GB2556137B - A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure - Google Patents

A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure Download PDF

Info

Publication number
GB2556137B
GB2556137B GB1709420.2A GB201709420A GB2556137B GB 2556137 B GB2556137 B GB 2556137B GB 201709420 A GB201709420 A GB 201709420A GB 2556137 B GB2556137 B GB 2556137B
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
vehicle
pillar
motor vehicle
vehicle structure
roof
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
GB1709420.2A
Other versions
GB2556137A (en
GB201709420D0 (en
Inventor
Gerhardt Torsten
Siegel Nir
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Ford Global Technologies LLC
Original Assignee
Ford Global Technologies LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Ford Global Technologies LLC filed Critical Ford Global Technologies LLC
Priority to GB1709420.2A priority Critical patent/GB2556137B/en
Priority claimed from GB1619431.8A external-priority patent/GB2556069B/en
Publication of GB201709420D0 publication Critical patent/GB201709420D0/en
Publication of GB2556137A publication Critical patent/GB2556137A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2556137B publication Critical patent/GB2556137B/en
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D25/00Superstructure or monocoque structure sub-units; Parts or details thereof not otherwise provided for
    • B62D25/06Fixed roofs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D23/00Combined superstructure and frame, i.e. monocoque constructions
    • B62D23/005Combined superstructure and frame, i.e. monocoque constructions with integrated chassis in the whole shell, e.g. meshwork, tubes, or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D25/00Superstructure or monocoque structure sub-units; Parts or details thereof not otherwise provided for
    • B62D25/04Door pillars ; windshield pillars
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D31/00Superstructures for passenger vehicles
    • B62D31/003Superstructures for passenger vehicles compact cars, e.g. city cars

