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ront-wheel drive gives more interior space since the powertrain is a single unit contained in the

engine compartment of the vehicle and there is no need to devote interior space for a driveshaft
tunnel or rear differential, increasing the volume available for passengers and cargo.[1] There are
some exceptions to this as rear engine designs do not take away interior space (see Porsche 911,
and Volkswagen Beetle). It also has fewer components overall and thus lower weight.[1] The
direct connection between engine and transaxle reduces the mass and mechanical inertia of the
drivetrain compared to a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a similar engine and transmission,
allowing greater fuel economy.[1] In front-wheel-drive cars the mass of the drivetrain is placed
over the driven wheels and thus moves the centre of gravity farther forward than a comparable
rear-wheel-drive layout, improving traction and directional stability on wet, snowy, or icy
surfaces.[1][2][3] Front-wheel-drive cars, with a front weight bias, tend to understeer at the limit
which, according to Saab engineer Gunnar Larsson, is easier since it makes instinct correct in
avoiding terminal oversteer, and less prone to result in fishtailing or a spin.[3][4]
According to a sales brochure for the 1989 Lotus Elan, the ride and handling engineers at Lotus
found that "for a given vehicle weight, power and tyre size, a front-wheel-drive car was always
faster over a given section of road."[5] However, this may only apply for cars with moderate
power-to-weight ratio.[2][6][7] According to road test with two Dodge Daytonas, one FWD and one
RWD, the road layout is also important for what configuration is the fastest.[3]
Weight shifting limits the acceleration of a front-wheel-drive vehicle. During heavy acceleration,
weight is shifted to the back, improving traction at the rear wheels at the expense of the front
driving wheels; consequently, most racing cars are rear-wheel drive for acceleration. However,
since front-wheel-drive cars have the weight of the engine over the driving wheels, the problem
only applies in extreme conditions in which case the car understeers. On snow, ice, and sand,
rear-wheel drive loses its traction advantage to front or all-wheel-drive vehicles which have
greater weight over the driven wheels. Rear-wheel-drive cars with rear engine or mid engine
configuration retain traction over the driven wheels, although fishtailing remains an issue on hard
acceleration while in a turn. Some rear engine cars (e.g., Porsche 911) can suffer from reduced
steering ability under heavy acceleration, since the engine is outside the wheelbase and at the
opposite end of the car from the wheels doing the steering. A rear-wheel-drive car's centre of
gravity is shifted rearward when heavily loaded with passengers or cargo, which may cause
unpredictable handling behavior.[4]