In Defense of the FWD CoupeS

Ok, so I perfectly understand where fellow Opponaut Milky is coming from. Many of the FWD coupes that have been passed off as consumer products are legitimately terribad. The Altima coupe he has as his opening pic is a pretty good example - Nissan still played with the structure a bit to get a car a good deal smaller than the sedan but at the end of the day it's still bloated, still too large. The so-called Monte Carlo was an even worse offender, especially in its very last iteration - not necessarily any smaller than the Impala, the exact same engine options (granted, even if those engine options included a V8 and a 300-HP V6) and perhaps maybe some lightly tweaked suspension. But I still very strongly feel that there is a place for the FWD coupe. They are a thing of beauty.

The above image taken directly from Barret-Jackson! Yeah, you can buy a Barrett-Jackson Rabbit!

FWD Coupes can be small


In Defense of the FWD CoupeS

< Hey, remember that thing?

The success of the Mini was, of course, based largely on its size. Size that was possible thanks to its transverse FWD arrangement.

There are actually many performance advantages to a FWD setup: because the drive wheels have a more direct connection to the engine, it's lighter and smaller as you can forgo a long drive shaft and transaxles are actually pretty compact.

The closest modern equivalent would probably be (no, not the Mini Cooper unfortunately but) the Fiesta ST coupe which manages to shave a few pounds off the four-door's weight. Unfortunately it will be a European-market only car as Ford doesn't see enough of a market here to bring it over.

FWD cars can be cheaper


In Defense of the FWD CoupeS

The Scion tC can be had for as low as under $17,000 depending on how it's optioned, which significantly undercuts the FR-S/BR-Z, the Genesis 2.oT, the Mustang/Camaro V6, Miata, etc. Hell, it even undercuts the Fiesta ST, though with nowhere near the performance. That said, it's still a very affordable "sporty" option.

There's still a place for low-cost coupes - kind of, sort of

This is more grounded in personal belief than market forces, but a very cheap FWD coupe makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. The above tC may be lacking in performance or amenities but for your typical high school or even college student, that's half the fun. It's a car unencumbered by technology and a little cooler than a sedan, but won't punish young, inexperienced drivers with too much performance. The fact that it's so small is a nice boon for parking too (if you don't understand how this is useful for a teenage driver, you've never had to deal with high school student parking).

FWD doesn't mean sacrificing performance

I can explain this, but...why don't I let Wired.com do that for me?