Description

A Motor Vehicle Having an Asymmetric Structure
This invention relates to motor vehicles and in particular to a motor vehicle having an asymmetric structure .
The crash requirements for Ml homologated vehicles (passenger cars) are highly evolved around the shape of existing cars and car design has evolved to meet existing safety legislation.
When a non-conventional car design is proposed it brings problems due to the need to meet current requirements that are designed for conventional vehicle designs.
For example, a standard 40% offset crash requirements when applied to a sub-one metre wide car (such as a 0.8m wide car) means in the case of a vehicle having two front crash rails: • the vehicle will only overlap by 320mm with the barrier; • within this 320mm wide zone needs to be the main crash rail; • outboard of the main crash rail needs to be space for the wheel and the complete tyre envelope when the wheel turns; • a wheel envelope for a narrow tyre of 0.130m width and an overall diameter of 0.56m requires approximately 0.3m (assuming a 40 degree wheel turn angle) • the rail will therefore only overlap the barrier by approximately 0.020m and a rail of 0.02m width is not suitable to meet crash requirements; • there is only 0.08m from the edge of the barrier to the centreline of the vehicle; • the maximum width for both crash rails together including any gap in between, is therefore 0.2m.
The strategy of using two symmetrical crash rails in parallel will not work for such a narrow vehicle and a single crash device (a crash can unit) located on a centreline of the vehicle is all that can sensibly be packaged. A second problem is that such a narrow car must still meet forward field of view regulations but the A-pillar structures conventionally used at the front of a vehicle take up a much bigger proportion of the front area in the case of such a narrow vehicle thereby resulting in a disproportionately small front windscreen opening.
The smaller the car, the bigger proportion of the total weight that is allocated to features that cannot be scaled such as the doors and so the weight of a door, that allows an occupant to exit in comfort, is safe and includes the same features as the door of a large car is problematic when used on a small car. A narrow sub-one metre small car is too narrow to seat two occupants side-by-side and the inventors have realised that, although providing a door on both sides is convenient, it is not necessary and the removal of one of the doors will address at least partially the weight problem referred to above.
It is a first object of this invention to provide a vehicle structure suitable for use on a small narrow vehicle where only a single entry door is required. It is a second object of the invention to provide a motor vehicle using such a vehicle structure.
According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a motor vehicle structure for a narrow motor vehicle having a roof structure connected to a main vehicle structure by a number of upwardly extending pillars wherein on a first side of the vehicle structure there is an A-pillar connecting a front end of the roof structure to the main vehicle structure and a B-pillar connecting the roof structure to the main vehicle structure to the rear of the A-pillar and on a second side of the vehicle structure there is a B-pillar connecting the roof structure to the main vehicle structure but no A-pillar connecting the roof structure to the main vehicle structure and the main vehicle structure includes a front structure having a single front crush can unit mounted centrally at a front end of the front structure .
The roof structure may include a diagonal roof member connected at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected at an opposite end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
The roof structure may include an upper longitudinally extending roof member connected at a front end to an upper end of the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected towards a rear end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure.
The roof structure may include a transversely extending roof member connected at one end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected at an opposite end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
Advantageously, the roof structure may comprise the diagonal roof member, the upper longitudinally extending roof member and the transversely extending roof member connected together to form a structurally rigid triangle.
The A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure may be connected at a lower end to the front structure of the vehicle structure.
The main vehicle structure may include a rear structure. The B-pillars on the first and second sides of the vehicle structure may form parts of the rear structure.
The front and rear structures may be joined together by at least one longitudinal side member on each side of the vehicle structure.
On the first side of the vehicle structure there may be an intermediate longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and on the second side of the vehicle structure there may be a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure .
Alternatively, on the first side of the vehicle structure there may be a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and on the second side of the vehicle structure there may be an intermediate longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure and a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a motor vehicle having a vehicle structure constructed in accordance with said first aspect of the invention in which the first side of the vehicle structure is on a first side of the motor vehicle and the second side of the vehicle structure is on a second side of the motor vehicle wherein the motor vehicle is a narrow motor vehicle accommodating no more than one person per row of seating and has a single entry door on one of the first and second sides and no door on an opposite one of the first and second sides .
The single entry door may be a top hinged door located on the second side of the motor vehicle.
The roof structure may include a diagonal roof member connected at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected at a distal end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure and the top hinged door may be hingedly connected along one edge to the diagonal roof member for rotation about a substantially horizontal pivot axis .
The top hinged door may include a lower structural part and the lower structural part of the top hinged door may includes an elongate door beam to transfer, when the top hinged door is in a closed state, impact loads applied to the elongate door beam into the main vehicle structure.
The top hinged door may include a wrap around window that extends when the door is in a closed state from a position adjacent the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle to a position substantially adjacent the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle.
The wrap around window may be fastened along a top edge to a wedge shaped roof hingedly connected along one edge to the diagonal roof member.
Alternatively, the top hinged door may include a wrap around window that extends when the door is in a closed state from a position adjacent the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle to a position substantially adjacent the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle and onto the top of the motor vehicle to a position adjacent the diagonal roof member to which the top hinge door is hingedly connected.
As an alternative to the foregoing, the single entry door may be a side hinged door hingedly connected at one edge to the main vehicle structure for rotation about a substantially vertical pivot axis on the first side of the motor vehicle. A lower structural part of the side hinged door may include an elongate door beam to transfer, when the side hinged door is in a closed state, impact loads applied to the elongate door beam of the side hinged door into the main vehicle structure.
