1986 - Volume #10, Issue #2, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Get Ready For 4 Wheel SteeringYour next new car just might be equipped with 4-wheel steering. It's coming soon, according to a report in Popular Science (Feb. 1986). Nissan already offers 4-wheel steering in its flagship Skyline sedan in Japan. Mazda promises to offer the system in a production car in two years. And Honda, Mitsubishi and Mercedes-Benz are all working on 4-wheel-steering systems that radically improve handling and stability. For faster, more controlled turns and lane changes at high speeds, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels. For tighter turns and low-speed ability, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction of the front.
The idea certainly isn't new, Popular Science points out. "A Frenchman built a steam-powered four-wheel-steered prototype in 1876. Other efforts were made in 1915, and in the '20s and '30s. Michel Thompson built an Indy car with four-wheel steering in 1967. Later, Thompson converted an Oldsmobile Torondo to four-wheel steering."
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