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Breakthrough: The crumple zone – Part one

11 months ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


27 July 2023

Here at Ti, we’ve oft bemoaned the increasing bulk and girth of modern cars – and I am as persistent a bemoaner as most. You will have seen those remarkable images of a Golf Mk1 parked next to a Golf Mk7 or 8, looking like some weird space-time distortion is happening.

I recently pulled up behind a current (992-generation) 911 in traffic, and even a dyed-in-the-wool 911 apologist like me said some very unprintable words about the ridiculous width of its beam ends.

Now, the increased size of modern cars is driven by many factors – many of which we’ve discussed previously. Some are mere fashion (don’t get me started on wheel and tyre sizes again), some are a meaningless brochure-ticking rat-race to the bottom, in order to claim two millimetres more leg or headroom, or 1.5 litres more luggage space than the previous model or a key competitor. But other reasons are more valid. We’ve already pointed out how human beings have actually become measurably bigger, even in the short century-and-a-bit since we took the horses out of our carriages.

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