In automotive design, the automobile layout describes where on the
vehicle the engine and drive wheels are found. Many different
combinations of engine location and driven wheels are found in
practice, and the location of each is dependent on the application for
which the vehicle will be used. Factors influencing the design choice
include cost, complexity, reliability, packaging (location and size of
the passenger compartment and boot), weight distribution, and the
vehicle's intended handling characteristics.
Layouts can roughly be divided into two categories: front- or
Four-wheel-drive vehicles may take on the
characteristics of either, depending on how power is distributed to
1 Front-wheel-drive layouts
2 Rear-wheel-drive layouts
3.3 Unusual 4WD layouts
4 History and current use
5 See also
Main article: front-wheel drive
Front-wheel-drive layouts are those in which the front wheels of the
vehicle are driven. The most popular layout used in cars today is the
front-engine, front-wheel drive – with the engine transversely in
front of the front axle, driving the front wheels. This layout is
typically chosen for its compact packaging; since the engine and
driven wheels are on the same side of the vehicle, there is no need
for a central tunnel through the passenger compartment to accommodate
a prop-shaft between the engine and the driven wheels.
As the steered wheels are also the driven wheels, FF (front-engine,
front-wheel-drive layout) cars are generally considered superior to FR
(front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout) cars in low-traction
conditions such as snow, mud, or wet tarmac. The weight of the engine
over the driven wheels also improves grip in such conditions. However,
powerful cars rarely use the FF layout because weight transference
under acceleration reduces the weight on the front wheels and reduces
their traction, limiting the torque which can be utilized. Electronic
traction control can avoid wheelspin but largely negates the benefit
of extra torque/power.
A transverse engine (also known as "east-west") is commonly used in FF
designs, in contrast to FR which uses a longitudinal engine. The FF
layout also restricts the size of the engine that can be placed in
modern engine compartments, as FF configurations usually have inline-4
and V6 engines, while longer engines such as inline-6 and 90° V8 will
rarely fit. This is another reason luxury/sports cars avoid the FF
layout. Exceptions do exist, such as the
Volvo S80 (FWD/4WD) which
uses transversely mounted inline-6 and V8 engines, and the Ford Taurus
SHO, available with a 60° V8 and front-wheel drive.
Front-wheel drive gives more interior space since the powertrain is a
single unit contained in the engine compartment of the vehicle and
there is no need to devote interior space for a driveshaft tunnel or
rear differential, increasing the volume available for passengers and
cargo. There are some exceptions to this as rear engine designs do
not take away interior space (see Porsche 911, and Volkswagen Beetle).
It also has fewer components overall and thus lower weight. The
direct connection between engine and transaxle reduces the mass and
mechanical inertia of the drivetrain compared to a rear-wheel-drive
vehicle with a similar engine and transmission, allowing greater fuel
economy. In front-wheel-drive cars the mass of the drivetrain is
placed over the driven wheels and thus moves the centre of gravity
farther forward than a comparable rear-wheel-drive layout, improving
traction and directional stability on wet, snowy, or icy
surfaces. Front-wheel-drive cars, with a front weight bias,
tend to understeer at the limit which, according to Saab engineer
Gunnar Larsson, is easier since it makes instinct correct in avoiding
terminal oversteer, and less prone to result in fishtailing or a
According to a sales brochure for the 1989 Lotus Elan, the ride and
handling engineers at Lotus found that "for a given vehicle weight,
power and tyre size, a front-wheel-drive car was always faster over a
given section of road." However, this may only apply for cars with
moderate power-to-weight ratio. According to road test with
two Dodge Daytonas, one FWD and one RWD, the road layout is also
important for what configuration is the fastest.
Weight shifting limits the acceleration of a front-wheel-drive
vehicle. During heavy acceleration, weight is shifted to the back,
improving traction at the rear wheels at the expense of the front
driving wheels; consequently, most racing cars are rear-wheel drive
for acceleration. However, since front-wheel-drive cars have the
weight of the engine over the driving wheels, the problem only applies
in extreme conditions in which case the car understeers. On snow, ice,
and sand, rear-wheel drive loses its traction advantage to front or
all-wheel-drive vehicles which have greater weight over the driven
wheels. Rear-wheel-drive cars with rear engine or mid engine
configuration retain traction over the driven wheels, although
fishtailing remains an issue on hard acceleration while in a turn.
