Front engine is the designation for a motor which is located in the region of the front axle. This is the design used in passenger cars most often. In addition to the front-engine, there are the placed between the two axles and the central engine rear-mounted engine on or behind the rear axle.
Although in a front-wheel drive in reverse arrangement (gear front, behind engine ) the engine behind the front axle and thus is between the axles, this arrangement does not count for the mid-engine layout.
Engine and transmission are adjacent to each other (usually in front of or on the front axle ) is installed, which enables a short engine room. In small cars and cars of the lower middle class, these cheap produced front-wheel drive design has prevailed. There are also vehicles with this motor assembly and all-wheel drive (eg VW Bus T4 Syncro ), but this requires a complex drive train. Previously, there were also models with the transmission in the oil pan (BMC, Peugeot ), this has not been enforced.
On vehicles with rear - or all-wheel drive, since the end of the 20th century mainly in vehicles of the upper middle class and upper class, the engine is mounted longitudinally above the front axle, the transmission behind it. On vehicles with this engine and front wheel drive arrangement of the gear unit (VW K70, Saab 99) or next ( Cadillac Eldorado) is the engine.
Until the 1930s, front engines were installed behind the front axle, with front-wheel drive, the transmission could be installed in front ( Citroën Traction Avant), but also behind (cord ) of the axis. Most cars had rear wheel drive. This was also called " standard drive ". The transaxle design, especially in sports cars, the engine sits in front and the transmission to the differential in a housing on the rear axle.
In many front-wheel drive vehicles with longitudinally installed engines, the engine in front of the front axle and the gear sits behind it. Occasionally this short boxer and V-engines preferred ( Citroën, Panhard, Lancia, Ford ) to the front overhang is not too large and the vehicle were to make not top-heavy. Now, however, larger engines are built before the front axle, some with four-wheel drive (Audi).