In automotive engineering, the bodywork of an automobile is the structure which protects:

* The occupants
* Any other payload
* The mechanical components.

In vehicles with a separate frame or chassis, the term "bodywork" is normally applied to only the non-structural panels, including doors and other movable panels, but it may also be used more generally to include the structural components which support the mechanical components.


There are three main types of automotive bodywork:

* The first automobiles were designs adapted in large part from horse-drawn carriages, and had body-on-frame construction with a wooden frame and wooden or metal body panels. Wooden-framed motor vehicles remained in production until the middle of the 20th century, for example the MG MGA which continued in production until 1962.

* A steel chassis or ladder frame replaced the wooden frame. This form of body-on-frame construction is still common for commercial vehicles.

* Monocoque, or unibody construction, in which the "chassis" is part of, and integrated with the metal body. It provides support to all the mechanical components, as well as protection for the vehicle occupants. Although there is no separate "complete" frame or chassis, many monocoque/unibody designs now often include subframes. Steel monocoque construction is now the most common form of car bodywork, although aluminium and carbon fibre may also be used.

* Modern cars use nowadays polycarbonates.Fact|date=June 2008

Less common types include tube frame and space frame designs used for high-performance cars. There have also been various hybrids, for example the Volkswagen Beetle had a chassis, consisting of the floor pan, door sills and central tunnel, but this chassis relied on the stiffening provided by the bodywork, a technique sometimes called "semi-monocoque" construction.

Non-structural body panels have been made of wood, steel, aluminium, fibreglass and several more exotic materials.

Body styles

There are several common car body styles:
* Enclosed:
** Sedan, known as a Saloon in British English.
** Hardtop
** Coupé
** Limousine
* Open or partly enclosed:
** Roadster
** Convertible
** Cabriolet
* Rear door designs:
** Station wagon or Estate car
** Hatchback
** Liftback
* Other:
** Sport utility vehicle (SUV), also known as a Coupe Utility or Ute

ee also

* Automobile
* Body-on-frame, a general term covering both wooden-frame and steel-chassis vehicles.
* Car body styles for a more complete list of body styles.
* for a list of Wikipedia articles on particular body styles.
* Metallic paint


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