The motor vehicle may include a fixed wrap around window sealingly secured at one end to the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle and sealingly secured at an opposite end to one of an upright window frame positioned adjacent the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle and the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle .
An upper edge of the wrap around window may be sealingly secured to part of a roof structure of the motor vehicle and a lower edge of the wrap around window may be sealingly secured to structural members defining a lower edge of a window aperture in which the wrap around window is sealingly secured.
The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawing of which:-
Fig.l is a schematic left hand side view of a first embodiment of a narrow motor vehicle in accordance with the invention;
Fig.2 is a schematic right hand side view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Fig.l;
Fig.3 is a schematic plan view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Figs.l and 2;
Fig.4 is a schematic front view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Figs.l to 3;
Fig.5 is an outline cross-section along the line A- A on Fig.3;
Fig.6 is a schematic front view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Figs.l to 3 but showing a top hinged door of the motor vehicle in an open state;
Fig.7 is a schematic plan view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Fig.6;
Fig.8 is an outline cross-section along the line B- B on Fig.7;
Fig.9 is a right hand side pictorial view of the top hinged door forming part of the motor vehicle shown in Figs.l to 8;
Fig.10 is a left hand side pictorial view of a vehicle structure for the vehicle shown in Figs. 1 to 8;
Fig.11 is a schematic left hand side view of a second embodiment of a narrow motor vehicle in accordance with the invention;
Fig.12 is a schematic right hand side view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Fig.11;
Fig.13 is a schematic plan view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Figs.11 and 12;
Fig.14 is a schematic front view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Figs.11 to 13;
Fig.15 is a schematic front view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Figs.11 to 13 but showing a side hinged door of the motor vehicle in an open state;
Fig.16 is a schematic plan view of the narrow motor vehicle shown in Fig.15;
Fig.17 is a left hand side pictorial view of a vehicle structure for the vehicle shown in Figs. 11 to 16;
Fig.18 is a right hand side pictorial view of a vehicle structure for the vehicle shown in Figs. 11 to 16 showing a wrap around window in position on the vehicle structure;
Fig.19a is a plan view of an alternative top hinge door to the top hinged door shown in Fig.9;
Fig.19b is a side view of the alternative top hinge door shown in Fig.19a; and
Fig.19c is a cross-section on the line C-C on Fig.19b.
With reference to Figs.l to 10 there is shown a narrow motor vehicle 10. A narrow motor vehicle as meant herein is a motor vehicle accommodating no more than one person per row of seating. It will be appreciated that there could be more than one row of seating arranged in tandem fashion although the motor vehicle shown is intended to only accommodate a single occupant. Typically a narrow vehicle has a total overall width of less than one metre and advantageously a width of circa 0.8m.
The motor vehicle 10 has a floor 7 and a roof 12 connected to a lower main part of the motor vehicle 10 including the floor 7 by a number of upwardly extending pillars 14, 16L, 16R, 17L, 17R forming part of a vehicle structure 50 of the motor vehicle 10. The upwardly extending pillars comprise a single A-pillar 14, a pair of B-pillars 16L, 16R and a pair of C-pillars 17L, 17R.
The motor vehicle 10 has no door on a first side of the motor vehicle 10 only a continuous lower body panel 18 but has a single entry door which in the case of this embodiment is a top hinged door 30 located on a second side of the motor vehicle 10. A fixed side window 20 is sealingly secure along its periphery to the A-pillar 14, the roof 12, the B-pillar 16L and the lower body panel 18. Although not shown the fixed side window 20 includes a small openable portion to allow the driver to access the outside of the motor vehicle 10 for the purpose of paying for parking fees or for taking a ticket from a parking machine.
In the case of the embodiment shown the first side of the motor vehicle 10 is a left hand side and the second side of the motor vehicle 10 is a right hand side but this need not be the case and the first side of the motor vehicle 10 could be the right hand side and the second side of the motor vehicle 10 could be the left hand side.
The first side of the motor vehicle 10 is in accordance with this invention always the side of the motor vehicle 10 that includes the single A-pillar 14.
With particular reference to Fig.10 the vehicle structure 50 is shown to comprise on a first side of the vehicle structure 50 that corresponds to the first side of the motor vehicle 10, the single A-pillar 14 that connects a front end of a roof structure 40 that underlies the roof 12 of the motor vehicle 10 to a main vehicle structure 70 and a first B-pillar 16L connecting the roof structure 40 to the main vehicle structure 70 to the rear of the A-pillar 14 and, on a second side of the vehicle structure 50 that corresponds to the second side of the motor vehicle 10, a second B-pillar 16R connecting the roof structure 40 to the main vehicle structure 70 but no A-pillar connecting the roof structure 40 to the main vehicle structure 70.
The main vehicle structure 70 includes a front structure 60 connected to a rear structure 80 by at least one longitudinally extending structural member on each side of the vehicle structure 50 there being lower longitudinally extending structural side members 56L; 56R on both sides of the motor vehicle 10 and on the first side of the vehicle structure 50 there is an intermediate longitudinally extending structural side member 57 located near a waistline of the motor vehicle 10 and connected at one end to part of the front structure 60 in the form of a transversely extending upper structural member 64 and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar 16L on the first side of the vehicle structure 50 and a lower longitudinally extending structural side member 56L connected at one end to part of the front structure 60 in the form of an upright structural member 66L and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar 16L on the first side of the vehicle structure 50.
On the second side of the vehicle structure 50 there is a lower longitudinally extending structural side member 56R connected at one end to part of the front structure 60 in the form of a second upright structural member 66R and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar 16R on the second side of the vehicle structure 50 but there is no intermediate longitudinally extending structural side member as this function is performed by a structural member 37 forming part of the top hinged door 30.
The rear structure 80 is formed in the case of this example by the pair of B-pillars 16L, 16R, the pair of C- pillars 17L, 17R a pair of rear uprights 58L, 58R and a transverse lower beam 59.
The front structure 60 has a deformable member that comprises a front crush can unit 62 to absorb low speed impacts mounted on a low speed crash can carrier 67, a pair of diagonally extending upper and lower front rails 63L, 63R on each side of the vehicle structure 50, the transverse upper structural member 64, a transverse lower member 65 and the pair of structural uprights 66L, 66R located on each side of the vehicle structure 50.
Each of the lower rails of the pair of diagonally extending rails 63L and 63R is connected at a front end to the low speed crash can carrier 67 to support a respective side of the crush can unit 62.
