GMC's Hummer EV is inspiring America's favorite off-roader.
The world wasn't ready when General Motors introduced its "Quadrasteer" four-wheel steering system in the early 2000s. Offered on its full-size pickup trucks and 3/4-ton Chevrolet Suburban, the system used computer-controlled motors on the rear axle to turn the rear wheels independently of the front steering. It was discontinued after just a few years on the market.
Of course, nowadays, four-wheel steering is becoming positively common. It's found on everything from the Acura RLX and TLX sedans to the Porsche 911, and even the Ferrari 812 Superfast. Now, Jeep appears to be considering adding four-wheel steering to its iconic Wrangler model.
This week, JL Wrangler Forums user JDyj90 shared a couple of screen grabs from an online survey that Jeep sent out to select customers recently, gauging interest in four-wheel steering on the Jeep Wrangler JL. It asks: "Which of the following do you like most about an off-road 4-wheel steering feature?" The available responses include "allows the vehicle to make tighter turns while off-roading by using all 4 wheels to turn", "ability for both the front and rear wheels to be turned in the same direction, allowing the vehicle to move sideways in a diagonal movement", and "like both equally."
That second response is pretty clearly a direct reference to the GMC Hummer EV's "Crab Mode", which turns the front and rear wheels in the same direction so that the truck can maneuver diagonally around an off-road obstacle.
We're no experts in survey methodology, but it seems almost as though Jeep has already resolved to add four-wheel steering to the JL, and is now simply assessing whether implementing its own Crab Mode would be worth it.
For off-road fans, there was another intriguing question within the survey, too: "How useful would you find an off-road turn assist feature on your Jeep?" The system, according to the survey, would automatically engage in four-low whenever left active, braking the inside rear wheel around turns to help the Wrangler more easily navigate tight corners.
Obviously, there's quite a lot of overlap with this system and four-wheel steering. Will future Jeep Wrangler models ever offer both systems, side-by-side? We'll have to wait to find out.