Over the long life of the automobile, technologies have come and gone. While nobody is using in-dash record players or Liquid Tire Chain, other advancements, like steering with all four wheels, evolved and improved with the times. Depending on the application, it’s a technology that some enthusiasts specifically seek out, while others avoid it or take pains to disable such systems. Once purely practical, four-wheel steering is a largely now a performance feature to improve handling on sports cars. Let’s dig into how it works, how it came to be, and why it’s made a comeback in recent years.
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It's true, GM marketed Quadrasteer poorly. I remember seeing the exact commercial above back then, and thinking that it really just looked like a gimmick, and an expensive one at that. And also, if you needed a Quadrasteer's tighter turn radius to get that horse trailer into the narrow alleyway, how would another truck ever be able to get it back *out* again? The way they pitched it just kind of landed with a clang. I had completely forgotten about the Quadrasteer until today.
I also have a 1990 300ZX TwinTurbo with HICAS.
Same as you, have never had any problems with it. I still anticipate some future problems (as I've heard rumored) but with only 20,000 miles on it, could be a long while. Till then I will enjoy the way this car handles. I absolutely love to drive this car. Pure bliss on the country roads in this neck of the woods.
"The cutoff was 240 degrees, at which point the rear wheels would counter steer." 240 degree of what from what? That explanation within the article makes no sense to me.
Does anyone proof read these articles before putting them out there for others to read? Enough typos in this article. Maybe the proof reader is on lock down at home because of the Corona and unable to do their job.
I seem to recall Quadrasteer was part of a package when it was first offered. That’s why it was so expensive and had few takers. Once they started to offer it as a standalone, interest had waned. They also had a new version ready that was no wider than the standard axle. In true GM fashion, they killed it once they got it right.
Interesting article. For the record, the idea for 4-wheel steering has been around since at least the mid-1870s and was far from being limited to farm equipment. The feature was patented on a wagon shown at the Centennial Exposition (1st World's Fair) in 1876 and was used on a number of small carriages/buggies as well. More info can be found on the 'Wheels That Won The West' website and blog...
My problem with 4 wheel steering comes from my experience with driving forklifts (which steer from the rear). Since the day we started driving, our brain has been programmed with how a car moves when steered from the front. Sure, you can learn how to adjust to a car that doesn't move the way you think it should move, but I prefer to using my collective driving experience to maneuver a car the way a car should maneuver and not start from scratch. This being said, I never have driven a 4-wheel steered vehicle.
This might be an example of "compliance steering", but anyone who has taken an MGB at speed through a fast corner will notice a "hand of an angel" making the turn tighter and more stable. I believe this was due to a subtle angling of the "ancient oxcart leaf springs" but whatever it is, it is marvelous.