Dirk van Braeckel
Dirk van Braeckel, is a Belgian car designer. He is known for the designing of various models for Volkswagen Group. Born in Deinze, after leaving school, van Braeckel studied electrical engineering, before joining Ford as an apprentice car designer in Cologne, West Germany. Ford agreed to sponsor him undertake a degree in car design at the Royal College of Art, London. On graduation, he joined Audi in 1984, working on external design including the Audi A8 concept and Audi A3. In 1993, Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piëch choose him to head design for VW's newly purchased Škoda Auto division, where he revised the entire model line-up, creating the Octavia and Fabia models. After Volkswagen purchased Bentley in 1998 from Vickers plc, van Braeckel joined the British-based company in August 1999 as Director of Design & Styling, his brief was to create a second-car line that could sell in higher volumes than the $240,000 Bentley Arnage car. Van Braeckel created the Bentley Continental GT, which in 2004 sold 5,983 units, exceeding forecasts by 62%, in 2009 his Bentley Mulsanne was launched.
Audi A8 concept, 1994 Audi A3, 1996 Škoda Octavia, 1996 Škoda Fabia, 1999 Škoda Superb, 2001 Škoda Octavia, 2004 Bentley Continental GT, 2004 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, 2005 Bentley Azure, 2006 Bentley Brooklands, 2007 Bentley Mulsanne, 2009 Bentley EXP 9 F, 2012 In 2007, van Braeckel was awarded the laureate of Antwerp's Christophe Plantin Prize, which honours Belgian citizens whose cultural, artistic or scientific activities contribute to the country's prestige abroad. In 2008, van Braeckel was awarded the European Automotive Design Award by Designers. Official website
A luxury vehicle is intended to provide passengers with increased comfort, a higher level of equipment and increased perception of quality than regular cars for an increased price. The term is subjective and can be based on either the qualities of the car itself or the brand image of its manufacturer. Luxury brands are considered to have a higher status than premium brands, however there is no fixed differentiation between the two. Traditionally, luxury cars have been large vehicles, however contemporary luxury cars range in size from compact cars to large sedans and SUVs; some car manufacturers market their luxury models using the same marque as the rest of their models. Other manufacturers market their luxury models separately under a different marque, for example Lexus and Bentley. A luxury car is sold under a mainstream marque and is re-branded under a specific luxury marque. For mass-produced luxury cars, sharing of platforms or components with other models is common, as per modern automotive industry practice.
Several car classification schemes which include a luxury category, such as: Australia: Since the year 2000, the Federal Government's luxury car tax applies to new vehicles over a certain purchase price, with higher thresholds applying for cars considered as fuel efficient. As of 2019, the thresholds were AU$66,000 for normal cars and AU$76,000 for fuel efficient cars. Europe: Luxury cars are classified as F-segment vehicles in the European Commission classification scheme. France: The term "voiture de luxe" is used for luxury cars. Germany: The term German: Oberklasse is used for luxury cars. Russia: The term (автомобиль представительского класса is used for luxury cars. Rental cars: The ACRISS Car Classification Code is a system used by many car rental companies to define equivalent vehicles across brands; this system includes "Luxury" and "Luxury Elite" categories. The criteria for a vehicle to be considered "luxury" is not published; the premium compact class is the smallest category of luxury cars.
It became popular in the mid-2000s, when European manufacturers— such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz— introduced new entry level models that were smaller and cheaper than their compact executive models. Examples include the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Audi A3, Buick Verano, BMW 1 Series, Lexus CT 200h, Infiniti Q30, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Volvo C30, Volvo V40, BMW i3. Premium compacts compete with well-equipped mid-size cars, optioned premium compact cars can have pricing and features that operlaps with compact executive cars. A compact executive car is a premium car smaller than an executive car. In European classification, compact executive cars are part of the D-segment. In North American terms, close equivalents are "compact premium car", "compact luxury car", "entry-level luxury car" and "near-luxury car". Executive car is a British term for an automobile larger than a large family car. In official use, the term is adopted by Euro NCAP, a European organization founded to test for car safety.
