In automobile design
, a rear-engine design layout places the engine
at the rear of the vehicle. The center of gravity
of the engine
itself is behind the rear axle. This is not to be confused with the center of gravity of the whole vehicle, as an imbalance of such proportions would make it impossible to keep the front wheels on the ground.
Rear-engined vehicles almost always have a rear-wheel drive car layout
, but some are four wheel drive
. This layout has the following features:
*Packaging: since there is no need for a transmission tunnel, the floor can be flat.
*Rear traction: having the engine located over the driven wheels increases downward pressure, which is helpful for grip on loose surfaces, although can be prone to oversteer
*Simplicity of manufacture: the engine is near the driven wheels, and the transmission can be merged with the differential to save space.
This layout was once popular in small, inexpensive cars and light commercial vehicles. Today most car makers have abandoned the layout although it does continue in some expensive cars, like the Porsche 911
. It is also used in some racing car applications, low-floor bus
es, some Type-D school buses
, and microcars such as the Smart Fortwo
. Some electric car
s feature both rear and front motors, to drive all four wheels.
Notable rear-engined cars
, and i3
*Dune buggies such as the Meyers Manx
and Mitsubishi i-MiEV
generations, and 959
*Puma (car manufacturer)
and the 3rd generation Twingo
*Renault Alpine A106
and 2nd generation Smart Forfour
*Suzuki Fronte 360
, Fronte 71 and 72
, Fronte Coupé
, Fronte LC20
, Fronte 7-S / SS10 / SS20
and Cervo SS20 / SC100
, Tata Pixel
and Tata Magic Iris
*Tucker 48 'Torpedo'
*Volkswagen Type 62 and Type 82 Kübelwagen
, the Kommandeurswagen
, type 3 'pontoon'
, Karmann Ghia
and type 4 (411/412)
, as well as the VW Microbus
and type 181 'Thing'
* Mid-engine design
* Rear-engine, front-wheel-drive layout
* Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout