Automotive 101 - An Interactive Guide to the Automobile

Through this section, we aim to give you a basic knowledge about cars.

  • Transmission image

    Gearboxes can either be automatic, manual or continuously variable transmissions (CVT), with variations like dual-clutches, automated manual transmissions (AMT), and have a multitude of gears for various driving conditions. Along with the engine, the transmission's gear ratios define acceleration and top speed, as well as where the power from the engine is sent to; either to the front, rear, or all four wheels.

  • Engine image

    The heart of any car. Engines can have anything from 3 to 16 cylinders, be classified as either in-line, horizontally opposed (flat/boxer), or V-formations, use either diesel or gasoline as fuel. Features like dual cams, 4-valves per cylinder, variable valve/cam timing, common rail direct injection (for diesel engines), as well as superchargers and turbochargers boost power and/or enhance efficiency.

  • Cabin image

    Depending on the body type, cars can have seating for 2-5 adults, while SUVs can accommodate 5 to 8, and vans are equipped to handle more. Inside the cabin, common features include the in-car entertainment system, airconditioning, power amenities and have appointments for improved comfort and safety.

  • Suspension image

    A car's suspension gives it its distinct driving dynamic, especially while cornering. Classified as either independent or non-independent, a car can feature a variety of movable arms along with dampers and springs, the most common ones being MacPherson struts, double wishbones, multi-link arms or torsion beams. Other components include the brakes (either disc or drum) and, of course, the wheels and tires.

  • Body And Chassis image

    Body types come in various sizes and in hatchback, sedan/saloon, coupe, cabriolet, SUV, AUV, MPV and van form factors, with anywhere from 2-5 doors. Body shells can feature unibody (common for cars) or body-on-frame (common for SUVs and vans) construction, and can have the engine either in front, amidships or in the rear.