It is a passenger car classification defined by the European Commission. The next category of luxury cars is known in Great Britain as a luxury saloon or luxury limousine, is known in the United States as a full-size luxury sedan or large luxury sedan, it is the equivalent of the European German Oberklasse segment. Many of these luxury saloons are the flagship for the marque and therefore include the newest automotive technology. Several models are available in long-wheelbase versions, which provide additional rear legroom and a higher level of standard features. Examples of luxury saloons / full-size luxury sedans include the BMW 7 Series, Cadillac CT6 Genesis G90, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, Porsche Panamera. Luxury cars costing over US$100,000 can be considered as "ultra-luxury cars". Examples include Maybach 57 and Bentley Arnage. Exotic cars which are targeted towards performance rather than luxury are not classified as ultra-luxury cars when their cost is greater than US$100,000. Several entry-level models from low-volume luxury car manufacturers, such as the Bentley Continental GT and the Rolls-Royce Ghost have been described as "entry-opulent" cars.
Many ultra-luxury cars are produced by brands with a long history of manufacturing luxury cars. The history of a brand and the exclusivity of a particular model can result in price premiums compared to luxury cars with similar features from less prestigious manufacturers. V12 engines are common in ultra-luxury cars. Long before the luxury SUV segment became popular in the 1990s, the vehicle in this segment was the 1966 Jeep Super Wagoneer, marketed at the time as a station wagon, it was the first off-road SUV to offer a V8 engine, automatic transmission, luxury car trim and equipment. Standard equipment included bucket seating, a center console, air conditioning, seven-position tilt steering wheel, a vinyl roof and gold colored trim panels on the body sides and tailgate. By the late 1970s, optional equipment included an electric sunroof, The 1978 Jeep Wagoneer Limited was the spiritual successor to the Super Wagoneer and was the first four-wheel drive car to use leather upholstery. Another precursor to the luxury SUV is the Range Rover, released in 1970.
It was the first road-going vehicle to have a permanent four-wheel drive system, split
The Volkswagen Phaeton FAY-tən is a Full-size luxury sedan/saloon manufactured by the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, described by Volkswagen as their "premium class" vehicle. Introduced at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, the Phaeton was marketed worldwide. Sales in North America ended in 2006 and global sales ended in 2016; the name Phaeton derives from Phaëton, the son of Phoebus in Greek mythology, by way of the phaeton auto body style and the type of horse-drawn carriage that preceded it. Production ended in March 2016 and an all-electric second generation was slated to be produced. Starting in April 2017, the Gläserne Manufaktur Dresden assembles VW e-Golf instead; the Phaeton was conceived by Ferdinand Piëch chairman of Volkswagen Group. Piëch wanted Volkswagen engineers to create a car that would surpass the German prestige market leaders, Mercedes-Benz and BMW; the decision to release the Phaeton was, in part, a response to Mercedes' decision to compete directly with Volkswagen in the European marketplace with the low cost A-Class.
It was intended to support the Volkswagen brand image. Although the Volkswagen Group has a direct competitor in the full sized luxury segment, the Audi A8, the Phaeton was intended to be more of a comfort oriented limousine, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS, while the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series are more sport oriented. Initial development of the Phaeton, given the internal project code VW611, began with Piëch giving his engineers a list of ten parameters the car needed to fulfill. Most of these specifications were not made known to the public, but a number of them were told to automotive reporters. One of them was that the Phaeton should be capable of being driven all day at 300 km/h with an exterior temperature of 50 °C whilst maintaining the interior temperature at 22 °C. Piëch requested this though the Phaeton's top speed was electronically limited to 250 km/h. Another requirement was. At the 1999 International Motor Show Germany, Volkswagen presented the Concept D, a hatchback prototype of the Phaeton, with similar design, V10 TDI engine, air suspension and all wheel drive.
