Get to Know the Bus Body Styles & Engine Location

Body Styles and Placements for the Engine

There are two major body styles – “flat-nose” or “dog-nose.” There are also two placements for the engine – “rear engine (RE)” or “front engine (FR).”  A dog-nose bus must have the engine up in the front part (under the “dog-nose”). The advantage of this style is that the engine is easy to access since the dog-nose cover just flips up. The downside is the noise – any bus with an engine up in front is pretty noisy when it’s running. A flat-nose can have either a front or rear engine. RE buses are much less noisy while you’re driving since the engine is far away in the back. However, a rear engine takes up some space in the back.

Front-Engine Vehicles

Front-Engine VehiclesThe engine is placed in front of the vehicle, ahead of the driver and the front axle line. Positioning the engine ahead of the driver makes the bus spacious. Also, most front-engine buses feature large cabins to accommodate passengers comfortably. The engine is not directly adjacent to the cabin helping to reduce interior noise levels. Most FE vehicles feature easy access to the motor for maintenance and repair.

Placing the engine up front also has some limitations. It can reduce the bus braking capabilities due to the weight transfer. There can also be a reduction in accelerative ability due to no static weight. The front-engine layout is the most common even with a few disadvantages.

Rear-Engine VehiclesRear-Engine Vehicles

In RE buses, the rear of the bus has the engine. Basically, the engine is located in the trunk. Also, rear-engine vehicles tend to prove exceptional braking ability due to a big amount of weight from the engine remaining over the rear tires during braking. Therefore, all four tires are involved during braking instead of just the front tires. Acceleration is enhanced as well, as the engine weight and the rearward transfer of weight unite to put maximum downward force on the rear tires causing accelerative traction thanks to a rear tire contact patch.

RE drawbacks include less passenger room in the rear of the cabin.

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