Category: Auto Tips

Platforms: Cubes And Rubiks


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Video: Platforms: Cubes And Rubiks

Video: Platforms: Cubes And Rubiks
Video: How to Solve a Rubik's Cube | WIRED 2023, March
Platforms: Cubes And Rubiks
Platforms: Cubes And Rubiks

Cars on the MQB platform are 40-60 kg lighter than their predecessors.

Cars on the MQB platform are 40-60 kg lighter than their predecessors


1 - suspension: elements that were optimized in geometry and mass, as well as new materials, primarily alloys and composites, saved the excess;

2 - engine: the main contribution to the fight against kilograms - minus almost a pound - was made by the crankshaft housing made entirely of aluminum alloy; a couple of kilograms lost weight on the crankshaft and turbocharger; a pound removed from the pistons;

3 - interior: the mass of the frames of the front and rear seats, as well as the dashboard; elements of an air conditioner have become more compact and lighter;

4 - body: most of the body parts of the floor are made of steel by hot stamping, they are very lightweight and at the same time provide the necessary rigidity and safety;

5 - electrics: the number of electronic systems and devices is growing from generation to generation, nevertheless, new technologies in the production of components have allowed to win in mass and size.


A platform is a set of structural elements that serve as the basis for the construction of many models. The modern principle of unification of parts and assemblies makes it possible to simplify production, thereby reducing costs. Even before the development of a new platform begins, experts decide which cars will be based on it: determine the dimensions and types of bodies, the range of engine volumes, transmission and drive options. The task is not easy, because one platform is used by cars with different bodies, different classes and even brands. This sets the design of the “trolley” - how flexible it will be. In other words, which parts are inviolable and which can be adjusted.

Models are already being built on the same platform, with different not only bodies, but also power units


Platform V (the next generation of the well-known B0) is used not only in gasoline and diesel versions, but also in electric cars - for example, Nissan Leaf, a platform platform for the Mikra and Dzhuk models.


Precisely because from one to several dozen models can go on one platform, there is no universal set. Each developer himself defines the minimum and extended lists of elements of a unified framework. At a minimum, this will include the power structure of the body: the design of the front and rear parts of the floor, which divert energy during impact and serve as the basis for installing the remaining parts, assemblies and assemblies. For example, suspension and steering elements, engines, other body parts that make up the skeleton of a car.

Often, the platform takes into account the architecture of the suspension, the line of engines and gearboxes, and even the frame of the seats - in fact, it remains only to increase the upper part of the body.


Let's follow the metamorphoses of the popular B0 platform using the Renault brand as an example. The founder of Logan is a Class B sedan. To make the MCV station wagon (aka Lada Largus), an insert was inserted between the front and back of the floor. On this basis, a different framework was built that determined the appearance of the new model. The Duster all-terrain vehicle was reinforced with a platform (so that increased loads when traveling on bad roads were not afraid), mainly in the middle part, in the area of the central tunnel. For better stability, a car with increased ground clearance widened the track. An additional margin of safety was given to the front suspension. By the way, in the rear of the four-wheel drive versions, instead of an elastic transverse beam, there is an independent design based on McPherson struts. All these platform changes from model to model were foreseen back in 1998, at the bookmarking stage. Now you understand how difficult and expensive this is? It is not surprising that even large concerns come together to design a new "cart". One of the latest examples is the joint product of Mazda and Fiat, which design the basis for the Mazda MX-5 and Alfa Romeo-Spider models.


Longevity largely depends on how successful the development itself turned out to be. Usually all juices are squeezed out of it and written off only when the “trolley” is morally obsolete, and the cars built on it begin to lose to competitors in driving performance, safety, comfort. Sometimes the platform survives several generations. Take Volkswagen Golf, for example: apart from minor upgrades, the fifth and sixth generation have the same foundation. It happens that the older platform is "carried over" by more budget models. Another example from the same concern: SEAT-Exeo, which appeared in 2008, inherited the platform of the previous Audi A4, extending its life by several years.