The Phaeton's platform, the Volkswagen Group D1 platform, was shared with the Bentley Continental GT and Bentley Continental Flying Spur. Certain systems, such as the automatic transmission and some engines, are shared with the Audi A8. Compared to the Audi A8L 4.2 litre FSI quattro, the Phaeton is 545 lb heavier but is still competitive with the lighter A8 in most driving tests, due to the Phaeton's increased engine power and a shorter axle ratio. However, the weight gives the Phaeton worse acceleration and poorer fuel economy compared to the A8; the Phaeton had the longest wheelbase in the Volkswagen passenger car line. Development of the vehicle led to over one hundred individual patents specific to the Phaeton. Distinctive features include a draftless four zone climate system, standard Torsen based 4motion four-wheel drive. For high ride comfort, it introduced Adaptive Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control -; the same suspension system, with firmer settings, was introduced in the technically similar Audi A8 in November 2002.
First Volkswagen with radar adaptive cruise control: automatic distance regulator. The Phaeton Lounge was a concept car based on a lengthened version of the Phaeton with seating for four in the rear compartment, it features a W12 engine, a reinforced chassis, six speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, individual climate control for each passenger and rear wine coolers, a minibar, multi color mood lighting, a cigar humidor, two 17 inch monitors, DVD changer in the trunk, second DVD player in the rear cabin, a Bluetooth enabled computer with a broadband connection. The vehicle was unveiled in 2005 Middle East International Motor Show; the Phaeton was hand assembled in an eco friendly factory with a glass exterior, the Transparent Factory in Dresden, Germany. This factory had a capacity of producing 20,000 vehicles a year, was planned to expand to 35,000 vehicles a year, it assembled Bentley Continental Flying Spur vehicles destined for the European market until October 2006, when all assembly of the Bentley products was transferred to Crewe, England.
The Phaeton body was fabricated and painted at the Volkswagen works at Zwickau and the completed bodies were transported 100 km by special road transport vehicles to the main factory. Most Phaeton engines, the W12 being the notable exception, were built at the VW/Porsche/Audi engine plant in Győr, Hungary. Sales of the Phaeton fell far short of expectations, its biggest market was China, followed by South Korea. In 2002, the manufacturer stated the annual capacity of the new Phaeton plant at Dresden was 20,000; the domestic market was the Phaeton's strongest, with 19,314 Phaetons delivered in Germany alone by January 2009. Production decreased to 10,190 cars in 2012 and 5,812 in 2013. In Phaeton's production run that lasted 15 years, 84,253 units were built. In Canada, 93 Phaetons were sold in 2004, in the first eight months of 2005, only 21 found owners. In the United States market, 1,433 Phaetons were sold in 2004, 820 were sold in 2005, leading the company to announce that sales in the North American market would end after the 2006 model year.
The W12 engined models have depreciated and sell for a small fraction of their o
Torsen Torque-Sensing is a type of limited-slip differential used in automobiles. It was manufactured by the Gleason Corporation. Torsen is a contraction of Torque-Sensing. TORSEN and TORSEN Traction are registered trademarks of JTEKT Torsen North America Inc. All Torsen differentials have their origin in the Dual-Drive Differential, invented and patented by Gleasman in 1958. Torsen differentials can be used in one or more positions on a motor vehicle: centre — used to apportion appropriate torque distribution between front and rear axles on an all-wheel drive vehicle. Rear — used to apportion appropriate torque distribution between left and right sides in rear axles; this may be on either four-wheel drive vehicle. Front — used to apportion appropriate torque distribution between left and right sides in front axles; this may be on either four-wheel drive vehicle. A four-wheel-drive vehicle, for example, may use two, or three Torsen differentials; as of 2008, there are three types of Torsen differentials.
