GM 2002-2005 Quadrasteer , Who's Next  2007- ?

More articles below, Wards, Automotive News

It's a sad day in the towing world today. Quadrasteer introduced in the first year of the GMC Denali in 2002, has been canceled by GM. 4-wheel-steering is the best advance this reporter has ever seen in bumper tow trailer control, safety and handling as well as all that for the vehicle and parking was amazing. I had one of the original GMC Denali Quadrasteer on display at the gate of the All American Quarter Horse Congress last year. I've towed many trailers with the QS trucks and Suburban. We towed a horse trailer up Pikes Peak, towed two trailers at a time and barrel raced it.

Originally in 2002 when GM first introduced the Quadrasteer, they had it priced into the truck's standard features at $7000. Not that it wasn't worth that much, but it was a price that kept sales down. It's this price greed from GM that I blame on the down fall of Quadrasteer. In 2003 when Quadrasteer was added to more Chevy and GMC lines and the price was dropped to $4995, dealers did stock them but, the QS option was equal to a diesel option, again not inline with the market. So in 2004, after the cat is out of the bag, GM dropped the price to $1995, which is a bargain, but dealers who ordered in the 03's at the $4995 price where stung and didn't order many for 04. This lack of national inventory meant many folks had to order their Quadrasteer from the factory, many without even getting a chance to drive one first.

Four-Wheel-Steer was a project at Delphi for approximately 10 years. Handling, safety, towing, parking of the Quadrasteer where intensely tested. Steering with all 4 wheels was fully automatic, designed to automatically compensate for car washes, backing, hard cornering with a trailer and highway speed sideways lane changes. Quadrasteer can also be shut off, and a tow mode to keep you from turning into your trailer hitch.

I was so impressed with Quadrasteer that I built a website around it as with great response. Delphi even sent their engineers to our forum to answer detailed questions. (this was bold move). But GM has sold less than 20,000 Quadrasteers from 2002 to 2005. You can still buy a new 2005 Quadrasteer but ordering them will soon be over. We've added a national directory of the new Quadasteers left in the country to our website.


Folks who own Quadrasteer love them, reporters call them a cult. But it's hard to describe the difference they make with a trailer. I considered them the greatest safety option for trailering since the "weight distributing hitch". But it's still possible to see Quadrasteer on another truck brand. Nissan has expressed interest in it as Car and Driver Magazine reported last spring (2004). So if you are in the market for a towing vehicle for a bumper pull horse trailer, I highly recommend Quadrasteer. The Denali that I drove last summer was rated to tow 10,300#'s.

I hope we do see Quadrasteer back in the future. We're waiting to see what Nissan is going to do.

 Our staff debated how to break the news to our members. First you're sad, then angry, now we're looking to the future. Let GM know how disappointed we all are in their lack of marketing and understanding how happy Quadrasteer owners are driving these trucks and SUV's.  We will be offering a free classified section on our home page for Quadrasteer trucks and SUV's for sale or wanted to buy. Buy your Quadrasteer now, they will be disappearing fast when the official announcement comes from GM.

My first article on towing with Quadrasteer trucks and SUV's.

> GM to drop Quadrasteer option > By Richard Truett Automotive News / February 16, 2005 > >

