Can You Make A Front Wheel Drive Sports Car?

Question mark on road by milos milosevic on FlickrJust about every major sports car ever built is rear wheel drive. There’s good reason for this. By putting the drive behind the bulk of the car, it’s possible to leverage the power of the engine and get off the line much faster. Not only that, but rear wheel drive cars tend to oversteer instead of understeer, can hit 60mph a lot faster, and maintain higher speeds without handling issues.

But is it possible to create a front wheel drive sports car – a car that is truly powerful but has the stability and smooth handling of a front wheel drive car? While most car enthusiasts would ask why that’s even on the table, it has been tried before. Why then doesn’t it work?

Looking at Front Wheel Drive Cars

Take a look at even the best and fastest front wheel drive cars produced over the years. They are relatively compact and light, they often have fairly small engines, and they are designed to be affordable. The goal when crafting a car like this is to appeal to a large, budget-conscious audience. That and a front wheel drive car needs to be constructed in a certain way to ensure a smooth ride.

So even the sportiest front wheel drive cars end up being vehicles like this:

These are cars with upwards of 200 horsepower. The GTI, for example, can hit 60 miles per hour in under 6.5 seconds – not too bad for a front-wheel drive car that costs less than $25,000. But it’s still no true sports car – it’s very sporty and probably a heck of a lot of fun to drive, but it won’t turn heads like a Corvette C7.

High Performance Front Wheel Drive

Ignoring the technical aspects, it seems that it doesn’t make good economical sense to put a 400+ horsepower engine in a front wheel drive car. The size, shape, and speed would make engineering a near nightmare. The audience for that kind of car is much different from that of a Corvette or even a Mustang, and the experience is much different.

But if you are looking for a front wheel drive, either to keep costs down or to ensure it is easy to drive for whoever will be behind the wheel, there are quite a few options out there are that are smooth, comfortable and fast enough for most people on the open road. On the plus side, most of the cars on this list get better gas mileage than your classic sports car as well, so at least you’re saving money.


  1. Front wheeled cars are excellent winter condition driving cars hands down..
    My girlfriend has a Hundai Sonata and it’s extremely quick and sporty, it’s not a 140 mph + car but who really needs to go that fast that can do it safely, only a handful of race car drivers and even they have accidents, just how we lost Paul Walker.

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