The original Torsen T-1 uses crossed axis helical gears to limit torque split. The Type I can be designed for higher torque bias ratios than the Type II, but has higher backlash and the potential for Noise and Harshness issues, requires a precise setup/installation; the Torsen T-2 uses a parallel gear arrangement to achieve a similar effect. There is a specialist application of the T-2, known as the T-2R; the latest Torsen T-3 is a planetary type differential, in that the nominal torque split is not 50:50. The Type C is available as twin version; the Torsen T-3 is employed as the centre differential in all non-Haldex Traction Audi models with a ZF-sourced automatic transmission Quattro four-wheel drive, such as: Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi Q7. Audi uses a mechanical "Crown Wheel" centre differential for all longitudinal implementations using dual-clutch transmissions, such as the 2013/14 S4/RS4. Alfa Romeo used a Torsen C twin differential in the Alfa Romeo 156 Crosswagon Q4 and in the 159, Alfa Romeo Brera and Spider Q4 models.
Toyota uses a Torsen T-3 in the center differential of the 4Runner Limited, FJ Cruiser 6-speed manual, Land Cruiser and Lexus GX470, with manual locking feature, General Motors used a Torsen T-3 center differential in the transfer case of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS and Saab 9-7X. The Torsen differential works just like a conventional differential, but can lock up if a torque imbalance occurs, the maximum ratio of torque imbalance being defined by the Torque Bias Ratio; when a Torsen has a 3:1 TBR, that means that one side of the differential can handle up to 75% while the other side would have to only handle 25% of applied torque. During acceleration under asymmetric traction conditions, so long as the higher traction side can handle the higher percentage of applied torque, no relative wheelspin will occur; when the traction difference exceeds the TBR, the slower output side of the differential receives the tractive torque of the faster wheel multiplied by the TBR. The TBR should not be confused with the uneven torque-split feature in the planetary-type Torsen III.
The planetary gearset allows a Torsen III center differential to distribute torque unevenly between front and rear axles during normal operation without inducing wind-up in the drivetrain. This feature is independent of the Torque Bias Ratio; when a vehicle is in a turn, the outer wheel will rotate faster than the inner wheel. Friction in the differential will oppose motion, that will work to slow the faster side and speed up the slower/inner side; this leads to asymmetric torque distributions in drive wheels, matching the TBR. Cornering in this manner will reduce the torque applied to the outer tire, leading to greater cornering power, unless the inner wheel is overpowered; when the inner tire is overpowered, it angularly accelerates up to the outer wheel speed and the differential locks, if the traction difference does not exceed the TBR, the outer wheel will have a higher torque applied to it. If the traction difference exceeds the TBR, the outer tire gets the tractive torque of the inner wheel multiplied by the TBR, the remaining applied torque to the differential contributes to wheel spin up.
When a Torsen differential is employed, the slower-moving wheel always receives more torque than the faster-moving wheel. The Torsen T-2R RaceMaster is the only Torsen to have a preload clutch. So if a wheel is airborne, torque is applied to the other side. If one wheel were raised in the air, the regular Torsen units would act like an open differential, no torque would be transferred to the other wheel; this is. If the parking brake is applied, assuming that the parking brake applies resistance to each side the drag to the airborne side is "multiplied" through the differential, TBR times the drag torque is applied to the other side. So, the ground side would see minus drag torque, that may restore motion either forward or in reverse. In Hummer/HMMWV applications, there are both front and rear Torsen differentials, so the use of the main brakes will operate this "trick" on both
Governments and private organizations have developed car classification schemes that are used for various purposes including regulation and categorization, among others. This article details used classification schemes in use worldwide; this following table summarises common classifications for cars. Microcars and their Japanese equivalent— kei cars— are the smallest category of automobile. Microcars straddle the boundary between car and motorbike, are covered by separate regulations to normal cars, resulting in relaxed requirements for registration and licensing. Engine size is 700 cc or less, microcars have three or four wheels. Microcars are most popular in Europe, where they originated following World War II; the predecessors to micro cars are Cycle cars. Kei cars have been used in Japan since 1949. Examples of microcars and kei cars: Honda Life Isetta Tata Nano The smallest category of vehicles that are registered as normal cars is called A-segment in Europe, or "city car" in Europe and the United States.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines this category as "minicompact", however this term is not used. The equivalents of A-segment cars have been produced since the early 1920s, however the category increased in popularity in the late 1950s when the original Fiat 500 and BMC Mini were released. Examples of A-segment / city cars / minicompact cars: Fiat 500 Hyundai i10 Toyota Aygo The next larger category small cars is called B-segment Europe, supermini in the United Kingdom and subcompact in the United States; the size of a subcompact car is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as having a combined interior and cargo volume of between 85–99 cubic feet. Since the EPA's smaller minicompact category is not as used by the general public, A-segment cars are sometimes called subcompacts in the United States. In Europe and Great Britain, the B-segment and supermini categories do not any formal definitions based on size. Early supermini cars in Great Britain include Vauxhall Chevette.
