Mid Engine Layout

What is Mid Engine Layout And Know How Is It Beneficial?

What is Mid Engine Layout?

In the Mid engine layout an engine sits in the middle of a vehicle. Most of the vehicles’ engine is at the front because of the effective cooling it offers to run it efficiently. However, due to some design constraints, engineers used the Mid engine layout. This design, i.e. the mid-engine layout places the engine in the middle of the vehicle but generally between the front and rear axles.

The vehicle with this layout places more weight on the rear tyres so they get more traction and provide more assistance to the front tyres while braking. This reduces the chance of rear-wheel locking and skidding or spinning. Mid-engine design also provides added empty space at the front of the vehicle between the bumper and the windshield.




This is beneficial in case of a frontal collision to absorb more energy. It acts as a cushion and minimizes intrusion into the passenger compartment. However, the advantage of mid engine layout is better weight distribution. The placement of the heavy engine in the middle lowers the moment of inertia. Biggest disadvantage of mid-engine cars is the limited rear passenger space. As a result, most mid-engine vehicles are two-seater.

Mainly, there are three types of mid-engine layout designs which are – 1. Front mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2. Front mid engine, front wheel drive and 3. Rear mid engine, rear wheel drive.




Front Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive:

The longitudinally mounted front mid engine layout places the engine at the Mid-front location and behind the front axle line. It fits along the vehicle’s length which is parallel to its wheels. The engine attaches to the gear box and drives the rear wheels thru’ a propeller shaft as seen in the diagram.

Front Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive
Front Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive

Some of the popular vehicles with longitudinally mounted mid-front engine layout with rear wheel drive are Honda S2000 and Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren which use similar layout.

Front Mid Engine Layout, Front Wheel Drive:

The longitudinally mounted front mid-engine layout places the engine at the Mid-front location and behind the front axle line. It fits along the vehicle’s length which is parallel to its wheels. The engine attaches to the gear box and drives the front wheels thru’ drive shafts as seen in the diagram.

Front Mid Engine Layout, Front Wheel Drive
Front Mid Engine Layout, Front Wheel Drive

Some of the popular cars with longitudinally mounted mid-front engine layout with front wheel drive are Saab Sonett and Nissan GT-R LM Nismo.

Longitudinally mounted Rear Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive:

The longitudinally mounted rear mid-engine layout places the engine at the Mid-rear location and ahead of the rear axle line. It fits along the vehicle’s length which is parallel to its wheels. The engine attaches to the gear box and drives the rear wheels thru’ drive shafts as seen in the diagram.

Longitudinally mounted Rear Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive
Longitudinally mounted Rear Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive

Some of the popular cars with longitudinally mounted rear mid-engine layout with rear wheel drive are Porsche 550, Porsche 914 and Porsche Boxter which use similar layout.

Transversely mounted Rear Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive:

The transversely mounted rear mid-engine layout places the engine at the Mid-rear location and ahead of the rear axle line. However, it fits across the vehicle’s length which is 90 degrees to its wheels. The engine attaches to the gear box and drives the rear wheels thru’ drive shafts as seen in the diagram.

Transversely mounted Rear Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive
Transversely mounted Rear Mid Engine Layout, Rear Wheel Drive

Some of the popular cars with transversely mounted rear mid-engine layout with rear wheel drive are Lamborghini Miura and Lancia Stratos HF which use similar layout.

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