We pick five main reasons for why most cars have engines in the front?
1) Manufacturing Cost:
Having the entire engine-transmission-drive-cooling package in the front saves on assembly and production costs. The transmission box is directly attached to the engine and it operated manually by a lever mechanism. If the engine is placed at rear side, it will cause the transmission box placed at rear side which requires a more complex mechanism to operate transmission by driver manually.
Similarly, the front side engine are easy to connect with control linkages like clutch and accelerator. This is also easy for servicing.
2) Engine Cooling:
We know why cooling of an engine is essential for proper running for a car. If an engine got hot, it will fail soon or later. Most of modern automobiles equipped with sensor technologies which automatically shut off the engine when it crossed a definite temperature limit.
The front equipped engines give better cooling effect except rear because it is in direct contact with crossed air meaning that the front of the vehicle is ideal for a radiator. Routing coolant lines from the rear engine to a front radiator is hairy and nasty which results in very large coolant capacity, and makes for difficulty in moderating engine temperature.
Rear engined cars can cause oversteer which happens more suddenly and requires quick reflexes to catch it via counter steering, not something an average driver can do. The resulting crash is also unpredictable as you might end up hitting an obstacle on the side, or rear, or even flipping the car.
Understeer on the other hand occurs when you turn your steering wheel and the car doesn’t turn in as expected, usually because you’re going too fast. It is more predictable, gradual, and can be partially resolved by a natural instinct which is to let off the gas.
4) Weight Distribution:
Ideal weight distribution is 50/50, but a slightly front heavy car is far more predictable that than a rear-heavy car. For the longest time, few companies have advertised that they have a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. This leads a lot of people into believing that this is optimal as far as weight distribution is concerned. Virtually all modern cars have somewhere between 55-65 of their mass over the rear wheel.
In a frontal crash with a front engine car, the engine block can work together with the crumple zone to help serve as a barrier while absorbing some of the energy and sliding under the passenger compartment (which is often reinforced).
There are actually crash safety issues with rear-engined cars that are significant as well, because in a collision, the very heavy powertrain wants to continue moving forward, potentially crushing the passenger compartment through the rear bulkhead.
Post in your thoughts by simply filling the comment box below….