There have not been many books published that concern themselves with the analytical design of the complete motor vehicle. My source of inspiration for this work was Janusz Pawlowski’s most interesting and informative Vehicle Body Engineering. However, this classic book is now only of historical interest and it is the editor’s hope that this book may well take the place of that book on the bookshelves of current motor vehicle designers. A change from this classic book is that it is now impossible for one person to write knowledgeably about all aspects of vehicle design.
This reason has dictated that specialists in each field covered by this book have written an appropriate chapter. This is a sign of how times have changed since the days of Pawlowski, and is a trend that can only continue. The text is intended to provide the reader with an introduction to most of the topics that are of concern when a vehicle is being designed from the ‘clean sheet of paper’ stage. There are a wide range of references alluded to within the text that the reader can draw upon for more detailed information at the end of each chapter. Some of these references are drawn from the list and briefly summarized indicating particular texts that the contributor has found interesting.
It is hoped that this will help the reader that any especial interest further. It is hoped that this text will help to inspire engineers new to Automotive Engineering to take up career paths in this field of engineering as I believe that all branches of engineering are now involved with vehicle design. Readers’ comments on the contents of this text will be welcomed so that their observations will be of great assistance when the text is revised.
It is inevitable that when compiling a manuscript of this type which involves many contributors, that the editor of such a work in indebted to a wide variety of people and organizations. First, I must thank Sunderland University and especially Mr. Stathis Lertas without whom this task would have been most onerous. Secondly, I must thank all the contributors and their respective organizations without whom this task would have been impossible. I would also like to make particular mention of Prof. David Crolla at Leeds University who has always been very helpful and encouraging. However, many of the contributors are also indebted to organizations for their generous supply of support information and figures. Especial mention should be made of the following organizations:
Ford Motor Company Ltd
London Transport Museum
Munro and Associates Inc.
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
PSA Peugeot Citroen
Renault Cars Ltd
Rover Group Ltd
Simpson International (UK) Ltd
To the layman, the most obvious aspects of progress are technical innovations and styling changes, but from a professional engineering viewpoint, the major achievements lie as much in the areas of refinement and systems of manufacture. Innovations can be important in giving manufacturers a competitive advantage, but new ideas often make their debut many decades before they are widely adopted. It is the processes of refinement and production development that make new technical features reliable and cheap enough for use in mass-produced vehicles.