Transverse engine

Transverse Engine

Transverse engine

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Description:
A transverse engine is an engine mounted in a vehicle so that the engine's crankshaft axis is perpendicular to the long axis of the vehicle. Many modern front wheel drive vehicles use this engine mounting configuration. (The vast majority of rear wheel drive vehicles use a longitudinal engine configuration, where the engine's crankshaft axis is parallel to the long axis of the vehicle.)

History

The first car known to use such an arrangement was a 1911 front-wheel drive car with a clutch at each end of the engine, driving the front wheels directly. The first successful transverse-engine cars were the two-cylinder DKW "Front" series of cars, which first appeared in 1931. After the Second World War, SAAB used the configuration in their first model, the Saab 92, in 1947. The arrangement was also used for Borgward's Goliath and Hansa brand cars and in a few other German cars. However, it was with Alec Issigonis's Morris Mini and Austin Seven that the design gained acclaim, in 1959.

This design reached its ultimate extent starting with Dante Giacosa's elaboration of it for Fiat. He connected the engine to its gearbox by a shaft and set the differential off-center so that it could be connected to the gearbox more easily. The axleshafts from the differential to the wheels therefore differed in length, which would have made the car's steering asymmetrical were it not for their torsional stiffness being made the same. Now most small and small/medium sized cars built...
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