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      01-19-2013, 02:08 PM   #132
Private First Class

Drives: Z4 ///M Roadster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: London, UK

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Originally Posted by tmurphy2 View Post
Is it really that much cheaper to make it a FWD?
Originally Posted by bradleyland View Post
Yes, absolutely.

Steel isn't cheap, and components like drive shafts and drive axles use a lot of it. There are also a lot of packaging constraints that FWD solves, making the car less expensive. You can use less metal in the construction of the chassis when building a FWD car. Straight lines are shorter than curved lines when measured along the contour, so the "hump" required to accommodate the drive shaft actually has a measurable impact on the amount of steel used. You can also make a FWD more compact (dimensionally) because the rear axle and suspension doesn't need to accommodate a differential. Also, the engine is oriented transversely, which allows you to make the car shorter.

FWD is also cheaper in this context I suspect because it will leverage the parts bin of a volume selling sister car built on the same platform.

Agree that FWD is popular mainly because it gives you more flexibility when designing an interior and facilitating a more spacious and flexible layout. But in the context of a 2 seater sports car that latter benefit is completely irrelevant - a spacious, flexible interior is NOT one of a sports car designer's priorities!!

So this is going to be a boulevard cruiser for ladies with unusually high levels of space for shopping and handbags that won't handle like a proper sports car, whatever this guy says!

It's a little bit embarassing that Mazda can stick to the right formula but BMW can't ....