The upper rails of the pair of rails 63L, 63R connect the low speed crash can carrier 67 to the transverse upper structural member 64 and the lower rails of the pair of rails 63L, 63R connect the crush can unit 62 to a respective one of the pair of structural uprights 66L, 66R. The single front crush can unit 62 is mounted centrally at a front end of the front structure 60 so as to occupy less space and permit turning of the front wheels. The crush can unit 62 transfers load applied to it via the left hand and right hand pairs of upper and lower rails 63L and 63R to the main vehicle structure 70 of the vehicle structure 50.
The roof structure 40 includes a diagonal roof member 55 connected at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar 14 on the first side of the vehicle structure 50 and connected at a distal end to an upper end of the B-pillar 16R on the second side of the vehicle structure 50. The A-pillar 14 is connected at a lower end to the front structure 60 of the vehicle in the form of the transverse upper structural member 64. The roof structure 40 also includes an upper longitudinally extending roof member 52 (header rail) connected at a front end to an upper end of the A-pillar 14 and connected towards a rear end to an upper end of the B-pillar 16L on the first side of the vehicle structure 50 and a transverse structural member in the form of a transversely extending roof member 54 connected at one end to upper ends of the B-pillar 16L and the C-pillar 17L on the first side of the vehicle structure 50 and connected at a distal end to upper ends of the B-pillar 16R and the C-pillar 17R on the second side of the vehicle structure 50. It will be noted that there is no upper longitudinally extending roof member (header rail) on the second side of the vehicle structure 50 because there is no A-pillar on that side of the vehicle structure 50 to connect it to at a forward end.
The roof structure 40 therefore comprises in the case of this embodiment the diagonal roof member 55, the upper longitudinally extending roof member 52 and the transversely extending roof member 54 connected together to form a structurally rigid triangle.
Frontal impact loads are initially absorbed by the crush can unit 62 and are then transferred via the pairs of upper and lower rails 63L, 63R to the transverse upper structural member 64 and the pair of structural uprights 66L, 66R respectively. In the case of a severe frontal impact the pairs of upper and lower rails 63L, 63R are designed to collapse in a controlled manner so as to absorb impact energy.
The triangular roof structure 40 comprised of the longitudinally extending roof member 52, the transversely extending roof member 54 and the diagonal roof member 55 forms a strong structural unit able to withstand significant applied loads and to effectively transfer load from the front structure 60 via the A-pillar 14 to the rear structure 80 in such a manner as to make a second A-pillar structurally redundant.
Referring now to Figs.l to 9 a lower structural part 32 of the top hinged door 30 includes an elongate door beam 37 extending between and operatively connected when the top hinged door 30 is in a closed state to the front and rear structures 60 and 80 so as to transfer side impact loads directly applied to the door beam 37 of the top hinged door 30 and front impact loads applied via the front structure 60 to the door beam 37 into the main vehicle structure 70. The elongate door beam 37 co-operates at a rear end with the B-pillar 16R on the second side of the motor vehicle 10 and at a front end with the transversely extending upper structural member 64 of the front structure 60. A side rail 39 of the top hinged door 30 is arranged, when the top hinged door 30 is in the closed state (as shown in Fig.5) to co-operate with a seal 39s fixed to the lower side member 56R of the vehicle structure 50. The side rail 39 extends between and is operatively connected, when the top hinged door 30 is in the closed state, to the front and rear structures 60 and 80.
It will be appreciated that the connections between the door beam 37 and the side rail 39 and the front and rear structures 60 and 80 are only made when the top hinged door 30 is in the closed state and do not prevent or hinder movement of the top hinged door 30 to an open state.
The top hinged door 30 includes a wrap around window 36 that extends, when the top hinged door 30 door is in the closed state from a position close to the A-pillar 14 on the first side of the motor vehicle 10 to a position close to the B-pillar 16R on the second side of the motor vehicle 10.
In some embodiments the wrap around window 36 may have no upwardly extending frame members and so will extend without interruption so as to lie at one end adjacent to the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle 10 and lie at an opposite end adjacent to the B-pillar 16R on the second side of the motor vehicle 10. However, in the case of the example shown, a door rear upper frame member 35 is provided and so in such a case there is a gap between the end of the wrap around window 36 and the actual B-pillar 16R on the second side of the motor vehicle 10. The wrap around window 36 is fastened along a top edge to a wedge shaped roof 38 that is hingedly connected along one edge to the diagonal roof member 55 of the vehicle structure by a hinge assembly 51. It will be appreciated that the wrap around window 36 includes a windscreen area and a side window area.
As shown in Figs.3 and 7 by a broken line 'GB' a non-structural glazing strip can be used in some embodiments to join two pieces of glass so as to form the wrap around window 36 if the shape of the wrap around window 36 precludes it being made as a single component.
The wedge shaped roof 38 includes a structural member 31 that is used to connect the wedge shaped roof 38 of the top hinge door 30 to the hinge assembly 51. The top hinged door 30 is therefore hingedly connected by the hinge assembly 51 for rotation about a substantially horizontal pivot axis between the closed state shown in Figs.2 to 5 and an open state shown in Figs.6 to 8. It will be appreciated that the pivot axis is not arranged to lie on a centreline of the motor vehicle 10 but rather is inclined to the longitudinal centreline of the motor vehicle 10 so as to be spaced further away from the second side of the motor vehicle 10 at a front end of the top hinged door 30 than it is at a rear end of the top hinged door 30.
With reference to Figs.19a to 19c there is shown an alternative embodiment of a top hinged door that is intended to be a direct replacement for the top hinged door shown in Fig.9.
The top hinged door 30-1 includes a wrap around window 36-1 that extends, when the top hinged door 30-1 door is in the closed state from the A-pillar 14 on the first side of the motor vehicle 10 to the B-pillar 16R on the second side of the motor vehicle 10.
The wrap around window 36-1 has fastened thereto along a top inner edge a rail 38-1 that is used to hingedly connect the top hinged door 30-1 along one edge to the diagonal roof member 55 of the vehicle structure by the hinge assembly 51. It will be appreciated that the wrap around window 36-1 includes a windscreen area and a side window area.
The top hinged door 30-1 is therefore hingedly connected by the hinge assembly 51 for rotation about a substantially horizontal pivot axis between a closed state and an open state. It will be appreciated that as previously described the pivot axis is not arranged to lie on a centreline of the motor vehicle 10 but rather is inclined to the longitudinal centreline of the motor vehicle 10 so as to be spaced further away from the second side of the motor vehicle 10 at a front end of the top hinged door 30-1 than it is at a rear end of the top hinged door 30-1.
As before a lower structural part 32-1 of the top hinged door 30-1 includes an elongate door beam 37-1 extending between and operatively connected when the top hinged door 30-1 is in a closed state to the front and rear structures 60 and 80 so as to transfer side impact loads directly applied to the door beam 37-1 of the top hinged door 30-1 and front impact loads applied via the front structure 60 to the door beam 37-1 into the main vehicle structure 70.
