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      Ground clearance and fuel economy norms revised by ARAI

      Nikhil Puthran

      Nikhil Puthran

      Cars and SUVs in India will now have to project new ground clearance figures under revised norms and mandates as directed by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India). The rule states that cars (all body-styles) will be tested in GVW conditions (Gross Vehicle Weight conditions), which means that a car will be weighed down to general usage levels and the new measurements will be based on the lowest fixed point of the car. Before this, the vehicle was measured at its unladen or kerb weight. 

      Toyota Fortuner

      This time around, the car manufacturers will also have to ensure that their respective products return a minimum fuel efficiency of 18.2kmpl, which is about 15 per cent more than existing mileage. Although manufacturers can sell cars which return lesser than 18.2kmpl, they will have to ensure that their other models offer higher mileage to ensure that the average of all models meet the rule. However, it is unclear for now as to how it will be achieved. By April 2022, the government plans to further increase the average to 22kmpl.  

      The new rule on ground clearance does not change any dynamics or dimensions of the vehicle, as the change is limited to the way it is measured. Toyota Fortuner which once projected 225mm ground clearance has now been changed to 184mm. Fiat, on the other hand, which claimed 205mm ground clearance for the Aventura, has now been revised to 156mm. It is interesting to note that the new rule was the original methodology which was used to measure ground clearance till mid-2013.