Some rear engine cars (e.g., Porsche 911) can suffer from reduced
steering ability under heavy acceleration, since the engine is outside
the wheelbase and at the opposite end of the car from the wheels doing
the steering. A rear-wheel-drive car's centre of gravity is shifted
rearward when heavily loaded with passengers or cargo, which may cause
unpredictable handling behavior.
On front-wheel-drive cars, the short driveshaft may reduce drivetrain
elasticity, improving responsiveness.
Interior space: Since the powertrain is a single unit contained in the
engine compartment of the vehicle, there is no need to devote interior
space for a driveshaft tunnel or rear differential, increasing the
volume available for passengers and cargo.
Instead, the tunnel may be used to route the exhaust system pipes.
Weight: Fewer components usually means lower weight.
Improved fuel efficiency due to less weight.
Cost: Fewer material components and less installation complexity
overall. However, the considerable MSRP differential between a FF and
FR car cannot be attributed to layout alone. The difference is more
probably explained by production volumes as most rear-wheel cars are
usually in the sports/performance/luxury categories (which tend to be
more upscale and/or have more powerful engines), while the FF
configuration is typically in mass-produced mainstream cars. Few
modern "family" cars have rear-wheel drive as of 2009, so a direct
cost comparison is not necessarily possible. A contrast could be
somewhat drawn between the
Audi A4 FrontTrak (which has an FF layout
and front-wheel drive) and a rear-wheel-drive
BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Series (which is
FR), both which are in the compact executive car classification and
use longitudinally mounted engines.
Improved drivetrain efficiency: the direct connection between engine
and transaxle reduce the mass and mechanical inertia of the drivetrain
compared to a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a similar engine and
transmission, allowing greater fuel economy.
Assembly efficiency: the powertrain can often be assembled and
installed as a unit, which allows more efficient production.[citation
Placing the mass of the drivetrain over the driven wheels moves the
centre of gravity farther forward than a comparable rear-wheel-drive
layout, improving traction and directional stability on wet, snowy, or
Predictable handling characteristics: front-wheel-drive cars, with a
front weight bias, tend to understeer at the limit, which (according
to SAAB engineer Gunnar Larsson) is easier since it makes instinct
correct in avoiding terminal oversteer, and less prone to result in
fishtailing or a spin.
A skilled driver can control the movement of the car even while
skidding by steering, throttling and pulling the hand brake (given
that the hand brake operates the rear wheels as in most cases, with
Citroen and Saab models being notable exceptions).
It is easier to correct trailing-throttle or trailing-brake
The wheelbase can be extended without building a longer driveshaft (as
with rear-wheel-driven cars).
Front-engine front-wheel-drive layouts are "nose heavy" with more
weight distribution forward, which makes them prone to understeer,
especially in high horsepower applications.
If a front-engine front-wheel-drive layout is fitted with a
four-wheel-drive, plus enthusiast driver aids, such as active front
differential, active steering, and ultra-quick electrically adjustable
shocks, this somewhat negate the understeer problem and allow the car
to perform as well as a front-engine rear-wheel-drive car. These trick
differentials, which are found on the
Acura TL SH-AWD and
Audi S4 3.0
TFSI quattro, and
Audi RS5 4.2 FSI quattro, are heavy, complex, and
expensive. While these aids do tame front end plow, cars fitted
with these systems are still at a disadvantage when track tested
against rear-wheel drive vehicles (including those with added
Torque steer is the tendency for some front-wheel-drive cars to pull
to the left or right under hard acceleration. It is a result of the
offset between the point about which the wheel steers (it is aligned
with the points where the wheel is connected to the steering
mechanisms) and the centroid of its contact patch. The tractive force
acts through the centroid of the contact patch, and the offset of the
steering point means that a turning moment about the axis of steering
is generated. In an ideal situation, the left and right wheels would
generate equal and opposite moments, canceling each other out;
however, in reality, this is less likely to happen.
