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Video Axle Drive
Video Rear Axle Drive
Video FWD (classic)
Video Front Axle Drive
Video Ring and Pinion
Video Hypoid Gearbox 1
Video Hypoid Gearbox 2
Video Differential
Video Locking Differential 1
Video Locking Differential 2
Video Locking Differential 3
Video Self locking 1
Video Self locking 2
Video FWD (cross) 1
Video FWD (cross) 2
Video FWD (cross) 3
Video FWD (longitudinal) 1
Video FWD (longitudinal) 2
Video RWD (front engine) 1
Video RWD (front engine) 2
Video RWD (front engine) 3
Video RWD (rear engine)
Video Mid-mounted Engine
Video Transaxle Drive
Video Planetary Power Axle
Video Smart Drive (f. view)
Video Smart Drive (s. view)
Video Powertrain Position
Video Bus with Low Floor
Video Tractive Power
Video All-wheel Drive
Video All-wheel History 1
Video All-wheel History 2
Video All-wheel History 3
Video All-wheel History 4
Video All-wheel History 5
Video All-wheel History 6
Video All-wheel Automatic
Video All-wheel Longitudinal 1
Video All-wheel Longitudinal 2
Video All-wheel Longitudinal 3
Video All-wheel Transverse 1
Video All-wheel Transverse 2
Video All-wheel Rear Engine
Video Ferrari FF
Video Bosch Hydro Drive
Video Locking Differential
Video Viscous Clutch
Video Torsen-differential 1
Video Torsen-differential 2
Video Electr. Differential Lock
Video Distrib. gearing 1
Video Distrib. gearing 2
Video Distrib. gearing 3
Video Distrib. gearing 4
Video Propeller Shafts 1
Video Propeller Shafts 2
Video Cardan Shaft
Video Cardan Joint
Video Constant Velocity Joint
Video Universal Joint
Video Universal joint (working)
Video Ball Joint
Video Dry Joint 1
Video Dry Joint 2
Video Driving Chain

Video Force
Video Torque
Video Piston force

Video Axle drive 1
Video Axle drive 2
Video Axle drive 3

          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Front-wheel Drive (longitudinal


The front-wheel drive with straight-mounted engine always has a good amount of weight on the driving wheels. This brings good traction and a low sensitivity to crosswinds. Even driving uphill, the front axle is not as strongly lightened as it is with a transverse-mounted front-wheel drive. It is well suited for upgrading to an all-wheel-drive. The most important reason however, for car manufacturers, could possibly be the freedom of engine choice. The possible length of straight-mounted engines is, as a rule, unlimited, this of course, is not the case with the transverse-mounted engine. For this reason, this construction method is interesting, particularly for vehicles of the upper middle class and for top-of-the-range models.A further advantage, compared with the transverse engine is, less effort and complexity in the insulation against noise.

How it works

The front-wheel drive with straight-mounted engine is the oldest front wheel-drive design (1931). The engine lies in front of the front axle, the gearbox behind it. From the clutch, the torque is first transfered through a long differential shaft to the non-coaxial gearbox. The gearbox driven shaft at the output carries the bevel wheel for the transmission of the torque to the final drive. The axle drive shafts are of equal length.


This drive chain configuration makes the vehicle very top-heavy. A well-balanced chassis is more difficult to realise with this axle load distribution. The larger and heavier the vehicle is, the closer this design gets to the ideal distribution, however, it cannot really reach this goal. An interesting solution of this problem at the longitudinally mounted front wheel drive unit can be found here.

The large overhang, particularly with engines with a greater construction length, reduces the wheelbase. From a construction point of view, the problem can be reduced, if the cooling system is mounted beside the engine.Generally speaking, the disadvantage of this construction - the drive being coupled to the steering - as in all front-wheel drive vehicles, remains. Nowadays, the power-chain forces are hardly perceptible in the steering, but still, they do slightly diminish the feeling for the road.

In vehicles with a manual gearbox, a four-wheel drive can be more easily realised. Invehicles with fully automatic gearboxes it's more difficult. With some automatic four-wheel drives, an additional, external shaft can be seen in the final drive, for the return of the torque. 06/09               Top of page               Index
2001-2015 Copyright programs, texts, animations, pictures: H. Huppertz - E-Mail
Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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