Lost Photos and History of Quadrasteer 3.0!
Mike Levine Posted:
08-18-08 02:30 PT
© 2008 PickupTrucks.com
even the most innovative and useful ideas can fail to gain traction
in the truck market is
steering. It debuted in 2002 but was discontinued by 2005.
by Delphi for General Motors, the system
revolutionized trailer towing and low-speed maneuverability in full-size
pickups and SUVs.
speeds, Quadrasteer allowed the rear wheels to turn slightly in the
same direction as the front wheels, which greatly improved tracking
with or without a trailer.
low speeds, the four-wheel steering system enabled the rear wheels
to crab 12 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This
let the vehicle make tighter turns, such as when cornering or getting
into a tight parking space. The turning diameter of some Quadrasteer-equipped
models was reduced 21 percent, from 49.6 feet to 37.4 feet, about the
same range as a small car.
killed Quadrasteer. The first strike against it was price. Quadrasteer
cost $5,600 when it was first offered. In 2003, the price dropped to
$4,495 and finally to $1,995 for 2004, but the damage was done. Most
truck buyers thought it was too expensive, regardless of its amazing
shortcoming was Quadrasteer's extra-wide rear track. Engineering the
rear-turning wheels required the rear axle to be 3.5-inches bigger
than the front axle. This, in turn, required rear fender flares
and marker lamps to meet federal lighting requirements for vehicles
over a certain width, giving the truck dually-like looks. It also prevented
Quadrasteer trucks from driving through most automated car washes because
the wider rear track wouldn't fit inside the mechanized rollers that
guide vehicles through the wash.
two iterations of Quadrasteer before its demise: Version 1.0 marked
the start of production in 2002, and in late 2003 Quadrasteer
a truck's stability control system by factoring in the rear steering
capability to help fight unstable conditions.
get attention, after it was discontinued, was that Delphi was very
close to completing Quadrasteer 3.0, which would have solved the extra-wide
rear track issue and helped reduce its price further.
In the pictures accompanying this story, you can see a 2005 GMC Sierra
1500 mule equipped with Quadrasteer 3.0. The rear wheels turned within
the tight dimensions of a standard cargo box's fenders. This would have
reduced manufacturing costs by eliminating the fender flares and side
safety markers and would have enabled the truck to enter automatic car
washes like other half-ton trucks.
Quadrasteer 3.0 would have debuted when GM's exclusive rights to the
system were ending, potentially increasing Delphi's market penetration
and sales volumes. Nissan was interested in the system for its full-size
Titan pickup and Armada SUV, but one of the company's key requirements
was a standard-width rear track. Like the GMC Sierra 1500 mule, a Titan
Quadrasteer tester was built, but we don't have pictures of it.
In the end, though, things didn't turn out as planned for Delphi's four-wheel