In the United States, the first locally-built subcompact cars were the 1970 AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto. Examples of B-segment / supermini / subcompact cars: Chevrolet Sonic Hyundai Accent Volkswagen Polo The largest category of small cars is called C-segment or small family car in Europe, compact car in the United States; the size of a compact car is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as having a combined interior and cargo volume of 100–109 cu ft. Examples of C-segment / compact / small family cars: Peugeot 308 Toyota Auris Renault Megane In Europe, the third largest category for passenger cars is called D-segment or large family car. In the United States, the equivalent term is intermediate cars; the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency defines a mid-size car as having a combined passenger and cargo volume of 110–119 cu ft. Examples of D-segment / large family / mid-size cars: Chevrolet Malibu Ford Mondeo Kia Optima In Europe, the second largest category for passenger cars is E-segment / executive car, which are luxury cars.
In other countries, the equivalent terms are full-size car or large car, which are used for affordable large cars that aren't considered luxury cars. Examples of non-luxury full-size cars: Chevrolet Impala Ford Falcon Toyota Avalon Minivan is an American car classification for vehicles which are designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row, have reconfigurable seats in two or three rows; the equivalent terms in British English are people carrier and people mover. Minivans have a'one-box' or'two-box' body configuration, a high roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers and high H-point seating. Mini MPV is the smallest size of MPVs and the vehicles are built on the platforms of B-segment hatchback models. Examples of Mini MPVs: Fiat 500L Honda Fit Ford B-Max Compact MPV is the middle size of MPVs; the Compact MPV size class sits between large MPV size classes. Compact MPVs remain predominantly a European phenomenon, although they are built and sold in many Latin American and Asian markets.
Examples of Compact MPVs: Renault Scenic Volkswagen Touran Ford C-Max The largest size of minivans is referred to as'Large MPV' and became popular following the introduction of the 1984 Renault Espace and Dodge Caravan. Since the 1990s, the smaller Compact MPV and Mini MPV sizes of minivans have become popular. If the term'minivan' is used without specifying a size, it refers to a Large MPV. Examples of Large MPVs: Dodge Grand Caravan Ford S-Max Toyota Sienna The premium compact class is the smallest category of luxury cars, it became popular in the mid-2000s, when European manufacturers— such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz— introduced new entry level models that were smaller and cheaper than their compact executive models. Examples of premium compact cars: Audi A3 Buick Verano Lexus CT200h A compact executive car is a premium car larger than a premium compact and smaller than an executive car. Compact executive cars are equivalent size to mid-size cars and are part of the D-segment in the European car classification.
In North American terms, close equivalents are "luxury compact" and "entry-level luxury car", although the latter is used for the smaller premium compact cars. Examples of compact executive cars: Audi A4 BMW 3 Series Buick Regal An executive car is a premium car larger than a compact executive and smaller than an full-size luxury car. Executive cars are classified as E-segment cars in the European car classification. In the United States and several other coun
Four-wheel drive called 4×4 or 4WD, refers to a two-axled vehicle drivetrain capable of providing torque to all of its wheels simultaneously. It may be full-time or on-demand, is linked via a transfer case providing an additional output drive-shaft and, in many instances, additional gear ranges. A four-wheeled vehicle with torque supplied to both axles is described as "all-wheel drive". However, "four-wheel drive" refers to a set of specific components and functions, intended off-road application, which complies with modern use of the terminology. 4WD systems were used in many different vehicle platforms. There is no universally accepted set of terminology to describe the various architectures and functions; the terms used by various manufacturers reflect marketing rather than engineering considerations or significant technical differences between systems. SAE International's standard J1952 recommends only the term All-Wheel-Drive with additional sub classifications which cover all types of AWD/4WD/4x4 systems found on production vehicles.