Torque steer can
be addressed by using a longitudinal layout, equal length drive
shafts, half shafts, a multilink suspension or centre-point steering
In a vehicle, the weight shifts back during acceleration, giving more
traction to the rear wheels. This is one of the main reasons nearly
all racing cars are rear-wheel drive. However, since front-wheel-drive
cars have the weight of the engine over the driving wheels, the
problem only applies in extreme conditions such as attempting to
accelerate up a wet hill or attempting to beat another RWD car off the
In some towing situations, front-wheel-drive cars can be at a traction
disadvantage since there will be less weight on the driving wheels.
The weight of the trailer pushes down on the towbar at the rear of the
car. The car pivots on the rear wheels and raises the front wheels,
which now have less grip. Because of this, the weight that the vehicle
is rated to safely tow is likely to be less than that of a
rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicle of the same size and
Due to geometry and packaging constraints, the CV joints
(constant-velocity joints) attached to the wheel hub have a tendency
to wear out much earlier than the universal joints typically used in
their rear-wheel-drive counterparts (although rear-wheel-drive
vehicles with independent rear suspension also employ CV joints and
half-shafts). The significantly shorter drive axles on a
front-wheel-drive car causes the joint to flex through a much wider
degree of motion, compounded by additional stress and angles of
steering, while the CV joints of a rear-wheel-drive car regularly see
angles and wear of less than half that of front-wheel-drive vehicles.
Turning circle – FF layouts almost always use a transverse
engine ("east-west") installation, which limits the amount by which
the front wheels can turn, thus increasing the turning circle of a
front-wheel-drive car compared to a rear-wheel-drive one with the same
wheelbase. A notable example is the original Mini. It is widely
misconceived that this limitation is due to a limit on the angle at
CV joint can be operated, but this is easily disproved by
considering the turning circle of car models that use a longitudinal
F4 layout from
Audi and (prior to 1992) Saab.
The FF transverse engine layout (also known as "east-west") restricts
the size of the engine that can be placed in modern engine
compartments, so it is rarely adopted by powerful luxury and sports
cars. FF configurations can usually only accommodate inline-4 and V6
engines, while longer engines such as inline-6 and 90° big-bore V8
will rarely fit, though there are exceptions. One way around this
problem is using a staggered engine.
It makes heavier use of the front tyres (i.e., accelerating, braking,
and turning), causing more wear in the front than in a
Under extreme braking (like for instance in a panic stop), the already
front heavy layout further reduces traction to the rear wheels. This
results in disproportionate gripping forces focused at the front while
the rear does not have enough weight to effectively use its brakes.
Because the rear tyres' capabilities in braking are not very high, a
significant number of cheaper front drive vehicles use drum brakes in
the rear even today.
The steering 'feel' is more numbed than a RWD car. This is due to the
extra weight of drive shafts and
CV joint components that increase
Rear-wheel drive (RWD) typically places the engine in the front of the
vehicle and the driven wheels are located at the rear, a configuration
known as front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout (FR layout). The front
mid-engine, rear mid-engine and rear engine layouts are also used.
This was the traditional automobile layout for most vehicles up until
the 1970s and 1980s. Nearly all motorcycles and bicycles use
rear-wheel drive as well, either by driveshaft, chain, or belt, since
the front wheel is turned for steering, and it would be very difficult
and cumbersome to "bend" the drive mechanism around the turn of the
front wheel. A relatively rare exception is with the 'moving bottom
bracket' type of recumbent bicycle, where the entire drivetrain,
including pedals and chain, pivot with the steering front wheel.
The vast majority of rear-wheel-drive vehicles use a longitudinally
mounted engine in the front of the vehicle, driving the rear wheels
via a driveshaft linked via a differential between the rear axles.
Some FR layout vehicles place the gearbox at the rear, though most
attach it to the engine at the front.
The FR layout is often chosen for its simple design and good handling
characteristics. Placing the drive wheels at the rear allows ample
room for the transmission in the centre of the vehicle and avoids the
mechanical complexities associated with transmitting power to the
front wheels. For performance-oriented vehicles, the FR layout is more
suitable than front-wheel-drive designs because weight transfers to
the rear of the vehicle during acceleration, which loads the rear
wheels and increases their grip.
