Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has always been the common testing ground for measuring different aspects like fuel economy, ground clearance, etc. of a car. Headquartered at Pune, ARAI has now revised the ground clearance measurement norms for cars. As per the new directive, ground clearance will be the distance between the lowest fixed point on a car’s body to the ground in a laden state. By laden, it means that the car has to be loaded up to its gross vehicle weight (GVW) figure.
This measuring methodology is applicable to cars with all kinds of body styles. This will of course bring down the ground clearance figures for all cars. For instance, the Fiat Avventura always claimed to have a SUV-rivaling ground clearance of 205mm. But as per the new norms, that has come down to 156mm. Similarly, the Toyota Fortuner’s 225mm figure is down to 184mm and the Volkswagen Tiguan’s ground clearance has fallen by 40mm, to 149mm.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that ARAI will measure ground clearance in this fashion. Until mid-2013, ground clearance on cars was being measured in laden state only. But it was changed to measure in an unladen state from thereon. This change impacted all the MUVs and SUVs which immediately received a bump in ground clearance figure and hence attracted a higher excise duty of 30 per cent.
Ground clearance, as we all know, is one aspect that we all look at in a personal vehicle before purchasing one. It gives us a good enough idea of whether the car will scrape its belly while going over average-sized but abundantly available bumps or potholes. It is safe to say that cars will technically remain unaltered.