## ARAI has the ground clearance reduced for Indian cars and states that measurement should be on the basis of vehicle’s laden or gross weight.

Very recently when Maruti Suzuki launched the third generation Dzire, I happened to go through the specification sheet of the car and saw that the ground clearance had been reduced. I drive a previous generation Dzire and am aware that it has a ground clearance of 170 mm, whereas the new Dzire has a ground clearance of 163 mm. Just wondering what made Maruti reduce the ground clearance, got me to this article.

ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) has issued a new regulation wherein measurements of the ground clearance should be on the basis of the vehicle’s laden weight or gross weight. When a manufacturer calculates the ground clearance, they should calculate the weight when four average adults are seated in the car with a minimum of 90 percent of fuel in the vehicle. Factoring in the people and the fuel, a good 400 kgs should add to the car’s weight while the ground clearance is measured.

However in global markets this isn’t the scenario, ground clearance of vehicles there is measured in unladen conditions (when the vehicle is empty). There are differences in ground clearance of cars that are available in India and those that are available in global markets. For instance, the Indian-spec Volkswagen Tiguan has a ground clearance of 149 mm whereas the Europe-spec has a ground clearance of 189 mm. It’s the same story with the Toyota Fortuner as well, while the Australia-spec Fortuner has a ground clearance of 225 mm, the India-spec does with only 184 mm.

Why this rule change? In the 2013 Union Budget, the Government increased the excise duty by 3 percent on vehicles with ground clearance of over 170 mm. To evade from this, Mahindra cleverly re-profiled the stone guard on its SUVs such as the XUV500 and Scorpio. ARAI used the laden weight method to calculate the ground clearance back then. Eventually ARAI figured out Mahindra’s technique to get around the 170 mm rule, it then changed the way in which ground clearance was being calculated and then specified that the ground clearance was to be calculated using unladen weight.

With ARAI again shifting back to the laden weight method to calculate ground clearance, it intends to bring all vehicles under this gambit.

## Ground Clearance Reduced

– ARAI has issued a new regulation to calculate the ground clearance of a vehicle
– The measurement of the ground clearance should be on the basis of the vehicle’s laden weight
– ARAI intends to bring all the vehicles under this gambit