 DETROIT -- General Motors is dropping the innovative steer-by-wire steering system available on its full-sized pickups and SUVs at the end of the 2005 model year. > > Quadrasteer won't be offered on GM's new generation of pickups and SUVs due in 2006 as 2007 models. > > The technology, supplied by Delphi Corp., has been offered on the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra trucks and numerous big SUVs, such as the GMC Denali and Chevrolet Suburban. > > Quadrasteer shortened the turning radius of the trucks and made it easier to back up with a trailer hitched to the vehicle. > > But GM has sold just 16,500 vehicles equipped with Quadrasteer since the system became available in 2002. GM negotiated exclusive use of the technology from Delphi. > > An industry analyst who tracks suppliers and technology says the Quadrasteer system was excellent technology that worked well. But it faced several hurdles: > > * Quadrasteer was priced too high. When it debuted in 2002, it was part of a $4,495 option package, which was too much money for one option for many buyers. > * Even when GM lowered Quadrasteer's price to $2,000, it still didn't sell because dealers failed to communicate to potential buyers the capability of the system, according to the analyst. > * Because GM wrangled an exclusive out of Delphi, the supplier was not able to market the system to other automakers. Had Delphi been able to sell Quadrasteer to more than one automaker, the component costs would have come down as Delphi realized savings from the economies of scale that come with higher production. > > With Quadrasteer, the rear wheels turned up to 12 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels, enabling a full-sized heavy duty Silverado or Sierra to turn a corner in a tight 36.5 feet, a radius that is best on the market. The Nissan Titan makes a turn in 45 feet while the Toyota Tundra can turn a circle in just over 44 feet. > > Such maneuverability makes it easier for a driver to tow a trailer or boat or park in tight spaces. It also improves high speed cornering by keeping the vehicle more stable. > > A salesman at Huffines Chevrolet in Lewisville, Texas, near Dallas, said few customers asked about Quadrasteer, that it was a hard truck to sell and that it wouldn't be missed. He said it catered to too narrow a buyer, such as those who tow trailers. > > Delphi spokeswoman Carrie Wright said the technology is not dead and other automakers have expressed interest in the system. But no contracts have been signed. > > Wright said Quadrasteer can be adapted for use on cars. "We are still very passionate about Quadrasteer," Wright said. "Part of the reason is extreme consumer enthusiasm. They're enthusiasm keeps ours high. We are pretty optimistic about long term future of it." > > GM isn't the first automaker to fail with a four-wheel steering system. > > From the 1988-94, Honda offered four-wheel steering on the Prelude coupe, but it did not sell well. And in 1990, Mazda offered a similar system on the 626. It also didn't catch on. > > Chevrolet spokesman Mike Stoller says the division did promote Quadrasteer in a variety of ways. He said a Chevrolet survey last year asked potential truck buyers if they knew about Quadrasteer. > > Stoller said, "It showed that 78 percent of full-size truck buyers or intenders knew what it was and just didn't want to buy it."
> > You may e-mail Richard Truett at [email protected]
> > <mailto:[email protected]> > > >

GM Dropping Quadrasteer

By Tom Murphy and Brian Corbett, Feb 11 2005

GM is phasing out Quadrasteer as an option on fullsize pickups and SUVs. Take rates on the 4-wheel steering system reached only 1.4% in 2004, GM data indicate.
General Motors Corp. will discontinue its Quadrasteer 4-wheel steering technology as an option on fullsize pickups and SUVs by the end of the ’05 model year, Ward’s learns, and the feature will not appear on the next-generation GMT900 fullsize vehicles, which begin production next year.

Quadrasteer, developed by Delphi Corp., was an expensive option that was extremely popular with a small number of buyers but was not profitable.

GM dropped Quadrasteer’s price to $1,995 last year.
The phaseout begins this spring with the GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Suburban three-quarter-ton SUVs, which will free up space at GM’s Arlington, TX, assembly plant as it tools up for production of GMT900 vehicles.

GM also will drop Quadrasteer from its GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado half-ton extended-cab pickups and Sierra and Silverado heavy-duty crew cab pickups. GM purchased a fixed number of axles equipped with Quadrasteer. Once they are gone, GM will sell no more vehicles with the feature.

In 2004, GM sold a mere 5,502 vehicles equipped with Quadrasteer – most of them Sierra half-ton pickups, according to Ward’s data.

Data indicates penetration rates for Quadrasteer on the Chevy and GMC vehicles were 0.9% in 2002, 2.1% in 2003 and 1.4% in 2004.

Web chat rooms make it evident Quadrasteer, which Delphi first delivered to GM in 2002, has established a cult-like following.

The technology, which provides compact car maneuverability in a fullsize pickup, is proving popular with owners because it takes the fear out of tight parking spots. It also is helpful for hauling trailers.

Within Delphi, Quadrasteer’s future appears in question, although the supplier has attempted to sell the technology to other auto makers as well.

Delphi has dispersed the engineers who worked on Quadrasteer at a facility in Saginaw, MI, which suggests future generations of the technology will not be forthcoming.

GM dealers say they have been hearing for more than a year that Quadrasteer was being discontinued, causing many to stop offering the option to buyers.

