has the same safety features as the Octavia but both have received 5 stars in NCAP tests. So I think safety features are the primary things that matter. Sheet metal thickness is just for the "feel good factor" and nothing else when it's about premium cars.

And another important factor is the chassis of the car. A Monocoque chassis is much better than a Body on frame chassis in terms of safety. But few manufacturers overlook this fact and create those "butch" SUV's that have nothing when it comes to safety.


Cheers,
Achyuth

Last edited by Achyuth Vaibhav : 28th September 2014 at 18:05.
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Old 28th September 2014, 19:13   #20
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Interesting discussion. While I agree to most points raised by fellow members about comparing heavier vehicles with similar features, I think it's the mass of the BIW that needs to be compared, as most of mass(~1/2 - 2/3rd of GVW) is of the accessories(say PT, Suspension, Trims, etc).
Thickness of a Sheetmetal does make a difference, by a big margin. Every manufacturer has their own target to achieve from safety, Durability and Stiffness point of view, though safety drives the vehicle development. With lighter materials being considered these days, it's obvious that the gauge of the Sheetmetal has to be raised by few manufacturers, but not the overall mass. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for starting the thread, as I was surprised too to see the Ciaz weigh only as heavy as my Fabia.
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Old 28th September 2014, 20:25   #21
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
So there you go the city is just as competently build like the polo,is just as safe but without the really heavy doors.
Happy for you that you had a good experience with the Honda.

However, I do notice that you assume the Indian city to be just as safe as the Thai city's ASEAN city ratings?

Reality check - the Thailand spec SV version tested weighs 1102 kgs for the manual version. The India spec SV version weighs 1065kgs for almost similar kit, while the VX version which has much more kit than the Thai version including sunroof weighs only 1085 kgs. Any idea why the Thai spec version (that had to be crash tested) is almost 37 kgs heavier when Honda focuses so much on efficiency and light weight strength?

The Polo on the other hand doesn't feel compromised in build. The one thats tested in Europe weighs 1157 kgs compared to our version with 1156kgs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
The thing is though the Polo actually weighs quite a bit more than the city and that is just disturbing me. Think about it.
Happy that you have you good experience with the city that gives a duster a workout and still feels more solid than your GT.

What about ride quality, straight line stability, handling? Are they comparable as well?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
The fact is if maruti had launched a swift with 90bhp it would easily be a match for my Gt despite the 15bhp power deficiency because my polo weighs 150 kilos more. 150 kilos of unnecessary weight that shouldn't be there. 150 kilos that just serves to make the door go thud. This is what is bothering me.

IMO The thick sheet metal build of german cars is highly overrated and is actually more of a burden to its cars
150 kgs?

FYI - Swift ZDi weighs 1080kgs, while Polo 1.6 GT TDi weighs 1156kgs. Thats 76 kgs not discounting the fact that its a 1.6L engine under the hood.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 28th September 2014 at 20:31.
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Old 28th September 2014, 20:43   #22
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Default

Can the mods have a poll for the preference team-bhpians have for light weight body vs Higher weight due to thicker sheetmetal.
My preference would be for the thicker sheetmetal, although not overdesigned.
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Old 28th September 2014, 21:21   #23
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
150 kilos of unnecessary weight that shouldn't be there. 150 kilos that just serves to make the door go thud. This is what is bothering me.
The doors go thud not because of the metal gauge but because of better engineering concepts to have a deadening rubber insert to prevent the metal clatter.

Just to clear another mis-concept, German cars are not considered vault because of their thick metal body. It's the driving dynamics, the feel of being sure footed and planted, and the grip levels at seriously high speeds that make them feel like a tank.
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Old 28th September 2014, 21:26   #24
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post

Reality check - the Thailand spec SV version tested weighs 1102 kgs for the manual version. The India spec SV version weighs 1065kgs for almost similar kit, while the VX version which has much more kit than the Thai version including sunroof weighs only 1085 kgs. Any idea why the Thai spec version (that had to be crash tested) is almost 37 kgs heavier when Honda focuses so much on efficiency and light weight strength?
Agree.

