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Mid-mounted engine


Sports cars with mid-mounted engines have never really caught on, however, the principle was always present somewhere along the line, not only in racing cars. The idea is, that one places a good, steady weight distribution between the front- and rear axle. If then, two boots were also available, the weight distribution could not even be affected by loading. In front of the engine there was just enough space for two people.

Consequently, this chassis is an enjoyment, which makes the noise and the heat from the engine and also the heating up of the rear boot through the exhaust system, bearable. However, one disadvantage developing from mid-engined vehicles, is the tendency to tilt around the vertical axis if one is a bit too enthusiastic. All the masses are so close to the centre of rotation, that, (unfortunately) they cannot, in any way, counteract against the rotary movement.

How it works

A long time ago, even relatively small engines of 1.3 litres and more, had the chance to perform their service in the middle, behind the two front seats. Although the air-cooled motors were even more noisy, at least they did not need the long cooling pipelines to the front, and the radiator did not take up half of the front boot. At that time, unlike today, the liquid-cooled engines had no divided radiators in front of the front wheels yet. The, quite frequently, although nowadays seldom, there were transverse-mounted engines which were a little shorter than the straight-mounted. They were derived from the front-wheel drive vehicles. The complete front axle was often moved around to the rear and even the drop arms still existed.

The above figures show Ferrari and Porsche-Boxster in-line engines which are followed at the rear by the clutch, the final drive and the gearbox. Whereby, the boxer of course, has a lower construction form than the V engine. Both manufacturers also offer, in principle, the above shown engines with different layouts. Ferrari still builds transaxle vehicles, Porsche turns the engine-gearbox unit by 180° for its somewhat more expensive models.

DataFerrari F 430 F1
Cylinder arrangementV8 engine
Bore/stroke92 mm/81 mm
Total displacement4308 cm³
Compression11,3 : 1
Designed for Super gasoline
Max. torque465 Nm/5250 1/min
Max. performance360 kW/8500 1/min

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