One dealer tells Ward’s that Quadrasteer will be available on a handful of vehicles only for another month as a “last hurrah.”

However, the GMC dealer says he has no plans to order more Quadrasteer-equipped vehicles, because those he had earlier were difficult to sell.

GM previously has admitted it botched the rollout of Quadrasteer with exorbitant pricing. It initially was packaged priced at about $7,000 with a host of other features.

In 2003, the price came down to $4,495, and a $2,000 rebate eventually was offered, as well. Quadrasteer remained packaged with other features.

In 2004, the option price fell further to $1,995, with no rebates. Many dealers, according to consumer chat rooms, were unaware of the price cuts and dissuaded buyers from the feature, saying it was too expensive.

At a 2003 automotive conference in Traverse City, MI, Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, took responsibility for Quadrasteer’s rollout. (See related story: GM Will ‘Repackage’ Quadrasteer)

“Quadrasteer was our problem,” he said at the time, as GM was repackaging it at a lower price. “It didn’t get the kind of penetration we expected.”

The failure of Quadrasteer marks the second time in less than three years GM has discontinued a groundbreaking technology following lackluster interest from consumers. In September 2003, GM confirmed to Ward’s it was dropping its Pro-Tec composite pickup box after only two years of production. (See related story: GM Drops Composite Pickup Box)

While Quadrasteer and Pro-Tec did not have any performance shortcomings and provided significant benefits to consumers, the technologies were high priced and difficult to market.



Click for barrel racing kind of, the circles were making me dizzy! I turn the first corner by the rules to show I could. I did the measured course in 19.98 seconds. Then I shut off Four-Wheel-Steer and slid too close to the corn field & tractor see here.

Delphi Engineer Interviews!

#1 Interview with Delphi Engineer Kevin LaVigne,  below

Those dedicated Delphi Engineers fording mud!

Straight from the engineer's mouth, Kevin LaVigne of Delphi answered some questions for me on the phone. There have been several good articles written about Quadrasteer and Delphi's website does a great job of explaining the details involved, at Click  I ask the questions I haven't seen anywhere.

#1) MT: Is Quadrasteer different from the cars that had all-wheel-steer in the early nineties?

KL: Yes, Delphi's QUADRASTEER Four-Wheel-Steering System is electronically controlled whereas the earlier four wheel steer systems were mechanically. Earlier systems also turned the rear wheels at a smaller angle. QUADRASTEER has been designed to turn at a large angle, up to 12 degrees, specifically for full size vehicles.

#2) MT: Are the CV joints in the rear Dana 60 axle with Quadrasteer, heavy duty?

KL: Yes, the quartershaft assembly has a tripot joint which allows the assembly to withstand torque levels similar to HD 2500 applications. The ring gear in the rear axle is a 9 3/4 inch.

#3) MT: Can you use overload springs on the rear axle with Quadrasteer?

KL: Overload springs or air bags have been used with QUADRASTEER. When making changes to your vehicle such as this though, you may be voiding your warranty. Be sure to check with your GM dealer.

#4) MT: Do you have to align all four wheels with Quadrasteer as you would with a front wheel drive car?

KL: A vehicle equipped with QUADRASTEER can become misaligned in the rear. There is a mechanical alignment required. The only mechanical adjustment is the toe setting. The caster-camber is non-adjustable. A quick electrical alignment is also required and must be done by a GM qualified service technician.

#2 Interview, Delphi Engineer Kevin LaVigne,  2004 models

#1) MT: What's new for 2004 models with Quadrasteer? Are there new models offering this option? Are there improvements modifications? 2500? Hummer H2? Ford, Dodge, Japan?

KL: The current 2003 Chevy and GMC model list for QUADRASTEER remains the same for 2004. QUADRASTEER (tm) is available on seven models including the GMC Sierra Denali, GMC Sierra 1/2 ton Ext Cab and HD Crew Cab, Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton Ext Cab and HD Crew Cab, GMC 3/4 ton Yukon XL and the Chevy Suburban 3/4 ton.  The big news for '04 is the price reduction and the debundling of the option. QUADRASTEER will be priced at $1995 on all '04 models. In addition, this price now includes select required equipment such as roof marker lamps, ride control suspension, limited slip differential, and the 145 amp alternator. Previously, this equipment was required but not included in the price. In addition, consumers are no longer required to get the 5.3L V8 engine or the heavy duty trailering package. This opens up the door for a basic work truck to have QUADRASTEER.

