Backbone chassis is a type of an automobile construction
chassisthat is similar to the body-on-framedesign. Instead of a two-dimensional ladder type structure, it consists of a strong tubular backbone (usually rectangular in cross section) that connects the front and rear suspension attachment areas. A body is then placed on this structure. It is almost a trademark design feature of Czech(oslovak) Tatra heavy trucks (cross-country, military etc.), but this type of chassis is also often found on small sports cars. It also does not provide protection against side collisions, and has to be combined with a body that would compensate for this shortcoming.
Examples of cars using a backbone chassis include
De Lorean DMC-12, Lloyd 600, Lotus Espritand Europa, Škoda 420 Popular, Tatra T-87, T-111,T-815 etc., as well as TVR S1. Some cars also use a backbone as a part of the chassis to strengthen it; examples include the Volkswagen Beetleand the Locostwhere the transmission tunnel forms a backbone.
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