1. What is rear-wheel steering & its advantages?
Rear-wheel steering (a.k.a four-wheel steering) is employed by certain vehicles to improve the steering response, particularly when maneuvering at high speed.
About three decades ago, the rear-wheel steering was not popular on the market. It was considered futuristic. And the industry, at the time, was not yet ready to take it on. But Japanese sports cars did not think so. With open arms, they welcomed the four-wheel steering in the early 90s. However, shortly after, it faded.
Years later, the narrative has changed. The once rejected four-wheel steering has become a popular demand, with a surge for the system from different quarters especially in the luxury brand category.
There is a reason for the sudden craze about the four-wheel steering. There have been great improvements in the computer programs used on them. These software are now advanced to a level where they can easily manage the rear-wheel angles in various circumstances. What this means is that, steering response can now be fine-tuned without the technical troubles experienced in previous versions.
In a society were silicon nannies are increasingly managing trucks and cars, it makes a lot of sense that the rear-wheel steering is used to enhance the driving experience.
2. List of cars with a rear-wheel steering
2.1. Sports cars
Sports cars create room to accommodate the rear-wheel steering. There are rear-steer models offered by Ferrari. Top on the list is the GTC4Lusso also referred to as the ‘family’ four-seat hatchback, and second on the list is the 812 Superfast that uses a complete electric power steering. The automaker makes use of the four-wheel steering for steadying its cars especially when making high speed course corrections, and for improving maneuverability on lower speed counter-steering.
Rear-wheel steering is great on sports cars due to the quick swift turns they make
A strong contender in sports cars, Lamborghini, also offers consumers the four-wheel steering system on its closed and open models of the Aventador. Similar to the Ferrari, the Aventador has the capacity to detect up to 3 degrees at lower speeds. This occurs in a counter-steer position. There is a 1.5-degree restriction on in-phase high-speed motion.
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2.2. The Sedans
A four-wheel steering makes parking easier. You are able to find your way through tight corners easily. Perhaps this is the reason sedans patronize this technology quite often. You are sure to find a Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) in the Acura RLX and TLX. The P-AWS turns the rear wheels, aligning them with the front, and also actuates the right and left axes individually. The entire all-wheel steering system of Audi is in the A8, A7 and A6. In its flagship vehicle, you get a whopping 5-degree out back movement. On BMW, you get the four-wheel steering on the 7 series and 5 series.
It helps the sedan with better parking
Just like its coupes, the GS sedan F Sport versions and the Full-sized LS 500 offer the four-wheel steering. Also offering something in this category are the Porsche (with the Panamera) and Cadillac (with the CT6).
2.3. The SUVs
SUVs with the four-wheel steering are not many. The few we can count include: the Porsche Cayenne, Q7 from Audi, surprise and Lamborghini Urus platform-mate. BMW X5 also offers the four-wheel steering technology.
The number of SUVs with a four-wheel steering is bound to increase as installing the system is becoming less expensive.
The big SUV gets a firmer balance with the rear-wheel steering
With advancement in technology, a lot of work is done to ensure maximum safety of car users. Part of this is to create a seamless driving experience. Humans do not have to do all the work while driving. Technology can do some of the work, especially aspects that can be automated. A rear-wheel steering does not leave all the work to the front tires. It creates a balance on all the wheels, allowing for more accurate maneuvering. There is a sharper and smaller rotation angle in comparison to the front-wheel steering. The tighter cornering abilities offered by the four-wheel steering help drivers to have a firm grip of the car movement on the road.