Four-wheel steering on cars isn’t a new thing. Various makes and models have been implementing the technology for decades, improving a car’s handling and stability. The technology adds cost and complexity, but a new Garage 54 YouTube video presents a cheaper, do-it-yourself solution. The crew added four steering wheels to a mid-90s Lada Samara, one to control each of the wheels.
The project car previously had two steering wheels, one controlling the front axle and the other turning the rear. But the additional modifications add two more steering wheels in the Lada’s backseats, requiring four people to operate the car. Each steering wheel controls a modified steering rack located under the vehicle.
The first outing didn’t go well once the car was at the track. The steering racks are flipped, meaning two drivers had to turn in the opposite direction of the others, which took a few minutes to figure out. Once everyone was on the same page, the four drivers began attempting to figure out how to control the vehicle.
The drivers turned in all sorts of directions to learn what was and wasn’t possible, and following directions wasn’t always easy either. The car struggled on a few occasions, and the out-of-control driving did result in the hatch hitting a tyre stack and careening off into the weeds more than once. But the low-speed fun kept everyone safe from injury.
The Lada also completed the slalom twice, once with the front wheels steering and another with the rears. The four-wheel steering allowed for tight turns, too, even though the drivers had difficulty controlling them. While four-wheel steering often improves handling, the quick construction of the Lada’s system led to poor wheel alignment, which dinged its sports car-like stability.
Four-wheel steering might seem like a thing for high-performance sports cars, but large luxury vehicles and crossovers use it, too. The tech helps make the large vehicles feel smaller to control from behind the wheel while making it easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces, like a car park or crowded city streets.