The body of a car is usually composed of steel or aluminum, although fiberglass and plastic are also used. The body is actually a part of the chassis, the whole formed by welding stamped components into a single unit. While the body forms the passenger compartment, offers storage space, and houses the automobile's systems, it has other important functions as well. Passenger safety is achieved by providing structural support strong enough to withstand the force of an accident. Other parts of the car, such as the front and hood, are designed to crumple in a crash, thereby absorbing much of the impact. A firewall between the engine and the interior of the car protects the passengers in case of an engine fire. Lastly, the body's shape contributes to reducing the level of wind resistance as the car moves, allowing the driver better handling and improving fuel efficiency.
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: A-series and B-series to Ballistic Missiles - Categories Of Ballistic MissileAutomobile - Structure Of The Automobile, Design Factors, Interaction Of Systems, Engine, Fuel System, Exhaust System