As before a side rail 39-1 of the top hinged door 30-1 is arranged, when the top hinged door 30-1 is in a closed state to co-operate with a seal fixed to the lower side member 56R of the vehicle structure 50. The side rail 39-1 extends between and is operatively connected, when the top hinged door 30-1 is in the closed state, to the front and rear structures 60 and 80.
The main difference between this embodiment and the previous embodiment shown in Fig.9 is that with this embodiment the wrap around window 36-1 is in the form of a transparent (glass) canopy having no roof panel that is sealingly attached to the rail 38-1 used to hingedly connect the top hinged door 30-1 to the vehicle structure and in particular to the diagonal roof member 55.
One of the advantages of the invention is that the lack of an A-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle 10 greatly reduces the obstructions in front of the driver thereby providing the driver with an uninterrupted panoramic forward view between the A-pillar 14 and the pseudo B-pillar 35. A second advantage of the invention is that it facilitates the use of a top hinged door on only one side of the motor vehicle that provides excellent access to a passenger compartment of the motor vehicle 10. The elimination of a conventional header rail (upper longitudinal structural member) on the second side of the motor vehicle 10 made possible by the absence of an A-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle 10 increases the height of the aperture through which an intended occupant of the motor vehicle 10 must enter the motor vehicle 10.
In addition, the top hinged door 30 is able to extend along a large proportion of the total length of the motor vehicle 10 by providing a very rigid roof structure 40 to support the top hinged door 30 and to resist the loads applied during normal use and those loads applied in crash conditions .
The use of a diagonal hinge for the top hinged door 30 further improves access by moving all of the upper supports for the top hinged door 30 further away from a person entering the motor vehicle 10 than would be the case with a hinge axis arranged to run longitudinally along a centreline of the motor vehicle 10.
With reference to Figs.11 to 18 there is shown a narrow motor vehicle 110. A narrow motor vehicle as meant herein is a motor vehicle accommodating no more than one person per row of seating. It will be appreciated that there could be more than one row of seating arranged in tandem fashion although the motor vehicle shown is intended to only accommodate a single occupant.
As before the motor vehicle 110 has a single entry door but in the case of this embodiment this is in the form of a side hinged door 118 hingedly connected at one edge, which in this case is a front edge, to the main vehicle structure 170 for rotation about a substantially vertical pivot axis on a first side of the motor vehicle 110.
The motor vehicle 110 has a floor 107 and a roof 112 connected to a lower main part of the motor vehicle 110 including the floor 107 by a number of upwardly extending pillars 114, 116L, 116R, 117L, 117R and a pair of upright structural members 166L, 166R forming part of a vehicle structure 150 of the motor vehicle 110.
The upwardly extending pillars comprise a single A-pillar 114, a pair of B-pillars 116L, 116R and a pair of C-pillars 117L, 117R.
The motor vehicle 110 has no door on a second side of the motor vehicle 110 only a continuous lower body panel 132 but has the single entry side hinged door 118 located on the first side of the motor vehicle 110. In the case of the embodiment shown the first side of the motor vehicle 110 is a left hand side and the second side of the motor vehicle 110 is a right hand side but this need not be the case and the first side of the motor vehicle 110 could be the right hand side and the second side of the motor vehicle 110 could be the left hand side. The first side of the motor vehicle 110 is always in the case of this invention the side of the motor vehicle 110 that includes the single A-pillar 114.
With particular reference to Figs 17 and 18 the vehicle structure 150 is shown to comprise on a first side of the vehicle structure 150 that corresponds to the first side of the motor vehicle 110, the single A-pillar 114 that connects a front end of a roof structure 140 that forms part of the roof 112 of the motor vehicle 110 to a main vehicle structure 170 and a first B-pillar 116L connecting the roof structure 140 to the main vehicle structure 170 to the rear of the A-pillar 114 and an upper longitudinally extending roof member 152 connecting the A-pillar 114 to the first B-pillar 116L and, on a second side of the vehicle structure 150 that corresponds to the second side of the motor vehicle 110, a second B-pillar 116R connecting the roof structure 140 to the main vehicle structure 170 but no A-pillar connecting the roof structure 140 to the main vehicle structure 170.
The main vehicle structure 170 includes a front structure 160 connected to a rear structure 180 by at least one longitudinally extending structural member 135, 156L, 156R, on each side of the vehicle structure 150 there being lower longitudinally extending structural side members 156L; 156R on both sides of the motor vehicle 110 and on the second side of the motor vehicle a single intermediate longitudinally extending structural member 135.
On the first side of the vehicle structure 150 there is the lower longitudinally extending structural side member 156L connected at one end to part of the front structure 160 in the form of an upright structural member 166L and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar 116L on the first side of the vehicle structure 150.
On the second side of the vehicle structure 150 there is the lower longitudinally extending structural side member 156R connected at one end to part of the front structure 160 in the form of a second upright structural member 166R and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar 116R on the second side of the vehicle structure 150 and the intermediate longitudinally extending structural side member 135 located near a waistline of the motor vehicle 110 connected at one end to part of the front structure 160 in the form of a transversely extending upper structural member 164 and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar 116R on the second side of the vehicle structure 150.
The rear structure 180 is formed in the case of this example by the pair of B-pillars 116L, 116R, the pair of C-pillars 117L, 117R, a pair of rear uprights 158L, 158R and a transverse lower beam 159.
The front structure 160 has a deformable member that comprises a single front crush can unit 162 to absorb low speed impacts connected at an upper end to a low speed crash can carrier 167 and at a lower end to a lower transverse support (not shown), a pair of diagonally extending upper and lower front rails 163L, 163R on each side of the vehicle structure 150, the transverse upper structural member 164, a transverse lower member 165 and the pair of structural uprights 166L, 166R one located on each side of the vehicle structure 150.
Each of the lower rails of the pair of diagonally extending rails 163L, 163R is connected a front end thereof to the crash can carrier 167 so as to support a respective side of the crush can unit 162.
The upper rails of the pair of rails 163L, 163R connect an upper end of the crush can unit 162 via the low speed crash can carrier 167 to the transverse upper structural member 164 and the lower rails of the pair of rails 163L, 163R connect the crush can unit 162 to a respective one of the pair of structural uprights 166L, 166R. The single front crush can unit 162 is mounted centrally at a front end of the front structure 160 so as to occupy less space and permit turning of the front wheels. The crush can unit 162 transfers load applied to it via the left hand and right hand pairs of upper and lower rails 163L and 163R to the main vehicle structure 170 of the vehicle structure 150.
