They are still around, the rear-engined cars. Although they've been declared dead thousands of times, they just won't disappear. If necessary, potential customers force their further development by refusing the buy anything else. We would like, without being brand-name conscious, to discuss the question, of why having a luggage compartment up-front, is always at a disadvantage, compared with having a boot in he rear.
1. If you look at the shape of a classic saloon car silhouette, on average, the front section is always lower than the rear. In addition, looking from the drivers seat, it slopes downwards towards the front, whereby, the rear section remains roughly horizontal or is even a little higher.
2. The front wheels are always responsible for steering the car, the rear wheels are generally not. If they are in fact steerable, then their movement is only very small. This is why the wheel-housings in the front take up much more space. That this is necessary, can be seen in models that have particularly wide wheels and mostly have a larger turning circle.
3. In the above picture, e.g., where the pedals are on the right hand side, the negative effect on the leg-room can be seen. If the engine is narrowly built, it's hardly noticeable, that the driver actually has his feet beside the engine, if there is a front luggage compartment, then it is indeed noticeable.
4. Nowadays, the fuel-tank is no longer mounted in the immediate impact area. Up front, it still reduces the luggage area, even if it isn't, as can be seen here, mounted up front and at the bottom. In the rear, it has been moved to below the reat seating, where, if the car is fully occupied, no luggage can be stowed anyhow.
5. Air-cooled engines have become rare. If however, the engine is liquid-cooled, then the most favourable place for fairly effective engines, is the front-end. In this position, must not only space for the radiator be found, but also for the fan and the outlet-air. In this case, the Porsche company has opted for two radiators mounted on the right and left hand sides, in front of the wheel housings.
6. If the front axle is steered and the rear axle not, then the space needed for the entire connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels, is at the expense of a possible front luggage compartment. The still quite frequently found hydraulic power-steering, requires a fair amount of space, which would hardly be noticeable if the engine compartment was up front. 01/14