Mid-engine design

automobile engine placement between the axles of a vehicle

A mid-engine layout describes the location of an automobile engine between the front and rear axles.[1] A physics term, moment of inertia, shows how hard it is to turn a moving object.[1] In a front engine front-wheel drive car, the drive wheels also have to steer the car, causing torque steer (pull to one side during Acceleration).[2] Front-wheel drive can cause the vehicle to oversteer (turn more sharply than the driver expects) in a corner. A front engine rear-wheel drive can have good weight distribution (balance front to rear), but has a higher moment of inertia than mid engine layout.[1] The mid-engine layout has none of these disadvantages. It has better weight distribution and a lower moment of inertia.[3] Its main disadvantage is that the engine, mounted in the middle, leaves much less room for passengers and cargo.[3] However, in racing there is usually only a driver so passengers and cargo are not an issue.

A mid-engine car


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Developing a Track Car". DrivingFast.net. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  2. "Advantages and Disadvantages of Rear Wheel Drive". Mechanical Engineering. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Front vs Mid Engine". WhyHighEnd.com. Retrieved 11 June 2016.