Another advantage of the FR layout is relatively easy access to the
engine compartment, a result of the longitudinal orientation of the
drivetrain, as compared to the FF layout (front-engine, front-wheel
drive). Powerful engines such as the inline-6 and 90° big-bore V8 are
usually too long to fit in a FF transverse engine ("east-west")
layout; the FF configuration can typically accommodate at the maximum
an inline-4 or V6. This is another reason luxury/sports cars almost
never use the FF layout.
Even weight distribution – The layout of a rear-wheel-drive
car is much closer to an even fore-and-aft weight distribution than a
front-wheel-drive car, as more of the engine can lie between the front
and rear wheels (in the case of a mid-engine layout, the entire
engine), and the transmission is moved much farther back.
Weight transfer during acceleration – During heavy
acceleration, weight is placed on the rear, or driving wheels, which
No torque steer (unless it's an all-wheel steer with an offset
Steering radius – As no complicated drive shaft joints are
required at the front wheels, it is possible to turn them further than
would be possible using front-wheel drive, resulting in a smaller
steering radius for a given wheelbase.
Better handling at the hands of an expert – the more even
weight distribution and weight transfer improve the handling of the
car. The front and rear tyres are placed under more even loads, which
allows for more grip while cornering.
Better braking – the more even weight distribution helps
prevent lockup from the rear wheels becoming unloaded under heavy
Towing – Rear-wheel drive puts the wheels which are pulling
the load closer to the point where a trailer articulates, helping
steering, especially for large loads.
Serviceability – Drivetrain components on a rear-wheel-drive
vehicle are modular and do not involve packing as many parts into as
small a space as does front-wheel drive, thus requiring less
disassembly or specialized tools in order to service the
Robustness – due to geometry and packaging constraints, the
universal joints attached to the wheel hub have a tendency to wear out
much later than the CV joints typically used in front-wheel-drive
counterparts. The significantly shorter drive axles on a
front-wheel-drive car causes the joint to flex through a much wider
degree of motion, compounded by additional stress and angles of
steering, while the CV joints of a rear-wheel-drive car regularly see
angles and wear of less than half that of front-wheel-drive
Can accommodate more powerful engines as a result of the longitudinal
orientation of the drivetrain, such as the inline-6, 90° big-bore V8,
V10 and V12 making the FR a common configuration for luxury and sports
cars. These engines are usually too long to fit in a FF transverse
engine ("east-west") layout; the FF configuration can typically
accommodate at the maximum an inline-4 or V6.
Road grip feedback – front wheels are not affected by engine
and gearbox, thus allowing for better feeling of tyre grip on road
Under heavy acceleration (as in racing), oversteer and fishtailing may
occur as the rear wheels break free and spin. The corrective action is
to let off the throttle (this is what traction control automatically
does for RWD vehicles).
On snow, ice and sand, rear-wheel drive loses its traction advantage
to front- or all-wheel-drive vehicles, which have greater weight on
the driven wheels. This issue is particularly noticeable on pickup
trucks, as the weight of the engine and cab will significantly shift
the weight from the rear to the front wheels. Rear-wheel-drive cars
with rear engine or mid engine configuration do not suffer from this,
although fishtailing remains an issue. To correct this situation,
owners of RWD vehicles can load sandbags in the back of the vehicle
(either in the bed, or boot) in order to increase the weight over the
rear axle, however speeds should be restricted to correctly predicted
available grip of the road.
Some rear engine cars (e.g., Porsche 911) can suffer from reduced
steering ability under heavy acceleration, because the engine is
outside the wheelbase and at the opposite end of the car from the
wheels doing the steering although the engine weight over the rear
wheels provides outstanding traction and grip during acceleration.
Decreased interior space – Though individual designs vary
greatly, rear-wheel-drive vehicles may have: Less front leg room as
the transmission tunnel takes up a space between the driver and front
passenger, less leg room for centre rear passengers (due to the tunnel
needed for the drive shaft), and sometimes less boot space (since
there is also more hardware that must be placed underneath the boot).
