Engine Placement

Discussion in 'Initial D' started by Izzy, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Izzy

    Izzy moo. moo. moo!
    Staff Member

    Apr 17, 2002
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    Now, this doesn't only pertain to Initial D, but anyhow....

    Ever wonder why your engine is where it is? Or why certain cars in certain games are easier to drive than others? Well, Izzy will try to explain car physics.

    Front Engine/Rear Wheel (FR)
    In the case of Initial D, the AE86, the two RX-7's (FD and FC), and the Miata are notable examples of FR configurations. They turn in corners easier, due to the easier push off from the rear tires into the corner itself. This is generally known as oversteer, in which too much input can make you spin out.

    The engines power is placed on the rear wheels, through the drive shaft. This makes a suitable turning system in which the rear wheels push the car, while the front wheels drive the car. Thus, grip is transferred and superlative to the front tires though a corner, while the acceleration duties are left to the rear tires.

    Most regular car manufacturers and a few exotic cars use this configuration because it allows for easier design and weight distribution.

    Dodge Vipers, BMWs, Aston Martins, Toyota Supras, Nissan Skyline GTs, Honda S2000's, Ferrari 456M and the new Scagliatti, Jaguars, and few others are real-world examples you can find for FR cars.

    Front Engine/Front Wheel (FF)
    The Civic Si-R I (EG6) and Civic Type-R (EK9) would be the only example I can think of off the top of my head that's an FF car in Initial D. Generally NOT suited to a downhill with lots of hairpins like Irohazaka, they're more stable and less prone to spin out in courses with mid to light turns when putting in too much throttle input. FF cars are more prone to understeer, that is, not turning enough into a corner at high speeds.

    FF cars aren't generally used for racing because of the inherent understeer. This is because the front wheels are responsible for both braking and turning. The front tires are much more easily worn, and become greatly unstable.

    An advantage is that these cars are generally easy to drive, and do not require massive amounts of attention. They also generally cost less than any of the other engine placements.

    Honda Civics/Accords/del Sols, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, and Nissan Maximas are all examples of FF cars. As you can see, no uppercrust super-cars have FF configurations.

    Mid Engine/Rear Wheel (MR) and Rear Engine/Rear Wheel (RR)
    MR cars would be like the MR-2 seen in the 3rd stage movie. These cars can be considered "premier" cornering cars because the engine layout lets oversteer generally be easier to induce. The oversteer can be caused by simply quickly flicking the wheel in the proper direction, and the car would easily turn its nose in the proper direction. Though, it IS more fidgety than even an FR car, because more precise course corrections are definitely needed as well as careful throttle input.

    These cars are generally called Mid Endine because the engine is placed directly over or just before the rear axle. This makes it incredibly easy to balance the weight of the car, tuning its body for racing. I group all MR cars with RR cars because the outcome is generally the same.

    Lots of cars have this drive configuration are among the elite of cars. McLaren F1's, Ferarri Enzos/360 Modenas, Lotus Elise/Esprit/370R, Porsche, Toyota MR-S and F1/CHAMP cars themselves.

    The balance they attain is incredible and driving is almost natural because of the near 50/50 weight distribution.

    4 Wheel Drive (4WD)
    4WD cars are actually pretty widely known, especially in terms of Rally racing. Cars like the Impreza WRX STi, the Lancer Evolution III - VI, the Skyline GT-R V-Spec II. These cars use all four wheels to put the car's power on the ground. This is generally seen in the car's oversteer to understeer charactersitics, which is why the Emperors use a technique to power a car into the corner, then ride it out. What's generally more amazing about the four wheel cars is that the power is divided among four wheels, so the power is more evenly planted, for smoother cornering and flatter launches.

    They also accelerate at incredible rates. Plus having power going into all 4 wheels makes it easy to find grip when there is none on the other tires.

    Educating? I hope so. Welcome to the world of Initial D and racing.
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