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Supercar extravaganza: the best mid-engined sports cars

Read Cars Logo By John Tallodi of Read Cars | Slide 1 of 20: The most exotic engine layout in the motoring world is undoubtedly the mid-engined configuration. You are most likely to find it in purpose built sportscars where the restrictions on interior space and visibility are less of a concern than they would be in your daily driver. Some designs do feature limited storage space in the front boot and behind the engine compartment but the focus is all on the performance.Placing the engine in the middle of a car lowers its centre of gravity, aiding handling balance and traction to the rear wheels, the limited rear visibility is not an issue when you are the one doing the overtaking. However, the higher cornering forces generated and central weight distribution can make a mid-engine layout behave unpredictably when pushed to its limits.Whereas a front-engined car tends to slide out more gradually, you have to be quick to catch a mid-engined car if it suddenly loses traction. Modern day electronic aids can help quell undesirable handling characteristics but a skilled driver is still required to get the best out of them.Some manufacturers major on this layout producing little else, while others enter the fray every few years with a limited edition run of an exotic thoroughbred.We take a look at some of the biggest manufacturers and their best mid-engined layouts over the years…

Supercar extravaganza: the best mid-engined sports cars

The most exotic engine layout in the motoring world is undoubtedly the mid-engined configuration. You are most likely to find it in purpose built sportscars where the restrictions on interior space and visibility are less of a concern than they would be in your daily driver.

Some designs do feature limited storage space in the front boot and behind the engine compartment but the focus is all on the performance.

Placing the engine in the middle of a car lowers its centre of gravity, aiding handling balance and traction to the rear wheels, the limited rear visibility is not an issue when you are the one doing the overtaking.

However, the higher cornering forces generated and central weight distribution can make a mid-engine layout behave unpredictably when pushed to its limits.

Whereas a front-engined car tends to slide out more gradually, you have to be quick to catch a mid-engined car if it suddenly loses traction. Modern day electronic aids can help quell undesirable handling characteristics but a skilled driver is still required to get the best out of them.

Some manufacturers major on this layout producing little else, while others enter the fray every few years with a limited edition run of an exotic thoroughbred.

We take a look at some of the biggest manufacturers and their best mid-engined layouts over the years…

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