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Old 02-18-2011, 12:00 PM   #100
HipToBeSquare
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 119958
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: (IA) flyover cornfield country
Vehicle:
1992 SVX LS-L

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
Unibody production cars have very complex crush zones engineered into them. Space frames do not. Sure, the frame might survive but your innards will not. On a race track there are far fewer solid objects to hit and there is never oncoming traffic. Frame survivability is not the same thing as safety.
It depends on the space-frame.

An OE space-frame like a Fiero, or more recently an NSX probably has as much crumple zone as a similar-era unibody.

The only difference is that the body is removable from the space frame, where a unibody has the skin welded on, for one less layer, and a little bit of additional surface rigidity in the metal skin.

A Space-frame, however, is much easier to re-body and repair minor damage, or offer multiple styling options, and also easier to build in a garage by bolting the body on. A space frame can be anything from a tube-frame chassis, to something very similar to a unibody, minus the outer skin surfaces. A Monocoque is similar, except that it is made out of fewer pieces, and highly unitized under the body, like a structural 'tub.'

The amount of crush zone in the space-frame depends on on how it is designed and implemented.
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