The 2007 Mazda CX-7 - A Chassis with Mazda Sportscar DNA | Part Five

Crafty Chassis with Mazda Sportscar DNA

A light, stiff unitary bodyshell provides the sound foundation for Mazda CX-7’s smooth ride and agile handling. Computer-Aided-Engineering analysis was used to optimise this structure, delivering high torsional and bending rigidity with minimal weight. In front, a perimeter frame mounted to the unibody through six rubber isolators supports the powertrain, the engine-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion power steering and a low friction MacPherson strut suspension system. The multilink rear suspension consists of one trailing arm and two lateral locating members each side.

To minimise cargo-compartment intrusion, the rear spring is positioned between the lower lateral member and the cross member that anchors rear chassis hardware to the unibody. The damper is located between the wheel hub and the unibody to provide excellent motion control with minimal friction. Coil springs and anti-roll bars are an integral part of both the front and rear suspension systems. All-season P235/60R18 tyres mounted on stylish 18-inch diameter aluminium wheels are standard.

Mazda CX-7’s four-wheel ventilated disc brake system integrates the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) functions. It also collaborates with the Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive to prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces.

Built-In-Safety

Mazda CX-7’s rigid unibody uses the Mazda Advanced Impact energy Distribution and Absorption System to realise a high level of collision safety. This helps to protect occupants in various accident situations, including front, side and rear impacts. The body’s frame sections are large in size and, as straight as possible, high-strength steel is used where it’s effective, and subframe connections help absorb collision energy. Stamping the side frame from a tailored blank minimises B-pillar deformation during a side impact.

The fuel tank is surrounded by substantial frame members to protect it from impact and guard against leakage in a major rear collision. Six airbags (frontal and side for front seat occupants, side curtain for all outboard occupants) are standard. A special sensor anticipates a roll-over and inflates the side-curtain airbags early to guard against injury, maintaining inflation for approximately six seconds helps keep limbs out of harm’s way. Front occupant seatbelts have pretensioners and load-limiters to maximise their effectiveness.

continues... | Part Six
Published 6 January 2005 Melanie Carter

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