Transverse engine

Transverse engine

A transverse engine is an engine in which the crankshaft is oriented side-to-side relative to the length of the vehicle. This is also sometimes called an east-west engine. Most modern front wheel drive vehicles use this engine orientation (with the exception of some Audis), while most rear wheel drive vehicles use a front-to-back longitudinal arrangement.

The first car to use such an arrangement was the two-cylinder DKW "Front" series of cars, which first appeared in 1931.Fact|date=February 2007 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 that the design gained acclaim, in 1959.Fact|date=February 2007

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. Now most small and small/medium sized cars built throughout the world use this arrangement.Fact|date=February 2007

The Lamborghini Miura used a transverse, mid-mounted 4.0 litre V12, a configuration that was unheard of in 1965, although now more common (e.g. Noble M12, Toyota MR2, Pontiac Fiero)

The Land Rover LR2 Freelander, along with all Volvo models from 1998 on, employ a transversely-mounted engine in order to increase passenger space inside the vehicle. This has also allowed for improved safety in a frontal impact, due to more front to back engine compartment space being created. The result is a larger front crumple zone. [cite web|url= | title= Volvo S80 | accessdate=2007-10-11] [cite web|url= | title= LR2 Safety Features | accessdate=2007-10-11]

Transverse engines have also been widely used in buses, for a long time being pioneered in the American General Motors Oldlook Bus, the British Leyland Atlantean and has been used in most transit buses and nearly all double decker buses since. They have also been widely used by Scania [cite web|url= | title= Scania at Busworld 2005: New range of Scania buses and coaches | accessdate=2007-10-11] , MAN, Volvo and Renault's bus divisions.


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