Rear engine designs (such as the
Porsche 911 and Volkswagen Beetle) do
not inherently take away interior space.
A rear-wheel drive vehicle with four-wheel drive, compared to a
front-wheel drive vehicle with four-wheel drive, will have a less
efficient interior packaging since the transmission is often under the
front passenger compartment between the two seats, whereas the latter
can package all the components under the hood.
Increased weight – The components of a rear-wheel-drive
vehicle's power train are less complex, but they are larger. The
driveshaft adds weight. There is extra sheet metal to form the
transmission tunnel. There is a rear axle or rear half-shafts, which
are typically longer than those in a front-wheel-drive car. A
rear-wheel-drive car will weigh slightly more than a comparable
front-wheel-drive car (but less than four-wheel drive).
Rear biased weight distribution when loaded – A
rear-wheel-drive car's centre of gravity is shifted rearward when
heavily loaded with passengers or cargo, which may cause unpredictable
handling behavior at the hands of an inexperienced driver. It needs
to be noted that rear engine cars are by their very nature, rear
Higher initial purchase price – Modern rear-wheel-drive
vehicles are typically more expensive to purchase than comparable
front-wheel-drive vehicles. Part of this can be explained by the added
cost of materials and increased labor put into assembly of FR layouts,
as the powertrain is not one compact unit. However, the difference is
more probably explained by production volumes as most rear-wheel cars
are usually in the sports/performance/luxury categories (which tend to
be more upscale and/or have more powerful engines), while the FF
configuration is typically in mass-produced mainstream cars.
The possibility of a slight loss in the mechanical efficiency of the
drivetrain (approximately 17% coastdown losses between engine flywheel
and road wheels compared to 15% for front-wheel drive –
however these losses are highly dependent on the individual
transmission). Cars with rear engine or mid engine
configuration and a transverse engine layout do not suffer from this.
The long driveshaft (on front engine cars) adds to drivetrain
elasticity. The driveshaft must also be extended for cars with a
stretched wheelbase (e.g. limousines, minivans).
Front-engine, rear-wheel drive derived “F4” layout
Note: in North America, Australia and New Zealand the term "four-wheel
drive" usually refers only to drivetrains which are primarily
two-wheel drive with a part-time four-wheel-drive capability, as
typically found in pickup trucks and other off-road vehicles, while
the term "all-wheel drive" is used to refer to full time
four-wheel-drive systems found in performance cars and smaller
car-based SUVs. This section uses the term four-wheel drive to refer
Main article: four-wheel drive
Most 4WD layouts are front-engine and are derivatives of earlier
front-engine, two-wheel-drive designs. They fall into two major
Front-engine, rear-wheel drive derived 4WD systems, standard in most
sport utility vehicles and in passenger cars, (frequently referred to
as “front engine, rear-wheel drive/four-wheel drive”), forerunners
of today's models include the Jensen FF,
AMC Eagle and Mercedes-Benz
W124 with the
4Matic system and
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Suzuki Grand Vitara with/without 4
mode transfer case.
Transverse and longitudinal engine 4WD systems derived almost
exclusively from front-engine, front-drive layouts, fitted to luxury,
sporting and heavy duty segments, for example the transverse-engine
Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 and
Toyota RAV4 and the longitudinal-engine
Audi Quattro and most of the
For a full explanation of 4WD engineering considerations, see the main
article on four-wheel drive.
In terms of handling, traction and performance, 4WD systems generally
have most of the advantages of both front-wheel drive and rear-wheel
drive. Some unique benefits are:
Traction is nearly doubled compared to a two-wheel-drive layout. Given
sufficient power, this results in unparalleled acceleration and
driveability on surfaces with less than ideal grip, and superior
engine braking on loose surfaces. The development of 4WD systems for
high performance cars was stimulated primarily by rallying.
Handling characteristics in normal conditions can be configured to
emulate FWD or RWD, or some mixture, even to switch between these
behaviours according to circumstance. However, at the limit of grip, a
well balanced 4WD configuration will not degenerate into either
understeer or oversteer, but instead break traction of all 4 wheels at
the same time into a four-wheel drift. Combined with modern electronic
driving aids, this flexibility allows production car engineers a wide
range of freedom in selecting handling characteristics that will allow
a 4WD car to be driven more safely at higher speeds by inexpert
motorists than 2WD designs.
