Off-road vehicles: overview, types, manufacturers and specifications
Cars with off-road qualities are used by motorists in stable demand due to high properties in cross-country, reliability and reliable operation in domestic conditions.
The appearance of SUVs
Under the term “SUV” it is customary to designate a vehicle with improved cross-country ability, capable of driving on roads with different surfaces, as well as in off-road conditions and over rough terrain. Such vehicles can be trucks and cars. In addition, trucks are divided into general and special purpose models. Special vehicles include mining dump trucks and other heavy vehicles.
All-terrain cars appeared in the mid-thirties of the last century. The very first such SUV is considered to be the car "Mitsubishi PX 33".The Japanese SUV was produced in a single copy, and since the design turned out to be extremely complex and expensive and the car did not go into mass production. Further development of this class is associated with the production of SUV cars in small lots for military purposes. These models include:
- American Ford Mormon;
- German "Horch-91" and "Volkswagen TOUR 82";
- Soviet GAZ-61 ("Emka").
The development of class cars improved cross
Mass production of off-road vehicles associated with the beginning of the Second World War. The American companies "Willis" and "Ford" launched the production of passenger cars of general purpose (models under the indexes "MB" and "GPV", respectively). In the future, by the abbreviated name Ford GPV, such all-wheel drive cars were given the abbreviated name “Jeep”. In total, during the war period, both firms produced more than 750 thousand of off-road cars.
During this period, the largest number of domestically produced off-road cars, almost 6 thousand, were GAZ-64 and GAZ-67 cars (an expanded version of the 64th model). The production of the most used German off-road cars “Horch-901” and “Volkswagen TOUR 82” by specialists is estimated at 46 thousand and 50.5 thousand.copies accordingly.
With the end of hostilities, the need for off-road vehicles dropped sharply and production was discontinued.
Specialized companies producing SUVs
The further development of the class of off-road vehicles in the early fifties was due to their creation on the basis of mass-produced passenger cars. This initially allowed to satisfy the demand for SUVs. Such models were quickly designed, relatively inexpensive to manufacture, which was achieved by a significant unification with the basic cars, but had a number of disadvantages that reduce off-road qualities.
Gradually, interest in SUVs began to increase again. This was facilitated by the development of specialized firms for the production of off-road vehicles. One of the first was the English company "Land Rover". Also continued the development and production of jeeps company "Willis". At present, the Jeep brand is a division of Chrysler and specializes in the production of SUV vehicles.
Among such enterprises, it is possible to single out the company UAZ, which, starting from the manufacture of the GAZ-69 off-road vehicle, developed, mastered and switched to the production of all-wheel drive vehicles. Currently, "UAZ" produces a family of such models, which includes:
- light trucks.
Specialized companies have made a major contribution through their own development and new technologies to increase the demand for SUVs. Taking into account the growth of popularity gradually, almost all the world's largest automakers have created in their model range cars with improved maneuverability.
The development of Soviet SUVs
The production of passenger SUVs in the 50s was due to an increase in the manufacture of cars with improved cross-country ability, based on mass-produced cars. Separately in this series is the GAZ-69, called "Goat", so this SUV was sent to meet the needs of the army.
Among the models released during this period are:
- "Victory" (GAZ-M 62).
- Volga (GAZ-24-95).
Cars were produced in small quantities and in the future the production of vehicles with improved cross-country ability in automobile plants that manufacture cars,was minimized.
Only two domestic plants continued to manufacture SUVs. These are “UAZ” and “LuAZ”, and the latter produced the LuAZ-969 “Volyn” model, based on the small ZAZ Zaporozhets car with an air-cooled engine. "Volyn" for its time was considered the best jeep for hunters and fishermen.
The appearance of the legendary all-wheel drive "Niva" (VAZ-2121), which is a proprietary development of the Volga Automobile Plant, came as a surprise to motorists. The new car SUV was so successful that the release of the model after a series of upgrades is currently underway.
Required parameters for an SUV
Modern automakers offer a variety of models of vehicles with improved cross-country ability. According to autoexperts, a full-fledged off-road vehicle, designed for movement in the absence of roads, has the following design parameters:
- The presence of the frame. It is the frame that makes it possible for the SUV to hold and overcome power and weight loads, as well as to mount the car with a powerful power unit.
- Geometric parameters patency.Such indicators are considered high ground clearance and short corners of the overhang. This allows the car to move over rough terrain without touching the ground body.
- Strong engine with a significant burden. A motor with such characteristics guarantees a stock of torque at low revs, providing the vehicle with movement on different soils and reliefs.
- The use of all-wheel drive.
- The presence of the locking function is mandatory, although a single axle wheel differential.
- The use of downshift, that is, a mechanism to increase torque.
These properties and determine the quality SUV.
The popularity of SUVs in the country
Russia is one of the countries with the most popular SUVs. The main reasons for this interest, experts indicate:
- endurance and reliability in operation in domestic conditions;
- the possibility of using not only in off-road conditions and in urban infrastructure, but also at long distances;
- prestigious appearance;
- high safety of such cars;
- confident operation in the winter.
Despite the presence of two key flaws in SUVs with low maneuverability and significant fuel consumption, the popularity of cars of this class in our country is constantly increasing. Given this fact, the leading car brands selling cars in Russia must have an SUV in the product line.
The prices for cars off-road cars of world famous automakers are high enough for a significant number of motorists. This factor constrains sales of such new cars. Therefore, in order to gain a foothold in the domestic market, companies offer the purchase of their off-road vehicles with mileage, which have undergone appropriate training in the salons of official dealers.
The cost of such cars is lower than the new ones, and the availability of special loan and leasing programs makes them affordable. Competition for such cars began to be compared to the price of new Chinese cars SUVs. Chinese off-road vehicles are increasingly being sold recently in our market.
Russian off-road vehicles manufactured by UAZ and VAZ, whose quality has noticeably increased recently, and the price is noticeably lower than similar foreign competitors, are still in steady demand.