The History of Automobiles
A The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engined automobiles capable of human transport. In 1806, the first cars powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas appeared, which led to the introduction in 1885 of the ubiquitous modern petrol-fueled internal combustion engine.
B It is generally acknowledged that the first really practical automobiles with petrol/gasoline-powered internal combustion engines were completed almost simultaneously by several German inventors working independently: Karl Benz built his first automobile in 1885 in Mannheim. Benz was granted a patent for his automobile on 29 January 1886, and began the first production of automobiles in 1888 in a company later became the famous Mercedes-Benz.
C At the beginning of the century the automobile entered the transportation market for the rich. The drivers of the day were an adventurous lot, going out in every kind of weather, unprotected by an enclosed body, or even a convertible top. Everyone in town knew who owned what car and the cars were soon to become each individual's token of identity. However, it became increasingly popular among the general population because it gave travelers the freedom to travel when they wanted to and where they wanted. As a result, in North America and Europe the automobile became cheaper and more accessible to the middle class. This was facilitated by Henry Ford who did two important things. First he priced his car to be as affordable as possible and second, he paid his workers enough to be able to purchase the cars they were manufacturing.
D The assembly line style of mass production and interchangeable parts had been pioneered in the U.S. This concept was greatly expanded by Henry Ford, beginning in 1914. The large-scale, production-line manufacturing of affordable automobiles was debuted Ford's cars came off the line in fifteen minute intervals, much faster than previous methods, increasing productivity eightfold (requiring 12.5 man-hours before, 1 hour 33 minutes after), while using less manpower. Ford's complex safety procedures—especially assigning each worker to a specific location instead of allowing them to roam about—dramatically reduced the rate of injury. The combination of high wages and high efficiency is called "Fordism," and was copied by most major industries.
E The original Jeep vehicle that first appeared as the prototype Bantam BRC became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and Allies and made a huge leap in sale during World War IT, as well as the postwar period. Many Jeep variants serving similar military and civilian roles have since been created and kept being improved on general performance in other nations.
F Throughout the 1950s, engine power and vehicle speeds rose, designs became more integrated and artful, and cars spread across the world. The market changed somewhat in the 1960s, as Detroit began to worry about foreign competition, the European makers adopted ever-higher technology, and Japan appeared as a serious car-producing nation. General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford tried radical small cars, like the GM A-bodies, but had little success. Captive imports and badge engineering swept through the US and UK as amalgamated groups like the British Motor Corporation consolidated the market. BMC's revolutionary space-saving Mini, which first appeared in 1959, captured large sales worldwide. Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names, until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. The trend for corporate consolidation reached Italy as niche makers like Maserati, Ferrari, and Lancia were acquired by larger companies. By the end of the decade, the number of automobile marques had been greatly reduced.
G In America, performance became a prime focus of marketing, exemplified by pony cars and muscle cars. But everything changed in the 1970s as the 1973 oil crisis, automobile emissions control rules, Japanese and European imports, and stagnant innovation wreaked havoc on the American industry. Though somewhat ironically, full-size sedans staged a major comeback in the years between the energy crisis, with makes such as Cadillac and Lincoln staging their best sales years ever in the late 70s. Small performance cars from BMW, Toyota, and Nissan took the place of big-engined cars from America and Italy.
H On the technology front, the biggest developments in Post-war era were the widespread use of independent suspensions, wider application of fuel injection, and an increasing focus on safety in the design of automobiles. The hottest technologies of the 1960s were NSU's "Wankel engine", the gas turbine, and the turbocharger. Of these, only the last, pioneered by General Motors but popularised by BMW and Saab, was to see widespread use. Mazda had much success with its "Rotary" engine which, however, acquired a reputation as a polluting gas-guzzler. Other Wankel licensees, including Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, never put their designs into production after the 1973 oil crisis. (Mazda's hydrogen-fuelled successor was later to demonstrate potential as an "ultimate eco-car".) Rover and Chrysler both produced experimental gas turbine cars to no effect.
I The modern era has also seen rapidly rising fuel efficiency and engine output. Once the automobile emissions concerns of the 1970s were conquered with computerized engine management systems, power began to rise rapidly. In the 1980s, a powerful sports car might have produced 200 horsepower (150 kW) - just 20 years later, average passenger cars have engines that powerful, and some performance models offer three times as much power.
J Most automobiles in use today are propelled by an internal combustion engine, fueled by gasoline or diesel. Both fuels are known to cause air pollution and are also blamed for contributing to climate change and global warming. Rapidly increasing oil prices, concerns about oil dependence, tightening environmental laws and restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions are propelling work on alternative power systems for automobiles. Efforts to improve or replace existing technologies include the development of hybrid vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles. Vehicles using alternative fuels such as ethanol flexible-fuel vehicles and natural gas vehicles are also gaining popularity in some countries.
Look at the following statements (Questions 15-19) and the list of auto companies or car types in the box belong:
Match each statement with the correct person A-G
Write the appropriate letter A-G in boxes 15-19 on your answer sheet.
15. The company which began the first manufacture of automobiles
16. The company that produces the industrialized cars that consumers can afford
17. The example of auto which improved the space room efficiency
18. The type of auto with greatest upgraded overall performance in Post-war era
19. The type of autos still keeping an advanced sale even during a seemingly unproductive period
A. The Ford (American, Henry Ford)
B. The BMC's Mini
C. Cadillac and Lincoln (American)
D. Mercedes-Benz (German)
G. NSU's "Wankel engine" car
H. Mascrati, Ferrari, and Iancia
Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 20-26 on your answer sheet.
20. What is a common feature of modem cars' engine type since late 19th century
21. In the past, what did the rich take owing a car as?
22. How long did Ford's assembly line take to produce a car?
23. What does people call the Mazda car designed under Wankel engine?
24. What is the major historical event that led American cars to suffer when competing with Japanese imported cars?
25. What has greatly increased with computerised engine management systems?
26. What factor is blamed for contributing to pollution, climate change and global warming?
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D.
Write your answers in boxes 27 on your answer sheet
27 What is the main idea of this passage?
A. the historical contribution of the Ford's mass production assembly line
B. the historical development and innovation in car designs
C. the beginning of the modern designed gasoline engines
D. the history of human and the Auto industry更多英语相关请关注 www.shengjiangwang.com