4WD systems require more machinery and complex transmission
components, and so increase the manufacturing cost of the vehicle and
complexity of maintenance procedures and repairs compared to 2WD
4WD systems increase powertrain mass, rotational inertia and power
transmission losses, resulting in a reduction in performance in ideal
dry conditions and increased fuel consumption compared to 2WD designs
The handbrake may not be used to induce oversteer for maneuvering
purposes, as the drivetrain couples the front and rear axles together.
To overcome this limitation, some custom prepared stage rally cars
have a special mechanism added to the transmission to disconnect the
rear drive if the handbrake is applied when the vehicle is moving.
Unusual 4WD layouts
From 1989 onwards, some models of
Porsche 911 feature a rear-engine
4WD layout, which is akin to a longitudinal front-engine 4WD layout
installed backwards with the engine at the rear of the car
From 2007 onwards, the
Nissan GT-R features a front-engine 4WD
longitudinal layout, but with the gearbox at the rear of the vehicle.
This provides a more ideal weight balance, and improves directional
stability at very high speeds by increasing the vehicle's moment of
inertia around the vertical axis. This layout necessitates a second
prop-shaft to carry power to the front wheels.
Some types of farm tractors and construction site machinery use a 4WD
layout where the wheels on each side are coupled together, rather than
the wheels on each axle, allowing these vehicles to pivot about their
centre point. Such vehicles are controlled in a fashion similar to a
The Citroën Sahara had a 4WD system using complete Citroën 2CV
drivetrains at both ends of the car, such that the engine at the front
powered the front wheels and the engine at the back powered the rear
A 'through the road' hybrid vehicle uses a conventional piston engine
to power two wheels, with electric motor/generators on the other two
wheels, giving a form of part-time 4WD.
Jeep Hurricane concept had an all-wheel drive layout that
featured two V8 engines powering a single driveshaft, with a gearbox
mounted in the centre of the vehicle. The gears connected to two
additional driveshafts, one on each side of the vehicle, that
delivered power to the wheels via driveshaft joints. This was
designed in order to accommodate the vehicle's unique steering system.
Ferrari FF features a front-engine 4WD layout in which a separate
transmission is used for each pair of driven wheels, rather than
the more conventional setup in which a single transmission is used,
followed by a centre differential or viscous coupling unit to split
power between the front and rear wheels.
History and current use
This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to
reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2012)
FMR layout, standard in most Front-engine / Rear-wheel-drive cars
pre-World War II, where the engine was located behind the front axle.
The first FR car was an 1895
Panhard model, so this layout was known
as the "Système Panhard" in the early years. Most American cars used
the FR layout until the mid-1980s. The Oil crisis of the 1970s and the
success of small FF cars like the Mini, Volkswagen Golf, Toyota
Honda Civic led to the widespread adoption of that layout.
After the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the 1979 fuel crises, a
majority of American FR vehicles (station wagons, luxury sedans) were
phased out for the FF layout – this trend would spawn the
SUV/van conversion market. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, most
American companies set as a priority the eventual removal of
rear-wheel drive from their mainstream and luxury lineup. Chrysler
went 100% FF by 1990 and GM's American production went entirely FF by
1997 except the Firebird, Corvette and Camaro. Ford's full-size cars
(the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car)
have always been FR, as was the Lincoln LS. In 2008, Hyundai
introduced its own rear-wheel-drive car, the
In Australia, FR cars have remained popular throughout this period,
Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon having consistently strong
sales. In Europe, front-wheel drive was popularized by small cars like
Renault 5 and
Volkswagen Golf and adopted for virtually all
Upscale marques like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar remained mostly
independent of this trend, and retained a lineup mostly or entirely
made up of FR cars. Japanese mainstream marques such as
Nissan became mostly or entirely FF early on, while reserving for
their latterly conceived luxury divisions (
Lexus and Infiniti,
respectively) a mostly FR lineup. While many automakers lost sight of
the true sports car,
Mazda introduced the highly successful Miata
roadster in 1990, a true two-seater sports car using the traditional
FR layout which led to other compaines such as
General Motors to
produce a FR sports car based on their Kappa platform.