The roof structure 140 includes a diagonal roof member 155 (the position of which under the roof 112 is shown as dashed lines in Fig.13 and 16) connected at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar 114 on the first side of the vehicle structure 150 and connected at a distal end to an upper end of the B-pillar 116R on the second side of the vehicle structure 150. The A-pillar 114 is connected at a lower end to the front structure 160 of the vehicle in the form of the transverse upper structural member 164. The roof structure 140 also includes a longitudinally extending roof member 152 (header rail) connected at a front end to an upper end of the A-pillar 114 and connected towards a rear end to an upper end of the B-pillar 116L on the first side of the vehicle structure 50 and a transversely extending roof member 154 connected at one end to upper ends of the B-pillar 116L and the C-pillar 117L and the longitudinally extending roof member 152 on the first side of the vehicle structure 150 and connected at a distal end to upper ends of the B-pillar 116R and the C-pillar 117R on the second side of the vehicle structure 150.
The roof structure 140 therefore comprises in the case of this embodiment the diagonal roof member 155, the upper longitudinally extending roof member 152 and the transversely extending roof member 154 connected together to form a structurally rigid triangle.
Frontal impact loads are initially absorbed by the crush can unit 162 and are then transferred via the pairs of upper and lower rails 163L, 163R to the transverse upper structural member 164 and the pair of structural uprights 166L, 166R. In the case of a severe frontal impact the pairs of upper and lower rails 163L, 163R are designed to collapse in a controller manner so as to absorb impact energy.
The triangular roof structure 140 comprised of the longitudinally extending roof member 152, the transversely extending roof member 154 and the diagonal roof member 155 forms a strong structural unit able to withstand significant applied loads and to effectively transfer load from the front structure 160 via the A-pillar 114 to the rear structure 180 in such a manner as to make a second A-pillar structurally redundant.
Referring now to Figs.11 to 16 the side hinged door 118 is hinged at a front end by means of a pair of spaced apart hinges 119 supported by the upright 166L. However, it will be appreciated that the side hinged door 118 could be hinged at a rear end if so required.
The side hinged door 118 door has a lower structural part 121 to which is mounted a frameless side window 120.
The lower structural part 121 of the side hinged door 118 includes an elongate door beam 137 (shown as a dotted outline in Fig.11) extending between and operatively connected, when the side hinged door 118 is in a closed state, to the front and rear structures 160 and 180 so as to transfer side impact loads applied to the door beam 137 of the side hinged door 118 into the main vehicle structure 170 .
The elongate door beam 137 co-operates when the side hinged door 118 is in a closed state at a rear end with the B-pillar 116L on the first side of the motor vehicle 110 and at a front end with the transversely extending upper structural member 164 of the front structure 160. It will be appreciated that the connection between the door beam 137 and the B-pillar 116L and transversely extending upper structural member 164 are only made when the side hinged door 118 is in the closed state and do not prevent or hinder movement of the side hinged door 118 to an open state shown in Figs.15 and 16.
The motor vehicle 110 includes a wrap around window 136 sealingly secured at one end to the A-pillar 114 on the first side of the motor vehicle 110 and sealingly secured at an opposite end to an upturned end portion of the intermediate longitudinally extending structural side member 135 that forms an upright window frame member for the fixed wrap around window 136. The motor vehicle 110 therefore includes the fixed wrap around window 136 sealingly secured at one end to the A-pillar 114 on the first side of the motor vehicle 110 and sealingly secured at an opposite end to the upright window frame member 135 positioned adjacent the B-pillar 116R on the second side of the motor vehicle 110 .
Although not shown in the figures, the wrap around window 136 includes a small openable portion to allow the driver to access the outside of the motor vehicle 110 for the purpose of paying for parking fees or for taking a ticket from a parking machine. It will be appreciated that the wrap around window includes a windscreen area and a side window area.
In an alternative embodiment in which the intermediate longitudinally extending structural side member 135 is wholly located behind the continuous lower body panel 132 on the second side of the motor vehicle 110, the wrap around window 136 is sealingly secured at one end to the A-pillar 114 on the first side of the motor vehicle 110 and is sealingly secured at an opposite end to the B-pillar 116R.
In either case an upper edge of the wrap around window 136 is sealing secured to part of the structure of the roof 112 of the motor vehicle 110 and a lower edge of the wrap around window 136 is sealingly secured to structural members 135, 164 defining a lower edge of a window aperture in which the wrap around window 136 is sealingly secured. The roof 112 includes a peripheral stiffening member (not shown) attached at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar 114 and attached at an opposite end to the upturned end of the intermediate longitudinally extending structural side member 135 that forms an upright window frame member in the case of this example. The wrap around window 136 is in the case of this example sealingly secured to the roof 112 via the peripheral stiffening member but alternative sealing arrangements could be used.
One of the advantages of this embodiment of the invention is that the lack of an A-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle 110 greatly reduces the obstructions in front of the driver thereby providing the driver with a virtually uninterrupted panoramic forward view.
It will be appreciated that an asymmetric vehicle structure in accordance with this invention is arranged so that there is always just one upper longitudinally extending roof member 52, 152 and one intermediate longitudinal member 57, 135 on one side of the motor vehicle.
In the case of the first embodiment having the top hinged door 30 the upper longitudinally extending roof member 52 and the intermediate longitudinal member 57 are on the same side namely the first side of the motor vehicle 10 and for the second embodiment having a side hinged door 118 they are on the opposite sides of the motor vehicle 110.
The upper longitudinally extending roof member 152 being on the first side and the intermediate longitudinal member 135 are on the second side of the motor vehicle 110.
The vehicle structures 50, 150 as shown and described above are constructed from a number of aluminium alloy structural members that are fastened together to form the respective vehicle structure 50, 150. It will be appreciated that welding or adhesive bonding can be used to fasten the structural members together or a combination of adhesive bonding and welding.
It will be further appreciated that some or all of the structural members could be replaced by composite components made from, for example, a carbon fibre reinforced plastic material or the vehicle structure could be in the form of a unibody structure made of stamped panels.
The specific structure used is not as important as the arrangement of a structure designed to have sufficient strength and torsional rigidity to permit the deletion of one of the A-pillars so that there is only a single A-pillar rather than two as found on a conventional motor vehicle.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that although the invention has been described by way of example with reference to one or more embodiments it is not limited to the disclosed embodiments and that alternative embodiments could be constructed without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (21)

