REAR-ENGINE MOTOR CARS The European Point of View 580024
THE author traces the history of the rear-engined motor car, from Amédée Bollée's first car in 1875 to Dr. Porsche's present-day Volkswagen. He then discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the design, describing the solutions on the Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault of the present.
Emphasizing that the rear-engine arrangement is most successful on the small car of less than 1300-cc piston displacement, the author mentions the following advantages: simplicity of design, light weight, economy of fuel consumption, ease of parking, excellent road holding, less danger from collision. Among the difficulties of the construction are weight distribution, engine cooling, air filteration, limited baggage space, and operation of clutch, throttle, and starter.
The production of rear-engined passenger cars in Europe has increased from 2.6% of total European production in 1947 to 26.6% in 1956, an indication of the expanding demand for the small economy car.