What Is Engine Layout?
The engine layout is nothing but the engine placement in a vehicle. An engine finds its place at different locations in a vehicle. It depends upon the vehicle’s design, application, and available space. Most of the vehicles’ engine sits at the front because of the effective cooling it offers to run efficiently. The front engine layout generally places the engine ahead of the front axle line. It also keeps the driven wheels at the front of the vehicle.
The front layout is one of the most traditional forms of the layout. It offers practical design and simplicity, which is popular among manufacturers. The front engine layout puts the engine in a place neither the passengers nor the luggage uses typically. Thus, being at the front, the engine also protects the driver in case of an accident. However, the drawback of the front layout is the uneven weight distribution. Due to the placement of the heavy engine at the front, the car handling is not ideal.
Front Engine Layout: Longitudinally Mounted Engine, Front Wheel Drive
In a longitudinally-mounted, manufacturers mount the engine at the front. But, it runs along the vehicle’s length parallel to its wheels. The engine attaches to the gearbox and drives the front wheels thru’ the drive shafts, as seen in the diagram.
Some popular cars with a longitudinally mounted front engine layout with front-wheel drive are Toyota Tercel and Audi A4, which use a similar layout.
Transversely mounted engine, Front Wheel Drive
In a transversely mounted front engine layout, the engine sits at the front but crosswise. It fits along the vehicle’s width, almost 90 degrees to its wheels. This front engine layout requires minimal space to fit the engine. Hence, most compact cars use this layout with minimal space to accommodate the engine.
However, its design is more complicated than the longitudinally placed engine. It is because it does not leave enough space for accessories. Some popular cars with a transversely mounted front layout with front-wheel drive are Maruti Suzuki Alto K10, Suzuki Swift, Tata Tiago, and Honda Jazz which use a similar layout.
Longitudinally mounted engine, Rear Wheel Drive
This design is one of the most commonly used by manufacturers due to its simple design. In this front engine layout arrangement, the engine mounts longitudinally on the vehicle. However, it drives the rear wheels instead of the front ones. Most earlier generation cars used this layout. It allows engineers to place more accessories due to the bigger engine compartment space.
However, it uses a propeller shaft to send the drive to the rear wheels thru the differential. It also provides excellent weight balance as it evenly places heavy components. Some popular cars with a transversely mounted front layout with front-wheel drive are Tata Sumo and Chevvy Tavera, which use a similar layout.
Read more: What is a rear-engine layout? >>