The main modules for assembling gasoline engines of the EA211 family, developed by Volkswagen:



1 - aluminum engine block

2 - pallet module with integrated oil filtration system and brackets of mounted units

3 - gas distribution module and mounted units

4 - exhaust module with a turbocompressor and a converter

5 - cylinder head cover with an integrated module that controls the valve timing

6 - intake module with integrated air cooler


Existing platforms in their current form are gradually giving way to modular structures - more technological and profitable in production. If you explain on the fingers, cars will be built from "cubes". A kind of designer "Lego" for adults. From a specific set of engines, gearboxes, chassis elements, steering, electronic components, you can assemble an ultra-compact city car and a mid-size all-terrain vehicle. It is only necessary to develop clear rules and abide by them when placing these “blocks”. Then the number of non-interchangeable components for the model range as a whole is reduced many times. For example, setting the same angle of inclination and engine mounting points, that is, making installation easy for several models at once, will reduce the number of engine variations by almost an order of magnitude.

In addition, instead of a gasoline unit, you can install a diesel engine, hybrid installation, or even an electric motor without major alterations. The principle is the same: one “cube” is pulled out, the other is put in its place. And so with most of the elements that make up the car.

Of the "cubes" are electrical equipment



Volkswagen called this design MIB (Modularen Infotainmentbaukasten - a modular multimedia complex). It includes three levels of equipment for models of different price segments. You can choose a suitable central processor and combine it with any control panel. For example, Audi has a joystick with a touchpad (touch pad for 1-6 kg of command input), Volkswagen has a touch screen




The pioneer is Volkswagen with the MQB platform (Modularer Querbaukasten - transversely modular design). The Germans not only presented the concept, but also managed to release a production car built on this principle. The first swallow is Audi A3, followed by the seventh-generation Golf, first with an internal combustion engine, then with an electric motor. And the Jetta will open an account with modular hybrids. In total, by 2018 they plan to release four dozen models on the MQB platform with dimensions ranging from Polo to Passat. As you can see, the flexibility of such a modular scheme is higher than that of the current "carts".

Nissan is also declaring a gradual transition to modules, having introduced a new design concept for future CMF models (Common Module Family - a single modular family). Any car consists of four modules - the engine compartment, the passenger compartment, the front of the body floor and the rear. In addition, a set of electronic components, which are also selected depending on the model and configuration. Combining different versions of all these components, they build almost the entire model range - from a small city car to a large SUV or minivan. Next year, cars of this brand, built from "cubes", will appear on the market.

Nissan Modular CMF



Marketers often talk about the benefits, carefully covering the disadvantages that are unlikely to please buyers. For manufacturers, this way of building cars, of course, is beneficial. The platform principle allows to accelerate the release of new models, optimize production, reduce costs. It would be logical to expect a decrease in prices, but the numbers on the price tags of new cars, despite the desire for maximum unification, are only growing from generation to generation.

The platform principle and the more advanced modular are not very profitable in operation. For example, if a technical failure occurs during the production of a node, all co-platforms will go under review. And what will the repair result in the post-warranty period? Will the modules be repairable, or will they have to be replaced entirely?

Another important aspect: excessive reduction in the nomenclature of parts leads to the depersonalization of models. Already now, sometimes you can’t distinguish Toyota from Subaru, and Mitsubishi from Peugeot or Citroen. And finally, the aesthetic will never put near a car designed originally for the premium class, and consumer goods in an expensive wrapper.

From the point of view of technology, modern platforms are another masterpiece and a step forward. But admire these miracles of technology should be reserved. And do not forget that we, potential buyers, will have to pay (in the literal sense) for the achievements of the designers.

MQB allows you to stretch and compress the dimensions over a fairly wide range:



Only the distance from the center of the front wheel to the pedal assembly remains unchanged. Volkswagen is preparing a similar MLB platform (Modularer Laеngsbaukasten) for models with a longitudinal engine (primarily for Audi), while Porsche is working on the rear-wheel drive structure MSB (Modularer Standardantriebsbaukasten)

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