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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People sure seem to be obsessed with gadgets, especially electronic. I suppose this is nice if you don't have to fix it yourself because you know it is going to break. You have people to do that" and can afford to pay for it. And why one wants this for their street car, I don't know unless it's bragging the rights of, "See what I have." You can't use it to it's fullest potential but you have it. But If one likes and wants this technology that's fine, it's their business and their money. Me, I'll stay old school when it comes to steering. I don't even trust electric power assist.
What I am seeing is that once your vehicle is expensive enough, the cost of complicated systems that add minor benefits will be accepted by the wealthy enthusiast owners of these vehicles. The Honda Prelude and GM Quadrasteer trucks demonstrate that the benefits are not great enough for more practical buyers.
I have driven the GMC 2500 crew cab Quadrasteer for 240,000 miles (300,000on odometer) with no issues on the steering components (knock on wood!). Driving a large truck with such a turning radius of 37’ vs 51’ on a std 2500, makes it safer, more stable trailering and easier, a win-win all around. Just wish GM had marketed this option better. I’m a ready buyer and just waiting for someone to come up with a new version. Must have if you have ever driven one.
Once you have driven the GMC Quadrasteer, you will understand. It’s built over a Dana 60 axle and has had little issues besides submerging the electronics in water during ramp launching boats. A much safer drive at high speed during collision avoidance vs a std crew cab 2500, I can attest to that on a few occasions. Towing is night and day.
The high mileage resale value also attests to the reliably. Sadly GM did not market it well, as well, the vehicle base has rocker panel rust issues. I’d offer you to test drive one and ask a current Quadrasteer owner it’s value.
I did briefly drive a Prelude from that era. I was thinking about buying one and had a loaner. The main reason I went with the comparable Nissan was that the Prelude was significantly more expensive, perhaps in part due to the 4 wheel steering, the Prelude and a rather crude variable steering assist that you could feel adjusting that was very distracting, and the four wheel steering, which created some odd feedback into the steering wheel. In the end, I found these 'developments' at least in their then stage of development, detrimental rather than positive. The salesman assured me I would get used to it. But why?