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Joys of rear engines... was So what's good about FWD?
>But why doesn't anyone build a rear-drive, *rear-engined* economy car?
>It would have the advantages of a short, simple drivetrain without
>working against weight transfer. And, it would have extra weight over
>the drive wheels. It seems to me that this would be just as cheap
>as a front-engine/front-drive car, and would perform better under all
>conditions. Why doesn't anyone build it that way?
I have read some of this thread...
But there are many reasons that rear engines arent as popular to the
general public. First, people want an engine between them and the
car-tree-house they expect to hit... not a fuel tank.
Also, there is added cost in manufacturing a rear drive car. In a front
driver, the trans, engine AND steering assembly are assembled on another
line and the whole unit is mounted into the car. Modular manufacturing
makes cheaper cars.
A FWD car allows for a cheaper, less intrusive rear axle. More trunk
Porsche was designing a two box shape to replace the beetle in the late
60's but the noise and fumes into the interior made bad business sense.
The rear engine layout lends itself to odd road handling. Ive spun that
Beetle several times, and it took Porsche until the early 90's to work
most of the kinks out of the 911.
As for the Corvair, Nadar didnt kill it... it was a crappy swing axle
design!!! The beetle had the swing axle in the early days, but 36hp
doesnt make anything dangerous! Add a 6cyl turbo to a swing axle, and
you'll have all the excitement you need.
Audi content... Forget the whole lot... buy quattro.