More expensive, but more profitable
“AND WAS A DEEP ECONOMY …”
TEXT / ANATOLY FOMIN
PHOTO / FIRM "OPEL"
The cost and frequency of service, fuel consumption, depreciation with age, insurance costs and taxes - given all this, formally a cheaper car is not always more profitable. And if you add the terms of the purchase, the interest on the loan (this is how the manufacturer will agree with the bank), then you can go completely crazy. Let's try to evaluate the "modern inexpensive car" on the example of the new "Opel Corsa" *. Its price in Germany starts with about 9 thousand dollars.
Sometimes it’s beneficial to complicate the design to make car repair easier and faster. However, the word “repair” in our traditional sense is not suitable here. Better to say “maintenance” and “replacement of wearing parts”. It is assumed that in the first 4–5 years for 100–120 thousand km there should be no breakdowns.
So, the owner of “Korsa” will have to contact the service only once every 30 thousand km or once a year - there is almost nothing to regulate in the car, and synthetic engine oil with high stability characteristics allows you to extend the interval between maintenance. Well, so that the owner does not forget about him at all, there is an indicator on the dashboard - a “memo”. Air and fuel filters are designed for 60 thousand kilometers (four years of average operation), a cabin filter with self-cleaning must live 30 thousand. It is recommended that brake fluid be changed every three years. The hand brake cable is pulled out of the passenger compartment - this is no longer news, but it significantly reduces both the adjustment time and the number of problems. By the way, it is not the electrical contact that warns about the wear of the brake pads, but a special “creaky” insert - it is more reliable and cheaper. Characteristically, small parts subject to corrosion disappear from the bottom of the car. The body itself, all steel parts of which with a double-sided zinc coating, must stretch "to the first hole" for at least 12 years.
Motorist liability insurance has long been compulsory almost everywhere. However, most owners prefer to insure the car itself. How much will it cost, a German car owner can find out long before a new purchase. According to the test results, the Association of Insurance Companies assigns a certain category to each model (from 1 to 40). The lower it is, the cheaper the insurance. For the new Corsa, with the weakest engine, this is 11/13 (competitors average 14/14), with the most powerful - 19/19 (competitors 26/20). The first figure is for full insurance, the second is only civil liability. What makes insurance companies indulge Opel?
A cracked painted bumper, a broken headlight and a slightly dented hood easily make the amount of damage in hard currency four-digit. The optimized design of the front and rear of the Corsa makes it possible to repair it with minimal cost. The fastening of the bumpers allows them to move within fairly large limits upon impact, without damaging the body. If the bumper could not absorb the shock, the aluminum cross member takes over the energy, and then the brackets of its fastening come into play, providing another 145 mm of deformation. As a result, a blow from a speed of 5 km / h leaves no traces at all, and at 15 km / h even with a 40 percent overlap, it is possible to do without damage to the power elements.
Now about the headlights. After analyzing hundreds of accidents, the designers of Opel came to the conclusion that most often plastic brackets on the headlight body break due to an impact, although the optical element remains intact. Hence the decision - to make the brackets removable and specially loosen them so that upon impact the headlight “recesses” inside the opening in the body. Such a design is more complicated, but saves the car owner several hundred marks in the event of an accident.
So the “Opel Corsa” is the most “economical” (not to be confused with an economical!) Car in Europe. You can be sure: the inherent ability to quickly and inexpensively repair after a minor accident is also useful in Russia.
*Cm. ZR, 2001, No. 4.
Reinforcement design for bumper and brackets.