Four-by-four or 4x4 is used to refer to a class of vehicles in general. Syntactically, the first figure indicates the total number of wheels, the second indicates the number that are powered. So 4x2 means a four-wheel vehicle that transmits engine torque to only two axle-ends: the front two in front-wheel drive or the rear two in rear-wheel drive. A 6×4 vehicle has three axles, two of which provide torque to two axle ends each. If this vehicle were a truck with dual rear wheels on two rear axles, so having ten wheels, its configuration would still be formulated as 6x4. During World War II, the U. S. military would use spaces and a capital'X' – like "4 X 2" or "6 X 4". Four-wheel drive refers to vehicles with two axles providing torque to four axle ends. In the North American market the term refers to a system, optimized for off-road driving conditions; the term "4WD" is designated for vehicles equipped with a transfer case which switches between 2WD and 4WD operating modes, either manually or automatically.
All-wheel drive was synonymous with "four-wheel drive" on four-wheeled vehicles, six-wheel drive on 6×6s, so on, being used in that fashion at least as early as the 1920s. Today in North America the term is applied to both heavy vehicles as well as light passenger vehicles; when referring to heavy vehicles the term is applied to mean "permanent multiple-wheel drive" on 2×2, 4×4, 6×6 or 8×8 drive train systems that include a differential between the front and rear drive shafts. This is coupled with some sort of anti-slip technology hydraulic-based, that allows differentials to spin at different speeds but still be capable of transferring torque from a wheel with poor traction to one with better. Typical AWD systems are not intended for more extreme off-road use; when used to describe AWD systems in light passenger vehicles, it refers to a system that applies torque to all four wheels and/or is targeted at improving on-road traction and performance, rather than for off-road applications. Some all-wheel drive electric vehicles solve this challenge using one motor for each axle, thereby eliminating a mechanical differential between the front and rear axles.
An example of this is the dual motor variant of the Tesla Model S, which on a millisecond scale can control the torque distribution electronically between its two motors. Individual-wheel drive is used to describe electric vehicles with each wheel being driven by its own electric motor; this system has inherent characteristics that would be attributed to four-wheel drive systems like the distribution of the available torque to the wheels. However, because of the inherent characteristics of electric motors, torque can be negative, as seen in the Rimac Concept One and SLS AMG Electric; this can have drastic effects, as in better handling in tight corners. The term IWD can refer to a vehicle with any number of wheels. For example, the Mars rovers are 6-wheel IWD. Per the SAE International standard J1952, AWD is the preferred term for all the systems described above; the standard subdivides AWD systems into three categories. Part-Time AWD systems require driver intervention to couple and decouple the secondary axle from the driven axle and these systems do not have a center differential.
The definition notes. Full-Time AWD systems drive both rear axles at all times via a center differential; the torque split of that differential may be fixed or variable depending on the type of center differential. This system can be used on any surface at any speed; the definition does not address exclusion of a low range gear. On-Demand AWD systems drive the secondary axle via an active or passive coupling device or "by an independently powered drive system"; the standard notes that in some cases the secondary drive system may provide the primary vehicle propulsion. An example is a hybrid AWD vehicle where the primary axle is driven by an internal combustion engine and secondary axle is driven by an electric motor; when the internal combustion engine is shut off the secondary, electrically driven axle is the only driven axle. On-demand systems function with only one powered axle until torque is required by the second axle. At that point either a passive or active coupling sends torque to the secondary axle.
