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Classification of Automobiles:

Automobiles can be classified into several types based on many criteria. A

brief classification of automobiles is listed below:

Based on Purpose

Based on Load Capacity

Based on fuel used

Based on Drive of the vehicles

Based on type of transmission

Based on number of wheels

Based on the side of drive

Based on Suspension system used

Based on Purpose :
Passenger vehicles : These vehicles carry passengers.
e.g.: Buses, Cars, passenger trains.
Goods vehicles : These vehicles carry goods from one place to
another place.
e.g.: Goods lorry, Goods carrier.
Special Purpose : These vehicles include Ambulance, Fire
engines, Army Vehicles.

Based on Load Capacity:

Light duty vehicle : Small motor vehicles.
e.g.: Car, jeep, Scooter, motor cycle.
Medium duty vehicle : relatively medium sized vehicles.
e.g.: mini buses, small trucks
Heavy duty vehicle : large and bulky motor vehicles.
e.g.: Bus, Truck, Tractor

Based on Fuel used:

Petrol engine vehicles : Automobiles powered by petrol engine.
e.g: scooters, cars, motorcycles.
Diesel engine vehicles : Automobiles powered by diesel engine.
e.g: Trucks, Buses, Tractors.
Gas vehicles : Vehicles that use gas turbine as power source.
e.g: Turbine powered cars.
Electric vehicles : Automobiles that use electricity as a power
e.g: Electric cars, electric buses.

Based on Fuel used:

Steam Engine vehicles : Automobiles powered by steam
e.g.: Steamboat, steam locomotive, steam wagon.
Hydrogen powered vehicles: Vehicles that have hydrogen as
power source.

e.g.: Honda FCX Clarity.

Solar Vehicles: Vehicles significantly powered by solar power.

Hybrid Vehicles: Vehicles that use two or more distinct power
sources. Eg: toyota pyrius

Based on type of Transmission:

Automatic transmission vehicles: Automobiles that are
capable of changing gear ratios automatically as they move.
e.g: Automatic Transmission Cars.
Manual transmission vehicles: Automobiles whose gear
ratios have to be changed manually.


vehicles: Vehicles

facilitate manual gear changing with clutch pedal


Based on Number of Wheels:

Two wheeler : motor cycles, scooters
Three wheeler : Tempo, auto-rickshaws
Four wheeler : car, Jeep, Bus, truck
Six wheeler : Buses and trucks have six tires out of which four
are carried on the rear wheels for additional reaction.
Six axle wheeler : Dodge(10 tire) vehicle

Based on the side of the drive:

Left hand drive automobile: Vehicle in which steering wheel
is fitted on the left hand side.
e.g: Automobiles found in USA, Russia
Right hand drive automobile: Vehicle in which steering
wheel is fitted on the right hand side.
e.g: Automobiles found in India, Australia

Based on Suspension system used:

Convectional - Leaf Spring
Independent - Coil spring, Torsion bar, Pneumatic.

Car segments as per SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile


The classification of segment is done on the basis of the length

of the vehicle (Passenger car segment)
A1 Segment - Mini Up to 3400mm
(M800, Nano)
A2 Segment - Compact 3401 to 4000mm
(Alto, wagon r, Zen,i10,A-star,Swift,i20,palio,indica etc)
A3 Segment Midsize 4001 to 4500mm
(City, Sx4, Dzire, Logan, Accent, Fiesta, Verna etc)

Car segments as per SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile


A4 Segment - Executive 4501 to 4700mm

(Corolla, civic, C class, Optra, Octavia etc)
A5 Segment - Premiun 4701 to 5000mm
(Camry, E class, Accord, Sonata, Laura, Superb etc)
A6 Segment Luxury Above 5000mm
(Mercedes S class, 5 series etc)
B1 Segment - Van Omni, Versa, Magic etc
B2 Segment - MUV/MPV Innova, Tavera, Sumo etc
SUV Segment - CRV, Vitara etc

Classification of Cars based on body Shape:

ONE BOX (VAN/MPV) It means Engine area, Passenger
area & luggage area all in one box. There wont be separate
compartment. For eg. Omni, Ace Magic, Versa
TWO BOX (HATCHBACK) It means Engine are has a
separate cabin while Passenger area and luggage area are
together. For eg. M800, Alto, Santro, i10, i20, A-star, Swift

Classification of Cars based on body Shape:

means Engine area, Passenger area & luggage area all are
having different cabin. For eg. SX4, City, Fiesta, Dzire.
ESTATE/STATION WAGON - Its nothing but sedan whose
roof is extended till the rear to create more boot space. For eg.
Indigo Marina, Octavia Combi, etc.

Classification of Cars based on body Shape:

SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) These vehicles have large
tyres, higher seating, higher ground clearance. The engine area
is separate, but the passenger & luggage area are enclosed
together. Most of these vehicles are equipped with either 4
wheel drive system or has the option for that. For eg. CRV,

Two Main Parts of Automobile:

The modern automobile can be categorized into two distinct
The body
The chassis.

The Body:
The main function of the body is to provide comfort and
protection to the passengers besides giving a good look.
The body includes the passenger compartment, the trunk, the
bumpers, the fenders, the radiator grill, the hood, interior trim,
glass and paint.
A wide variety of body styles, like two doors or four doors,
sedans or hardtop, convertible or station wagons are available
for each chassis model.

The Body:

Flat Beds:
A flat bed truck is made up of a chassis fitted with a
platform body on which goods are carried.
Cargo is secured on the deck with ropes or sheeting. Flat
beds are flexible and can accommodate many different
types of loads.

Tippers have an open top body that can be unloaded when the
body is tipped backwards (using a hydraulic arm) and the
tailgate is released.
Typical loads include aggregates such as soil, sand and stone.





roofed frame with a flexible

curtain fixed to both sides of the

They are ideal for carrying pallets

that require protection from the




access to the load for efficient

loading and unloading, but have
less security than box bodied

Box bodies:
Also known by the brand name Pantec, these trucks comprise of a
rigid body with solid sides and generally have solid rear-opening
doors or roller shutters.
Box bodied vehicles are ideal for transporting loads which require
security and for making deliveries in urban areas.

Temperature Controlled Bodies:

These are box bodies made of insulated material with a
refrigerator unit attached.
They are designed to carry temperature-sensitive loads such as
chilled or frozen products.
The refrigerator is driven by either the main engine or a
separate engine.

Luton Peak Bodies:

Luton peak bodies are box vans with an additional section over
the cab for holding any loose cargo or other tools.
They are often used for furniture transport and removals.

Road Tankers:
Road tankers have a permanent tank fitted to the chassis for the
transportation of liquids, gases or powders.
Tankers are not commonly fitted to small trucks, but are
sometimes used for specialized operations (e.g. grease trap
cleaners, waste disposal).