A somewhat related discussion on a VW blog:
A bit of history: I am 72 and I remember many years ago when (primarily Japanese) cars started going FWD and having transverse engine packaging.
One of the advantages was economy of assembly and a resulting negative was difficulty in repair as the engine bay became jammed with engine, transmission, everything all in a smaller space. Prior to that most straight fours had huge amounts of space around the engine itself and the tranny was well back almost under the front of the cabin Ė easy to work on.
As is pointed out in the link I provided, there are torsion forces generated as the engine accelerates and decelerates. When the engine and tranny are longitudinally oriented (front to rear) as the engine torques, it shakes (for lack of a better word) from left to right, sort of. The force of this torsion-ing is spread out over the width of the front sub frame Ė limited to perhaps 60Ē to 75Ē. When the engine/tranny are transversely mounted (side to side) the same torsion forces are spread out over the entire front to rear length of the car. With all that steel to absorb the torsion/torqueing/twisting power, so less is felt in the driverís seat.
I recall my brother had a 1967 GTO stick shift. When in neutral and gunning the engine the entire car would lift an inch or two on one side, then settle and repeat as he played with the throttle. The torsion forces were that powerful. With a lot of today's cars with transverse engines, even the powerful ones, blipping the gas at idle does not make the car move like that because the forces are being absorbed and dissipated over the longer front to rear dimension. Anyway, that is my two cents. That's my stroy and I'm sticking to it