EUROPEAN trends in some of the major features of engine, chassis and body design and in several items of equipment are reviewed in this paper; which is based on the observation and analysis of the British engineer editor who is its author, and of the staff of The Motor, of London, during the last five years.
Although American automotive engineers who follow European practice are acquainted with most of the designs here shown and described briefly, this paper is of interest and value as showing the present principal lines along which development is taking place abroad.
Popular chassis types are divided into three classes: (a) the “baby” four-cylinder car of 7 to 9 hp., Royal Automobile Club rating; (b) the “family-type” four-cylinder car of 12 to 14-hp. rating; and (c) the light six-cylinder car of 15 to 20-hp. rating. Typical acceleration curves for well-known cars in each of these classes are given, as well as cylinder dimensions, volumetric capacity, car weight and price. Other prominent car types of the larger size are dealt with in a similar way.
By means of graphs and tables, the trends over the last five years are shown in number of engine cylinders, valve arrangement, ignition, cooling, braking systems, transmissions, drive, spring suspension and wheels. Major new developments include front-wheel drive, independently sprung wheels, free-wheels and supercharging.
Trends in body design are indicated in regard to fabric bodies, three-point support, convertible bodies, and ways of securing a close-to-the-road appearance.