Most consumer cars out on the road today have their engines mounted in the front, but why? Especially when cars with rear engines and mid-mounted engines are supposedly better.
One of the reasons for having the engine mounted in the front rather than anywhere else, is that having your engine over the front wheels and delivering the power to them too is for better traction, and it's a lot more economical for cooling purposes.
As soon as the early 1880's, cars (more like horse carriages with little engines on them) had front-engined, rear-wheel drive systems, but inventors tried changing this up from front-mounted to rear-mounted and found, depending on the design, better weight distribution.
The Volkswagen Beetle is one of the best selling cars of all time, and when you own that title, a lot of manufacturers will do their best to get in on that fame and try copy you. That's why a lot of manufacturers from that era came out with small cars that had their engine in the back and were rear-wheel-drive. But, what a lot of manufacturers figured out was that these cars used to oversteer an incredibly high amout. Porsche overcame this issue with the 911 by keeping a flat-six at the back, driving the rear wheels, but made the car a lot lower to keep its centre of gravity closer to the ground, which improved its handling – that same concept is still used today.
Now, what about mid-engined cars? Well, if cars, like most Ferrari's or Lamborghini's, have mid-engines, a scientific term called "angular mass" comes into play, which actually allows the car to turn and respend a lot quicker with less effort. Furthermore, a mid-engined car also improves braking because the weight of the car is distributed evenly over all four wheels.
Take a look at the video below by Donut Media on engine placement explained.
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