Transverse vs Longitudinal Engine

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Thread: Transverse vs Longitudinal Engine

          
   
  1. #1
    TurboBaron9's Avatar
    TurboBaron9 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Transverse vs Longitudinal Engine

    This is for the technical and mechanically knowledgable bunch.

    Basically I just noticed a few days ago that the 1.8T i4 engine in my passat is longitudinally mounted, and is fwd. But a 1.9tdi golf that was in the shop with my car had it's engine transversely mounted.

    Does anyone know why the 1.8t in my passat is Long. Mounted vs transversely? Does it have to do with the auto transmission in the passat vs the 6mt in the golf?

    Let's see what the 4 can do!
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  2. #2
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    Your passat is based off of the a4 of the same generation. I believe it's an audi thing (maybe due to use of quattro awd in some models) that their platforms utilize longitudinally mounted engines. Reasons include weight distribution, transmission layout, etc.
    The golf doesn't use an audi platform, thus the transverse mount.

    Volkswagen Group B platform - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. #3
    GDog's Avatar
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    The Number 1 reason is cost. If you've ever seen a FWD car build they basically put the engine, trany, front suspension, brakes, steering, and wiring harness (all of which is mounted to the front sub frame) in as one unit from the bottom. It is a huge time saver and therefore cost saver. Don't get me wrong, most new production cars are assembled this way now - independent of engine orientation - but they still require additional work compared to a FWD with a transverse mounted engine.

    The second reason is space/packaging. A transverse mounted engine take up less room so there is more room inside the car for passengers. I believe the guy who developed the original Mini was Knighted for his work with regards to innovative packaging. To bad we got FWD to go with it.

    The Third is a little less important in the case of a Golf but it has to do with the torsion forces that are generated as the engine accelerates and decelerates. Apparently this is one of the reasons why the NSX had a transverse mounted engine compared to Ferrari’s longitudinal mounted engines.

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    ^You're third point is a very good point most don't think about. Your engine will put out a lot of power that is going one direction and when you change directions, you put a lot of stress on those components (diff, frame, etc.). In a front wheel drive setup, longitudinal layouts will have torque steer. In a transverse setup, the torque is going in the same circular direction as the wheels, thus eliminating said problem. A large V8 revving in a vehicle will also show you the effects of torque, as the whole vehicle will start to sway as the engine pulls on the frame. If you were to pull the engine out and turn it 90 degrees, no amount of revving would sway the same vehicle.
    Last edited by Autoholic; 07-24-2011 at 04:47 AM.

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    When the old B4 Passats were at end of life, they sported transversed motors, however, when the B5 platforms were introduced, VW decided to save money by using the base platform for both the A4 and new Passat. The A4's quattro, IMO, was the main factor for the Passat having the longitude mounted engine - VW had planned the 4Motion version back in 98' so it only made sense to keep it longitudal just like the A4 (I used to own a 98' Passat and asked them about when the 4Motion would be available.)

    But in terms of which is better, I do agree with motors being transversed - they simply are more efficeint for the reasons already given.
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    Great answers. Thanks guys!
    A successful man is someone who wakes up in the morning, goes to sleep at night, and does whatever makes him happy in between.

    Happiness is the only thing worth pursuing.


    A turbo, exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster. - Jeremy Clarkson

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