At the expense of repeating myself, it is naive to look at the crash test results of international variants with the ones being sold in India. The high ratings most of the cars recieve is due to the presence on front and curtain airbags and various other safety features. Many times these features are not available on India specific models which except for the topmost variants may not have 6 airbags too. Which means they will be at best 4 stars that too hoping that structurally these models are identical to the ones sold outside.

Let us have testing of india specific variants and that too of all variants instead of only the top most ones before we conclude on the safety of india specific models. Till then I personally would prefer to feel reassured with the european thud.
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Old 28th September 2014, 21:32   #25
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

A heavier car, automatically feels more planted at Speed. That Planted feeling cannot be measured in 0-100 terms. However, although anything even suggestively related to street-racing is a sacrilege on team-bhp, on the real road, what matters is the ability to sustain, maintain a high speed comfortably. Thats where the vehicle with better high speed behaviour (and also brakes) have a definite advantage.

Besides this, a peaky engine, could be both a boon as well as a bane, depending on the driver, especially due to the need for frequent downshifts and if one does not do it right, the slower, more planted car stays ahead, despite the 0-100 disadvantage.
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Old 28th September 2014, 21:58   #26
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

From reading the opening thread and subsequent posts, it appears the crux of the arguments is that if Japanese / Korean cars can produce the same NCAP ratings as their European counterpart, then why do European cars make a big deal of the European's sheet metal thickness?

However this presumes that sheet metal thickness is solely for the purpose of safety.

But that presumption is incorrect. Sheet metal thickness provides for greater rigidity and body durability. That (along with laser seam welding for the top) provides for keeping the car shell in the same shape for a longer time to come. I have seen the older Honda Citys outer body flexed at various places with age. Our family's 21 month Ertiga suffers from many minor scars showing its age even though nothing of significance has hit the car's sheet metal yet; a minor nudge from a two-wheeler and the wrinkle shows.

On the other hand I see the old Octavias on the road and their body seems to be as good in shape as if it were a recent purchase. You can make their age from the fading of the headlamp; dust accumulated in various crevices, the baldness of the tyres and of course from the model, but never from their sheet metal.

To conclude sheet metal may or may not be a big deal for NCAP safety but it helps to keep the car the same from outside for a longer time.

Cheers,

Last edited by diffsoft : 28th September 2014 at 22:00.
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Old 28th September 2014, 22:02   #27
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Happy for you that you had a good experience with the Honda.

However, I do notice that you assume the Indian city to be just as safe as the Thai city's ASEAN city ratings?

Reality check - the Thailand spec SV version tested weighs 1102 kgs for the manual version. The India spec SV version weighs 1065kgs for almost similar kit, while the VX version which has much more kit than the Thai version including sunroof weighs only 1085 kgs. Any idea why the Thai spec version (that had to be crash tested) is almost 37 kgs heavier when Honda focuses so much on efficiency and light weight strength?
Damn, where on earth did you get these figures from? It maybe true that the thai city is heavier than the Indian one and I don't know why, but it is still not in anyway conclusive evidence that the Indian city is less safer than the Vento or as many people claim " Dangerous".


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Happy that you have you good experience with the city that gives a duster a workout and still feels more solid than your GT.
Actually it is not only my car, but the 3rd gen city is an extremely competent, well made, solid car known to give zero niggles/issues. I know lots of people who owned this city and they had nothing but praises for it. This whole flimsy build thing started with the 2014 city. Since then it has gone on to become dangerous as well as put out by some.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
What about ride quality, straight line stability, handling? Are they comparable as well?
Well no, the city doesn't have the dynamics of the polo. But that has got to do with a lot of other factors as well like suspension setup, steering feel..etc. I don't know why you asked me that, since most likely you know the answer to that yourself. Besides that has got nothing to do with sheet metal thickness, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
150 kgs?

FYI - Swift ZDi weighs 1080kgs, while Polo 1.6 GT TDi weighs 1156kgs. Thats 76 kgs not discounting the fact that its a 1.6L engine under the hood.
Alright, that was my bad, my sleepy eyes failed to notice the 8 in 1080, hence difference of 80 kilos. Still a 90 hp swift will run it pretty close to the GT.

Last edited by nakul0888 : 28th September 2014 at 22:05.
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Old 28th September 2014, 22:24   #28
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

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Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Sheet metal thickness may not be a big deal when it comes to actual ratings,owing to crumple zones,safety features and all.
Call me old school,however; just for the feel of it, in my books its a big deal.

