Typically, vehicles with the engines in the rear are rare, and unless you are someone who has spent a good amount of time with cars, you may not even be aware rear, or mid-mounted engines exist. Although it may sound strange, some cars have their engines mounted in the back, behind the seats. For instance, the first Beetle model and high-performance German Porsches have their engines mounted in the end.
So why would you mount an engine in the back? Mounting the engine in the back of the vehicle puts the vehicle’s power unit and most of its weight near the rear drive wheels, and this can help improve the acceleration and traction. Although the weight balance is often skewed towards the back, these cars have a much better center of gravity than vehicles with a front-mounted engine.
Since sports cars move faster, mounting the engine at the rear drive reduces the chances of toppling, especially when turning around a sharp corner, especially after applying the emergency brakes.
In rear-engine design, the car’s engine center of gravity is behind the back axle. While this can be confused with the center of gravity for the entire vehicle.
High-performance four-drive wheels cars such as the something like the Porsche 911 utilizes this technology. Although the rear-wheel drive, rear-engine vehicles are mostly sports cars, they are great cars for all year round weather conditions.
This is mainly because of the engine weight’s ballast’s optimum grip near the drive wheels, pushing down tires tightly on the tarmac.
Fun fact: Most smart cards are technically MR, which means mid engine car; the engine is installed between the two axles but more skewed at the back.
This helps offset the weight resulting from the occupants.
Any downsides to a mid-engine or rear-engine vehicle?
While vehicles with rear engines perform well, sometimes it can also become more challenging to manage, especially in tricky situations.
For instance, the special chassis tuning and suspension may contribute to oversteering issues, particularly when the driver lifts off the throttle when over speeding on windy tracks or roads.
However, this can be minimized by including a tail-wagging action.
Lack of practicability is another issue with rear-engine sports cars, especially that they lack the front truck for storing items, and those with isn’t as spacious as for those front-engine cars with a rear trunk.
Mid-engine vehicle is the solution to some of those issues in a rear-engine car.
There are reduced chances of wheels sliding out of the road when over speeding in rear-engine cars. However, it is important to note that lifting off the throttle, especially at the mid-corner, can easily result in the car spinning out due to an instant shift of weight from the rear wheels to the front wheels in very quick succession.
Rear-engine vehicles are very effective in rainy and show areas due to optimum grip on the surface.
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The ideal technique of achieving an evenly distributed weight (50/50) is by mounting the engine between the rear and front wheels. An evenly distributed weight allows optimal handling of the car by balancing the oversteer and the understeer.
This results in high notch maneuverability, higher practicability in terms of luggage carrying aptitude, and better access to the engine during maintenance.
A mid engine car has improved acceleration and traction. Advanced center of gravity compared to rear-engine vehicles. More practical in real scenarios such as advanced carrying capacity compared to rear-engine vehicles.