« Back to Dictionary Index

A transverse mount refers to an engine configuration where the engine is mounted sideways in the vehicle, with the crankshaft running perpendicular to the direction of travel. This is in contrast to a longitudinal mount, where the engine is oriented front-to-back with the crankshaft running parallel to the direction of travel. Transverse mounts are especially common in front-wheel-drive (FWD) cars.

Key Points:

  1. Orientation: The engine is mounted sideways, with the fan belt typically located over one of the front tires rather than at the front of the vehicle.
  2. Common Use: Predominantly found in front-wheel-drive vehicles.


  1. Space Efficiency: By mounting the engine transversely, manufacturers can optimize the space under the hood, making the overall vehicle design more compact. This can result in more cabin and cargo space.
  2. Better Weight Distribution: The transverse layout tends to position the engine’s weight over the front axle, improving traction and handling, particularly in FWD vehicles.
  3. Simplified Drivetrain: Integrating the engine and transmission in a transverse layout simplifies the drivetrain, reducing the number of parts and potentially lowering production costs.


  • Front-Wheel Drive Cars: Most compact and mid-size cars, such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus, use a transverse engine layout.
  • Some SUVs and Crossovers: Vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 also utilize this layout to maximize interior space.


  • Service and Maintenance: While the transverse mount offers space efficiency, it can sometimes make certain engine components harder to access for maintenance and repairs.
  • Performance Limitations: For high-performance vehicles, a longitudinal layout is often preferred due to better weight distribution between the front and rear axles, which enhances handling dynamics.


  • Honda Civic: Features a transverse-mounted engine, which contributes to its compact design and efficient use of interior space.
  • Volkswagen Golf: Uses a transverse engine layout to optimize space and improve front-wheel-drive performance.
  • Chevrolet Malibu: A mid-size car that benefits from a transverse engine layout, providing a roomy interior and efficient packaging.

The transverse mount is a practical engine configuration commonly used in front-wheel-drive vehicles to maximize space efficiency and improve weight distribution. By orienting the engine sideways, manufacturers can design more compact and spacious vehicles while maintaining good traction and handling characteristics. This layout is particularly well-suited to the design goals of many modern cars, crossovers, and SUVs.


  • Transverse engine.
« Back to Dictionary Index