You already know that the front wheels of your car, truck, or SUV turn when you want to go around a corner. But did you realize that there’s a small group of vehicles with rear wheels that also help steer? Four-wheel steering (sometimes known as rear-wheel steering) moves a car’s rear tires a couple of degrees to help handling. At low speeds, the rear wheels generally steer in the opposite direction to the fronts. That helps maneuverability and makes the car easier to park in small spaces. At higher speeds, the rear wheels can either stay pointing straight or turn the same direction as the front wheels; the latter motion can help improve stability. The diagrams below show how it works on the new Audi A8.
Four-wheel steering is not a new concept – it’s been offered on dozens of vehicles over the past few decades, as diverse as the GMC Sierra (where it was called Quadrasteer) and the Nissan 240SX. Today, however, the number of cars with four-wheel steering is relatively small. Click through to see which of today’s U.S.-market vehicles offer the technology.