The Porsche GT3 may have four-wheel steering, but so did this 1989 Honda Prelude Si

d83d2e3a32d4f89597c2539198baa0db
d83d2e3a32d4f89597c2539198baa0db

Learn how to bring any battery back to life again

See Full Image Gallery >>

The thought of four-wheel steering likely conjures images of fast European machines – Porsche 911s and Bentley Flying Spurs and such – but those who grew up on ’80s and ’90s imports will tell you that rear-steer assist wasn’t always relegated to the luxury domain. The Honda Prelude Si 4WS, such as this one for sale on Cars & Bids, was one such example.

Sure, it might be a beige (strictly speaking, it’s actually gold), front-wheel-drive Japanese coupe with an automatic transmission, but it’s a relatively pristine example of the engineering that helped Honda’s relatively simple Civic and Accord platforms thrive in the post-emissions era of 1980s transportation. Its 2.0-liter B-series engine only made about 135 horsepower, but thanks to its compact footprint and 1980s-grade steel unibody, it only had about 2,500 pounds to move around. With its high-performance tires, this gave it a serious edge in handling. The 1987 Prelude Si famously knocked off several high-profile sports cars in a Road & Track slalom test.

At the time, four-wheel (aka rear-wheel) steering was a bit of a fad. Honda and Mazda both dabbled in mass-produced, front-wheel drive cars with rear-end steering systems. The Mazda 626 Turbo, which also foreshadowed the current crop of fastback sedans, was Hiroshima’s entry into the space. Nissan’s HICAS system was offered on the 240SX/Silvia, 300ZX and various iterations of the Skyline (and its Infiniti equivalents, where applicable).

The most ambitious application of four-wheel steering was probably GM’s Quadrasteer, which was intended not as a performance enhancer but as a solution for improving the low-speed maneuvering of its full-size trucks by steering the rear end around tight corners. It was an expensive (~$2,000) and complicated solution that was ultimately discontinued in 2006, but a recent Ford patent suggests we could see the idea return. We’ve already seen the flexibility afforded by electric powertrains in this regard.

While R&T‘s conclusion that “4ws will be an accepted commonplace feature, as fuel injection, radial tires and, to a lesser extent, ABS brakes” may have the whiff of sour dairy about it, the re-emergence of the feature in high-end luxury cars and the shift toward electric motors might just prove them right yet.

You Might Also Like

Learn how to bring any battery back to life again

Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*