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Dances With Corners
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Discussion Starter #1

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Is anyone else getting annoyed at headlines like this:

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/mark-phelan/2019/04/12/chevy-corvette-mid-engine/3444877002/

I realize this is a bit pedantic, but Corvettes have been mid-engine cars since the 1980s. It's as if the auto press doesn't know what the M stands for in FMR.
A McClaren is mid-engined, a Ferrari 488 is mid-engined, even the Fiero was mid engined. A Corvette has despite the wishful thinking of many owners never been mid-engined in the real sense of the word, as in the engine is behind the driver and forward of the rear wheels.

Usually, the term "mid-engine" has been primarily applied to cars having the engine located between the driver and the rear drive axles. This layout is referred to as rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, (or RMR) layout. The mechanical layout and packaging of an RMR car is substantially different from that of a front-engine or rear-engine car.

When the engine is in front of the driver, but fully behind the front axle line, the layout is sometimes called a front mid-engine, rear drive, or FMR layout instead of the less-specific term front-engine; and can be considered a subset of the latter. In vehicle layout FMR is substantially the same as FR, but handling differs as a result of the difference in weight distribution.
If you were to apply the FMR definition, there are so many cars that could be considered "mid-engined", including many older cars such as the Ford Model T, many of the small British cars etc.
 

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Dances With Corners
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Discussion Starter #3
RMR is only one kind of mid-engine car, as the full article shows:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-engine_design

The point of a mid-engine car is that the engine is between the axles for balance, and you get the same handling advantage regardless of whether the engine is in the front or the rear. The main practical difference is that an RMR layout has more room for a larger engine, while FMR cars are restricted to smaller engines because it has to fit between the front axle and the firewall.

As your quote points out, FMR differs from FR because of the balance, which is the characteristic advantage of a mid-engine car. It is similar to FR in that it only takes a small adjustment to an FR layout to turn it into FMR, so you can consider it a subset of FR, but it is a mid-engine version of FR.

Like I said, my point is a bit pedantic and I realize that a lot of people equate mid-engine with RMR, but in practical terms mid-engine means mid-engine whether it is in the front or the rear. And yes, that includes a lot of cars, including early ones.

It's really just semantics, but I wish the auto press would specifically say RMR rather than mid-engine.
 
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