Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has recently issued a directive which is all set to re-define the method of ground clearance measurement in the vehicles sold in the country.
As per the new directive, ARAI has clearly directed that the ground clearance measurements should now be done with the vehicle loaded to its capacity to its maximum authorised Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). As per the earlier system, ground clearance of vehicles were measured based on their kerb weight which means the vehicle weight when completely empty without any load.
Ground clearance is defined as the distance between the ground and lowest point of the central part of the vehicle. Now, centre part is the one which is contained between 80 percent of the least distance between the points on the inner edges of the wheels on either one of the axle.
Under any load, the suspension of the vehicle compresses leading to lowering of the height of the vehicle. Thus, ground clearance values will be lower for any vehicle carrying any load. With the latest directive issued by the ARAI, the minimum ground clearance of the vehicle under full load as compared to the earlier measurement which used to make do with the maximum ground clearance of the vehicle under zero load.
Quite a few manufacturers have already started revising their brochures with the ground clearances measured using the revised method. For example, Volkswagen, for its latest luxury compact SUV VW Tiguan has released its ground clearance as 149 mm which has been measured with the new formula. Fiat India too has revised the ground clearance of its butch looking SUV aspiring hatchback Fiat Avventura to 156 mm as against the earlier value which stood at 205 mm.
However, not all manufacturers have revised the ground clearance of their models and are still displaying their older unladen values.
This new formula for measuring ground clearance should help car buyers take more informed decision while purchasing the car of their choice.