Claims
1. A motor vehicle structure for a narrow motor vehicle having a roof structure connected to a main vehicle structure by a number of upwardly extending pillars wherein on a first side of the vehicle structure there is an A-pillar connecting a front end of the roof structure to the main vehicle structure and a B-pillar connecting the roof structure to the main vehicle structure to the rear of the A-pillar and on a second side of the vehicle structure there is a B-pillar connecting the roof structure to the main vehicle structure but no A-pillar connecting the roof structure to the main vehicle structure and the main vehicle structure includes a front structure having a single front crush can unit mounted centrally at a front end of the front structure .
2. A vehicle structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein the roof structure includes a diagonal roof member connected at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected at an opposite end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
3. A vehicle structure as claimed in claim 1 or in claim 2 wherein the roof structure includes an upper longitudinally extending roof member connected at a front end to an upper end of the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected towards a rear end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure .
4. A vehicle structure as claimed in any of claims 1 to 3 wherein the roof structure includes a transversely extending roof member connected at one end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected at an opposite end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
5. A vehicle structure as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4 wherein the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure is connected at a lower end to the front structure of the vehicle structure.
6. A vehicle structure as claimed in any of claims 1 to 5 wherein the main vehicle structure includes a rear structure .
7. A vehicle structure as claimed in claim 6 wherein the B-pillars on the first and second sides of the vehicle structure form parts of the rear structure.
8. A vehicle structure as claimed in claim 6 or in claim 7 wherein the front and rear structures are joined together by at least one longitudinal side member on each side of the vehicle structure.
9. A vehicle structure as claimed in claim 8 wherein on the first side of the vehicle structure there is an intermediate longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and on the second side of the vehicle structure there is a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
10. A vehicle structure as claimed in claim 8 wherein on the first side of the vehicle structure there is a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and on the second side of the vehicle structure there is an intermediate longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure and a lower longitudinal side member connected at one end to part of the front structure and connected at a rear end to the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure.
11. A motor vehicle having a vehicle structure as claimed in any of claims 1 to 10 in which the first side of the vehicle structure is on a first side of the motor vehicle and the second side of the vehicle structure is on a second side of the motor vehicle wherein the motor vehicle is a narrow motor vehicle accommodating no more than one person per row of seating and has a single entry door on one of the first and second sides and no door on an opposite one of the first and second sides.
12. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 11 wherein the single entry door is a top hinged door located on the second side of the motor vehicle.
13. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 12 wherein the roof structure includes a diagonal roof member connected at one end to an upper end of the A-pillar on the first side of the vehicle structure and connected at a distal end to an upper end of the B-pillar on the second side of the vehicle structure and the top hinged door is hingedly connected along one edge to the diagonal roof member for rotation about a substantially horizontal pivot axis.
14. A motor vehicle as claimed in claims 12 or in claim 13 wherein the top hinged door includes a lower structural part and the lower structural part of the top hinged door includes an elongate door beam to transfer, when the top hinged door is in a closed state, impact loads applied to the elongate door beam into the main vehicle structure .
15. A motor vehicle as claimed in any of claims 12 to 14 wherein the top hinged door includes a wrap around window that extends when the door is in a closed state from a position adjacent the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle to a position substantially adjacent the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle.
16. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 15 wherein the wrap around window is fastened along a top edge to a wedge shaped roof hingedly connected along one edge to the diagonal roof member.
17. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 13 or in claim 14 wherein the top hinged door includes a wrap around window that extends when the door is in a closed state from a position adjacent the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle to a position substantially adjacent the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle and onto the top of the motor vehicle to a position adjacent the diagonal roof member to which the top hinge door is hingedly connected.
18. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 11 wherein the single entry door is a side hinged door hingedly connected at one edge to the main vehicle structure for rotation about a substantially vertical pivot axis on the first side of the motor vehicle.
19. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 18 wherein a lower structural part of the side hinged door includes an elongate door beam to transfer, when the side hinged door is in a closed state, impact loads applied to the elongate door beam of the side hinged door into the main vehicle structure .
20. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 18 or in claim 19 wherein the motor vehicle includes a fixed wrap around window sealingly secured at one end to the A-pillar on the first side of the motor vehicle and sealingly secured at an opposite end to one of an upright window frame positioned adjacent the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle and the B-pillar on the second side of the motor vehicle .
21. A motor vehicle as claimed in claim 20 wherein an upper edge of the wrap around window is sealingly secured to part of a roof structure of the motor vehicle and a lower edge of the wrap around window is sealingly secured to structural members defining a lower edge of a window aperture in which the wrap around window is sealingly secured.
GB1709420.2A 2016-11-17 2016-11-17 A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure Expired - Fee Related GB2556137B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1709420.2A GB2556137B (en) 2016-11-17 2016-11-17 A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1619431.8A GB2556069B (en) 2016-11-17 2016-11-17 A motor vehicle having an asymmetric structure
GB1709420.2A GB2556137B (en) 2016-11-17 2016-11-17 A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201709420D0 GB201709420D0 (en) 2017-07-26
GB2556137A GB2556137A (en) 2018-05-23
GB2556137B true GB2556137B (en) 2019-07-24

