The body shell of the new Fiat Ritmo ( "rhythm" in Italian) is notable for low wind drag and resistance to minor accident damage, and as a low-cost construction specifically designed for automated welding. Unusual plastic bumpers envelop both ends, and even in non-Federalized form claimed to withstand collison impacts of 6 km/h without body deformation. At higher speeds the resilience of the special resin material minimizes structural damage. Described as "shields" , the one-piece molding in front incorporates the radiator grill and spoiler. These smooth shields contribute to the overall aerodynamics of the body, which has a drag coefficient of only 0.38, cited as possibly the lowest in its class. The hatchback shape was optimized through extensive wind tunnel tests, inclination of the tailgate received special attention. This has been established as a critical factor in smoothing air flow and avoiding turbulence around fastback bodies. The automated, robot-equipped, computer-controlled welding system is also described.

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 73-77
  • Serial:
    • Automotive Engineering
    • Volume: 86
    • Issue Number: 7
    • Publisher: Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
    • ISSN: 0098-2571

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00183240
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 12 1978 12:00AM