There are no system modifications on the 2004 GM models. We do have future QUADRASTEER technology developed and ready to go -- no specific applications to announce at this time though. We can integrate QUADRASTEER with controlled braking for some pretty dramatic performance improvements, especially in the area of safety. Bringing steering into the equation takes the current standard of brake based stability control systems to the next level. (This is big!) Steering intervenes earlier than brake-only stability control, regaining control of the vehicle before the driver realizes they were getting into trouble. This intervention is more transparent to the driver than braking which slows the vehicle down to regain control. Using steering  also reduces stopping distances on split coefficient surfaces such as snow and ice. And, because it is QUADRASTEER,  you still get the maneuverability and towing benefits seen today.

#2) MT: Not exactly a QS question, but it comes up often. Is the G80 rear axle on just 1/2 tons (light duty 1500) is the 4WD a AWD or is it part time if it's AWD is that why the traction control instead of limited slip differential? So is the 3/4 ton ( HD 1500) the G86 rear axle for only the part-time 4x4? It this is the difference between what gets the G80 and what gets the G86 it might be another reason to only recommend the HD1500 for gooseneck/5th wheel use.

KL: The G80 is an AAM axle while the G86 is a Dana axle. You can only get the G86 axle with QUADRASTEER on 1/2 ton trucks and 3/4 ton SUV's. Dana developed their own limited slip for the G86. You cannot get it with the AAM G80.

 #3) MT:  What research was done with Quadrasteer for pulling bed hitch trailers, (gooseneck, mini 5th wheel)? Do they have less trailer sway, more control, easier to back up?

KL:  Although not an all encompassing evaluation, our engineers did evaluate QUADRASTEER's performance with different trailer hitches, including a fifth wheel and gooseneck. QUADRASTEER  provides more stability with a gooseneck or fifth wheel, however, the increase in stability would probably be considered negligible. Having QUADRASTEER does provide them with a more stable towing vehicle. The true benefit for consumers towing with fifth wheel or gooseneck will be from QUADRASTEER's added maneuverability for backing up and city driving.  A person asking the fifth wheel question is generally associating the benefits of QUADRASTEER strictly with towing.  The other thing to consider is how often they tow. Even if they tow 20% of the time, they still have 80% of their driving time with the vehicle itself.

Maneuverability is key for every day driving--when parking at Home Depot or the shopping mall. QUADRASTEER allows these large vehicles to maneuver as easily as a compact car. This is most evident when pulling into a tight parking spot on the first try. Driving a full size truck or SUV with QUADRASTEER  will also give them added stability and control on the highway, especially during inclement weather. As a point of clarification with regards to towing, QUADRASTEER does dramatically improve stability while towing with a bumper hitch. By steering with the rear wheels of your vehicle, you are effectively steering the front of your trailer. Your trailer therefore responds much more quickly to your actions. Backing in a trailer becomes an act of swift confidence. And on the highway, QUADRASTEER virtually eliminates any trailer sway. The difference is revolutionary.

 #4) MT:  Is there a risk of turning a corner too tight and touching the cab with the trailer neck? I'm sure tow mode is better with less degree of turn from the rear axle and with the rear axle pulling the trailer farther forward in a turn, does this give you a shorter turning radius with All Wheel Steer?

KL:  With or without QUADRASTEER there is always a chance of jackknifing your truck and trailer. QUADRASTEER's tow mode is designed to help alleviate that inherent risk by reducing the degree of turn of the rear wheels. QUADRASTEER's maneuverability benefits simplify tight turns and parking so that a driver is less likely to get in the situation where jackknifing is likely.

MT:  Please expand on these questions as much as you can. I don't see much published on QS and gooseneck/5th wheel applications, partly because they aren't in the HD 2500 class, but I do get these questions and folks are buying Quadrasteer 1500 and HD 1500 to pull bed hitch type trailers. Thanks.

KL: One final noteworthy point, with QUADRASTEER consumers can have 5th wheel-type towing stability without the costly 5th wheel hookup -- PLUS, they retain the use of the bed of their truck.

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