The automobile industry has witnessed a lot of development since the very first steam powered cars came to be invented in the 1700s. It took more than a century thence for cars to be mass produced and Karl Benz, in 1888, started manufacturing assembly line vehicles in Germany. This later spread to other European countries as well as USA, and contributed a great deal towards the development of the world in general.
The Modern Car Era – Last 25 Years
The Modern automobile era, which can as a rule be defined as the 25 years prior to the current year, has been a product of various trial and error methods that was to be seen in the preceding years. Highly advanced in the technical as well as the design side, it has been a period of increasing standardization, as well as platform sharing.
Some of the most significant alterations in the modern era happen to be the popularity of the front wheel drive as well as the all-wheel drive. These days, almost all passenger cars that are manufactured employ the front wheel drive unibody design, and are fitted with transversely mounted engines, as opposed to earlier periods. There has also been a noteworthy change in the body styles of the vehicles with recent entrants
being the hatchback, sports utility vehicle (SUV) and the minivans. It is indeed a startling fact that more than half of the automobile market in the world is dominated by pickup trucks and SUVs.
Fuel-efficient vehicles are another feature that is dominant in today’s automobile industry. The problem of automobile emissions, which was a major cause of concern in the 1970s was totally solved by means of the computerized engine management systems, resulting in an awesome increase in the power of the car.
Modern Car Models
Some of the prominent cars of the modern period include the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant (1981-1989), the Chrysler Minivans (1983), the Ford Taurus (1986), the Chrysler Concorde, Dodge Intrepid, and Eagle Vision (1993), the BMW 3-series (1975), the Jeep Grand Cherokee (1993), the Toyota Corolla (1966) etc.
The Range Rover that came into production in 1970, was so very popular a model that the new version came out only in 1996. the Volkswagen Golf (1974), a compact five seater vehicle with a square hatchback body and a transverse straight-4 engine and the Japanese Honda Accord (1977)
sedan were one among the popular cars that are still preferred by many.
The Oldsmobile Eighty Eight (1948-1999) was one among the few old cars that proved to be a classic example of the traditional American Sedan.
One of the important developmental activities that took place in the Modern era was the use of independent suspensions in cars. Moreover, it also advocated a wider application of the fuel injection system and greatly increased focus on the safety part while designing automobiles. Some of the greatest technological inventions of the time was the Gas turbine, the Turbocharger, and the Wankel engine. The Turbocharger, which was made popular by BMW and Saab, came to be used widely in other models too.