February 22, 2005

General Motors abandons Quadrasteer

Detroit, Michigan – General Motors is dropping the four-wheel steering system, currently available on its full-sized pickups and SUVs, at the end of the 2005 model year.

The system, which turns the rear wheels up to 12 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels, shortens the turning radius and makes it easier to back up when a trailer is hitched to the vehicle. It enables a full-size, heavy-duty Silverado or Sierra to turn a corner in a tight 11 metres (by comparison, Nissan Titan requires 13.7 metres, Toyota Tundra 13.4). But GM sold just 16,500 Quadrasteer-equipped trucks since the system became available in 2002.

Four-wheel steering has never caught on with the public; Honda offered it on the Prelude coupe from 1988 to 1994, while Mazda made a similar system available on the 1990 626. None of them sold well and were discontinued.

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