In addition to the above primary classifications the J1952 standard notes seconda
Full-size car— known as large car is a vehicle size class which originated in the United States and is used for cars larger than mid-size cars. It is the largest size class for cars; the equivalent European categories are E-segment and executive car. After World War II, the majority of full-size cars have used the sedan and station wagon body styles, however in recent years most full-size cars have been sedans; the highest-selling full-size car nameplate is the Chevrolet Impala, sold as a full-size car from 1958 to 1986 and from 1994 to 1996. The United States Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Regulations for 1977 and Later Model Year includes definitions for classes of automobiles. Based on the combined passenger and cargo volume, large cars are defined as having an interior volume index of more than 120 cu ft for sedan models, or 160 cu ft for station wagons. From the introduction of the Ford Flathead V8 in the 1930s until the 1980s, most North American full-size cars were powered by V8 engines.
However, V6 engines and straight-six engines have been available on American full-size cars, have become common since the downsizing of full-sized cars in the 1980s. The lineage of mass-produced full-size American cars begins with the 1908 Ford Model T. In 1923, General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Superior, becoming the first vehicle to adopt a common chassis for several brands. In comparison to the cars of the 21st century, these vehicles are small in width. From the 1920s to the 1950s, most manufacturers produced model lines in a single size, growing in size with each model redesign. While length and wheelbase varied between model lines, width was a constant dimension, as the American federal government required the addition of clearance lights on a width past 80 inches. In 1960, following the introduction of compact cars, the "full-size car" designation came into wider use. In the 1960s, the term was applied to the traditional car lines of lower-price brands, including Chevrolet and Plymouth.
As a relative term, full-size cars were marketed by the same brands offering compact cars, with entry-level cars for buyers seeking the roominess of a luxury car at a lower cost. Into the 1970s, the same vehicles could transport up to six occupants comfortably, at the expense of high fuel consumption; the sales of full-size vehicles in the United States declined after the early 1970s fuel crisis. By that time, full-size cars had grown to wheelbases of 121–127 inches and overall lengths of around 225 in. In response to the 1978 implementation of CAFE, American manufacturers implemented downsizing to improve fuel economy, with full-size vehicles as the first model lines to see major change. While General Motors and Ford would reduce the exterior footprint of their full-size lines to that of their intermediates, AMC withdrew its Ambassador and Matador full-size lines. To save production costs, Chrysler repackaged its intermediates as full-size vehicles, exiting the segment in 1981. During the 1980s, to further comply with more stringent CAFE standards, manufacturers further reduced the exterior footprint of several model lines out of the full-size segment into the mid-size class.
For 1982, Chrysler exited the full-size segment with the mid-size Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury serving as its largest sedan lines. Following the 1985 model year, General Motors replaced most of its full-size model lines with front-wheel drive mid-size sedans. Developed to replace the Ford LTD Crown Victoria, the 1986 Ford Taurus was produced alongside it as the Ford mid-size model line. After abandoning the full-size segment for compact cars and minivans, Chrysler gained reentry into the full-size segment in 1988 with the Eagle Premier. Developed by AMC before its acquisition by Chrysler, the Premier was a version of the front-wheel drive Renault 25 adapted for North America. From the 1980s to the 1990s, the market share of full-size cars began to decline. From 1960 to 1994, the market share of full-size cars declined from 65 percent to 8.3 percent. From 1990 to 1992, both GM and Ford redesigned its full-size car lines for the first time since the late 1970s. For 1992, Chrysler developed its first front-wheel drive full-size car line, replacing the Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco with the Chrysler LH cars.
The same year, the Buick Roadmaster was introduced, becoming the first rear-wheel drive GM model line adopted outside of Chevrolet and Cadillac since 1985. In 1995, the Toyota Avalon was introduced, becoming the first Japanese non-luxury full-size car with six seats to be sold in the North America; the 1989 Lexus LS400 luxury sedan was the first Japanese full-size car sold in North America. Following the 1996 model year, GM ended production of rear-wheel drive sedans, with full-size vehicles becoming exclusive to Cadillac. From 1997 to 2016, the longest vehicle produced by an American manufacturer was a Lincoln. By 2000, with the sole exception of the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, full-size cars had abandoned rear-wheel drive and body-on-frame construction. Instead of model lineage, the EPA "large car" definition of over 120 interior cubic feet came into wide use