Automotive diagrams 02C En

F4 layout

In automotive design, an F4, or Front-engine, Four-wheel drive layout places the internal combustion engine at the front of the vehicle and drives all four roadwheels. This layout is typically chosen for better control on many surfaces, and is an important part of rally racing as well as off-road driving.

Most four-wheel drive layouts are front-engined and are derivatives of earlier front-engined, two-wheel drive designs.

Probably the best known user of this layout is Audi with its quattro four wheel drive system, which first appeared in the 1980 Audi Quattro road car. This layout had been tried before in the early 1900s and later with the Ferguson P99 F1 Racing car in the 1960s and in the Jensen Motors built Jensen Intercepter| which used Fergusons Four-wheel drive system.

This layout is also the drive train of choice for off-road pickup trucks and SUVs. It allows these vehicles to get the most traction without sacrificing precious cargo or passenger room. The center differential is often not present in these vehicles, meaning the 4WD system does not allow any difference in front and rear axle speeds. For normal road driving, these vehicles are shifted into 2WD mode, preventing damage to the transfer case; though full-time systems cannot go to 2WD mode. Modern SUV and premium/executive car systems using electronic clutches to engage / disengage the system on the move as required, often with a limited slip differential system to avoid transmission wind up.

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