The ultimate vehicle specification guide - the cars in details, Part III

We've reached Part III of our automotive specifications' guide.

Permitted towbar download

That's the maximum load the towbar of the vehicle can endure without affecting its behavior on the road. Each manufacturing company has its own permitted towing download specifications.

Ride height

Known also as ground clearance, the ride height of an automobile is the distance between the baseline of the tire and lowest point (the axle). It usually does not include cargo and driver and passengers.

Approach angle and departure angle

The approach angle is the largest angle of a surface on which vehicles are capable to climb seamlessly on from a horizontal plane. The departure angle is the opposite - the smallest angle from which the vehicle is capable seamlessly to descend.

Ramp and Climb angle

The term Ramp angle is used to describe the maximum angle at which a vehicle is able to ride at low-speed over a ramp without its underbody touching it.

The Climb angle is used to describe the maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb a steep without its front or rear overhangs touching the surface.

Wading depth

It represents the depth to which a vehicle is able to "dive" into a water source without damaging its sensitive and vulnerable equipment. Different vehicles have different wading depth.

Wheel drive

It's sole purpose in every motor vehicle is to transfer force and turn torque into tractive effort, which enables the vehicle to move on its own. There are 3 types of wheel drives used in modern automotive industry - front, rear and all wheel drive (4x4).


In every motor vehicle there is a system that acts like a connection between the transmission and the drive axles.


The transmission is the mechanical device in motor vehicles that enables them to change gears while in motion. With the development of the automotive industry, vehicle transmissions constantly evolve and now we have traditional automatic transmission, dual-clutch (DCT), Tiptronic , Direct Shift Gear (DSG), continuously variable transmission (CVT), traditional manual and automated-manual. As for the number of gears available, modern cars offer variety, starting from 4 up to 10. Some ultra modern vehicles have 1, thanks to the technology they use.

Front suspension and Rear suspension

Suspension is one of the most important elements in every motor vehicle. It represents the system (of springs, shock dampers,tires, tire air and all the linkages) that serves as a connection between the vehicle and its wheels, and enables relative motion between them. Since every 4-wheeled motor vehicle needs a separate suspension for each pair of wheels, we have front and rear suspension.

Front brakes and Rear brakes

Brakes are of significant importance for every motor vehicle - they guarantee the safety of the passengers and the driver while the vehicle is in motion. Cars have front and rear brakes. While both are of a great importance, it's the front brakes' assistance that is of a greater need when vehicle stops.


ABS serves as an abbreviation for Anti-lock braking system. It's major job is to prevent the vehicle's wheels from locking up when brakes are applied, which could cause a road accident. Great benefit of the ABS is that the system acts faster than most of the drivers, which could crucial in life-threatening situations. In other word, ABS  improves the control over the car.

Steering, Power steering

The steering is a combination of linkages and other car components that enable the motor vehicle vehicle (except trains) to move into the desired direction. That's its major function - to "guide" the car to the driver's desired course.

The power steering is that part of the steering system that harness engine's power and uses it in order for the driver to steer the vehicle easier.

Turning circle radius

The turning circle radius represents the smallest circle a vehicle makes when taking a u-turn.

Wheel rims size and tire size

Different cars have different diameters of their wheels that's why rim sizes vary, and along with them the size of the tires. It's important for the safety of the drive and passengers that the tire size matches the measurements given by the manufacturer in the drive's manual.


CNG is an abbreviation for compressed natural gas. It's used as an alternative to conventional fuels like petrol (gasoline), diesel and propane (LPG). CNG's main advantage over the before-mentioned fuels is that it's safer when spilled and unlike the other fuels it produces less unwanted gasses.

CNG cylinder capacity

This parameter shows the amount of water that can be placed in CNG cylinder. Most used metric for the CNG cylinder capacity is litres.

CNG fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Just like the vehicles that run on petrol, diesel and LPG, CNG vehicles also have urban, extra-urban and combined fuel consumption specified by the manufacturer in the car manual. Just like the fuel consumption numbers in other cars, it's important to point out that manufacturer's numbers are taken during a closed, lab test and can vary from the numbers received when the car is driven in real conditions.

Just like any other motor vehicle that uses fuel to function, CNG cars also emit gasses into the atmosphere. That's why there are law requirements for the CO2 emissions.

Electric vehicles

These are the type of vehicles, that use electric motors to generate power in order to move. In most of the cases, those vehicles have batteries that store the produced power (the one that the vehicle uses to move).

Hybrid vehicles

Those type of vehicles have more than one source of energy that produces the energy it needs to move. Like, for instance, a hybrid combines the internal-combustion engine with fuel tank and battery pack/ electric motors. There few types of hybrid vehicles: series hybrids, mild hybrids, full hybrids, parallel hybrids, plug-in hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and electric. The battery packs for the hybrids have as many variations as the hybrid vehicles - we have:

  • Lead acid batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Nickel-metal-hydrade (NiMH)
  • Cobalt dioxide batteries
  • Iron phosphate (FePo)
  • Lithium-air (Li-air)
  • Lithium polymer (LiPo)
  • Nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM)
  • Nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA)
  • Manganese oxide spinel (MnO)

Battery capacity

Battery capacity" term is used to describe the maximum amount of energy the vehicle is capable to extract from the battery pack it has under certain conditions. It's usually calculated in Amp-hr.

All-electric range

All-electric range or AER (for short) describes the distance a vehicle can cover using only the power of its battery pack to make a pre-defined driving cycle. When it comes to battery electric motor vehicles, the AER is used to define the total distance driven per charge. PHEV's AER is used the describe the total range the vehicle can drive untill the battery charge is completely depleted.


ICE stands for Internal combustion engine. Such ICE vehicles are those who run on gasoline. Diesels also fall into the ICE cars category.


Author: Diyana Ilieva

This website uses Cookies! By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more