Currently most cars are FF, including virtually all front-engine
economy cars, though FR cars are making a return as an alternative to
large sport-utility vehicles. In North America, GM
returned to production of the FR luxury car with the 2003 Cadillac
CTS, and with the removal of the DTS, Cadillac will be entirely FR
(with four-wheel drive available as an option on several models) by
2010, and the 2010
Camaro returns as a FR sports car. Chrysler
returned its full-size cars to this layout with the
Chrysler 300 and
related models. Despite Ford's 2011 discontinuation of the
rear-wheel drive Panther Platform cars, they are seeking to develop a
new FR replacement.
Nissan is also bringing back the Silvia to
Mazda is said to be releasing a new rotary-powered FR
car in their RX line-up, and
Toyota has produced the FT-86, an
affordable RWD car which is the successor to the AE86. Hyundai
introduced their affordable RWD car being the 2009
Hyundai Genesis and
Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
In the 21st century, with solutions to the engineering complexities of
4WD being widely understood, and consumer demand for increasing
performance in production cars, front-engine 4WD layouts are rapidly
becoming more common, and most major manufacturers now offer 4WD
options on at least some models. Manufacturers with a notable
expertise and history in producing 4WD performance cars are
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Edmunds Inside Line. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
^ a b c William, Milliken (1995). "Merits of Front-, Rear-, and
Four-Wheel Drive". Race
Car Vehicle Dynamics. SAE International.
p. 730. ISBN 1-56091-526-9.
Front-wheel drive has been most
successful in the lower power/weight range and in situations in which
superior directional stability on low coefficients is important. There
has never been a successful front-drive Grand Prix car nor a
competitive Indianapolis car of more than 300 hp.
^ a b c d e f "What's It Like To Drive" Archived 2012-12-19 at
Archive.is, describes a test between two Dodge Daytonas, one FWD and
^ a b c d e f "The Hidden Virtues of Front Wheel Drive". Saab
Lotus Elan M100 Sales Manual
^ Frere, Paul (1992). "From Slipping to Sliding". Sports
Competition Driving. entleyPublishers. p. 67pp.
Front-wheel drive which, due to the reduced
front wheel grip under acceleration, is practical only for cars of
moderate power-to-weight ratio
^ Prost, Alain (1990). "Controlling a car at the limit". Competition
Driving. Hazelton Publishing. p. 50pp. ISBN 0-905138-80-5.
Front-wheel drive. In this instance, both power and steering are
directed through the front wheels, the rears remaining free. Following
the principle of weight transfer once more, the lightening of the
front wheels under acceleration considerably reduces their
effectiveness and thus limits the usable power. Consequently, this
type of transmission is generally less effective on racing circuits, a
few exceptions notwithstanding, but has its advantages in road events
where maximum power is not called into play so often
^ Kenwright, Joe (2010-04-15). "Driving Wheels - Front, Rear or
All-Wheel Drive?". CarPoint. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19.
^ Kott, Douglas (2010-03-16). "Four-Door Firepower". RoadandTrack.com.
^ Wiesenfelder, Joe (2009-11-06). "2010
Audi S4". Retrieved
^ a b Dykes, Alex (2013-05-31). "First Drive: 2014 Acura MDX (Video)".
The Truth About Cars. US. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
^ Quiroga, Tony (August 2010). "2011
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Personal luxury car
Leisure activity vehicle
Cabriolet / Convertible
Coupé de Ville
Drophead coupe (Convertible)
Saloon / Sedan
Sedanca de Ville (
Coupé de Ville)
Spider / Spyder (Roadster)
Town car (
Coupé de Ville)
Gasoline / petrol (direct injection)
Homogeneous charge compression ignition
Layout (engine / drive)
Front / front
Front mid / front
Rear / front
Front / rear
Rear mid / rear
Rear / rear
Front / four-wheel
Mid / four-wheel
Rear / four-wheel