Family

ID=59358235

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB1709420.2A Expired - Fee Related GB2556137B (en) 2016-11-17 2016-11-17 A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2556137B (en)

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4823905A (en) * 1986-02-21 1989-04-25 Audi Ag. Impact actuated safety apparatus for a vehicle
JP2009046107A (en) * 2007-08-22 2009-03-05 Naoharu Nakai Automobile
US20120037441A1 (en) * 2010-08-10 2012-02-16 Arcimoto, Llc Narrow Body Ultra Efficient Three Wheeled Electric Vehicle with Automotive Class Feel
CN204488970U (en) * 2015-02-09 2015-07-22 苏州傲威电动车辆制造有限公司 A kind of electric wheel-chair vehicle
DE202015004988U1 (en) * 2015-07-11 2015-10-07 Klaus Mundil Clamp frame (body structure)
CN105365729A (en) * 2015-11-23 2016-03-02 天津华夏联盛汽车部件有限公司 Automobile rear bumper

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4823905A (en) * 1986-02-21 1989-04-25 Audi Ag. Impact actuated safety apparatus for a vehicle
JP2009046107A (en) * 2007-08-22 2009-03-05 Naoharu Nakai Automobile
US20120037441A1 (en) * 2010-08-10 2012-02-16 Arcimoto, Llc Narrow Body Ultra Efficient Three Wheeled Electric Vehicle with Automotive Class Feel
CN204488970U (en) * 2015-02-09 2015-07-22 苏州傲威电动车辆制造有限公司 A kind of electric wheel-chair vehicle
DE202015004988U1 (en) * 2015-07-11 2015-10-07 Klaus Mundil Clamp frame (body structure)
CN105365729A (en) * 2015-11-23 2016-03-02 天津华夏联盛汽车部件有限公司 Automobile rear bumper

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2556137A (en) 2018-05-23
GB201709420D0 (en) 2017-07-26

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6705667B1 (en) Supporting structure for a motor vehicle
EP1985527B1 (en) Front structure of automotive vehicle
KR960005858B1 (en) Rear body structure of a vehicle
EP2230156B1 (en) Lower vehicle-body structure of vehicle
US9592856B2 (en) Upper vehicle-body structure of vehicle
CA2311233C (en) Bodyshell of a motor vehicle
CN104114438A (en) Vehicle body bottom structure
CN108327795B (en) Roof frame including support stiffener arch member
US6663166B2 (en) Body for a motor vehicle and a method of making same
CZ20012993A3 (en) Side buffer
EP3323698B1 (en) A motor vehicle having an asymmetric structure
CN105313976A (en) Vehicle body for vehicle and vehicle provided with vehicle body
CN110962941A (en) Reinforced body-in-white frame
GB2556137B (en) A motor vehicle having an asymetric structure
US5645312A (en) Supporting structure of a body of a passenger car
CN112896323B (en) Cage-shaped framework structure of vehicle body
GB2461508A (en) Tractor cab with improved visibility
JP2011098684A (en) Upper vehicle body structure of vehicle
JP5476932B2 (en) Vehicle door structure
JP2004106637A (en) Railroad vehicle structure
CN218949303U (en) Automobile body and automobile
CN219339565U (en) Automobile body and automobile
CN219339562U (en) Car body middle part structure and car
US11591025B2 (en) Front vehicle-body structure of vehicle
CN217672878U (en) Automobile threshold assembly

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee

Effective date: 20201117