Once you get used to the vault like feel, the assuring thud of the doors and good suspension behavior
,its pretty hard to go back to a car that feels light and flimsy.(its safety rating may be higher though.)
The "vault like feel, the assuring thud of the doors and good suspension behavior" are not just feel good factors.

Those who wants to have the "Best Power to Weight Ratio" and "fuel economy to beat a 'Prius'", may find these factors useless. But for those who wants to have a safer means of transport from A to B, this means a LOT!!!

And I could see a lot of people considering the NCAP ratings as the BENCHMARK of safety. What I believe is no such ratings can make a car safest. If so, why do they revise the safety targets every year..ever though about that?? Those environments under test are ABSOLUTELY PRE-DEFINED and accidents on road hardly resembles those testing environments.

Attaching a few pictures which would help you understand this. Wondering whether a 'Roll over rating' would actually help this? Do we really have a NCAP testing for these?? I strongly believe that a better 'Sheet Metal thickness' will help in these cases.
Attached Thumbnails
Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?-21022009001_4.jpg  

Attached Images
  

Last edited by shineshine : 28th September 2014 at 22:26.
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Old 28th September 2014, 23:22   #29
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

No car would sustain if a tree falls on it. Even the so called tough cars of the olden days such as the Amby and Padmini took quite a beating in case of trees falling on them. But I agree to the fact that those cars aged quite gracefully as the body didn't get deformed in case of leaning onto it, a bicycle hit, a dog hit, and even while cleaning. Modern cars, specially <5L ones have their bodies corrugated within a year due to flimsy construction and ultra thin sheet metal. Altos and WagonRs are proof of this.
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Old 28th September 2014, 23:33   #30
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Default re: Sheet Metal Thickness - Does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
Damn, where on earth did you get these figures from? It maybe true that the thai city is heavier than the Indian one and I don't know why, but it is still not in anyway conclusive evidence that the Indian city is less safer than the Vento or as many people claim " Dangerous".
I agree with you on the last part. There is no conclusive evidence.

Which is my point as well. You just cannot assume that the Indian city is built to the same safety standards as the ASEAN versions, thanks to the big difference in weight between the two. Whereas you can assume the Indian Polo is almost identical thanks to near identical specs.

As I have made it clear from the first post itself, I wouldnt call the City 'dangerous', specially for high speed collisions. For me, personally its a big feel-good factor and a big protection against small accidents that can happen in the city.

As for the figures - you can compare yourself here, but be prepared to decipher a bit of Thai.

Thailand
SV CVT - 1099 kgs. (Small correction of 3 kgs from my earlier post. Apologies)
SV+ CVT - 1102 kgs. (Has optional 6 airbags).

India
SV CVT - 1065 kgs.
VX CVT - 1085 kgs. (Has sunroof)

http://www.honda.co.th/en/city
https://www.hondacarindia.com/allnew...fications.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
Well no, the city doesn't have the dynamics of the polo. But that has got to do with a lot of other factors as well like suspension setup, steering feel..etc. I don't know why you asked me that, since most likely you know the answer to that yourself. Besides that has got nothing to do with sheet metal thickness, isn't it?
It depends on the suspension, but the weight plays a role as well. For example, even if you put the best suspension in the world on a WagonR (I'm personally using this example as a light car I've owned, ignore the tall-boy stance for now), it will still get thrown around at high speeds simply because there is not enough weight going for it. The Polo, Punto, Rapid etc can ride flat at high speeds where one factor that affects this quality is the weight.

My point is - every car has its own advantages. If the Europeans become like Japanese cars, whats the use in having different flavour of cars in the market? Anyone who wants lightweight, efficient and nippy cars can pick from the lot of Japanese cars, and those who would prefer 'perceived' build quality can prefer the Europeans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakul0888 View Post
Alright, that was my bad, my sleepy eyes failed to notice the 8 in 1080, hence difference of 80 kilos. Still a 90 hp swift will run it pretty close to the GT.
Agreed, and I have already mentioned this above.

Lets hope the Swift 90 hits the market soon, not to replace the Europeans - but to add an additional flavour. We all could only benefit from increased competition.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 28th September 2014 at 23:34.
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