Illustration for article titled How About A Straight-Eight-Powered Ford Tempo? T-Drive!

You know what's wrong with most engines? The transmission is forced to take the power from the end of the crankshaft. But, hey, what if you were to take the power out of the middle of the crank? Transverse-mounted I8!


This was the theory behind Ford's "T-Drive" setup of the early 1990s: you put the engine on top of the transmission, which enables you to mount inline-six or even inline-eight engines transversely in a relatively narrow engine compartment. Sure, you have some challenges with stuff like oil seals and this rig gets pretty tall, but you can apply the concept to V engines, inline engines, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, whatever you've got! This great concept- expressed most fully in the form of the I8 Super Tempo- first came to our attention thanks to the long-suffering Ford Tempo Fanatic, who still hasn't convinced me that the Tempo is DOTS-worthy, and then T.W. Hansen found us some more info on the topic. Sadly, the T-Drive never made it to production; reliability and vibration doomed it to prototype-only status.

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