The Porsche 911 GT3 is all about performance, even under 30 mph. With 475 horsepower, 324 pound-feet of torque, and a 195 mile-per-hour top speed, a driver might need to do a quick turnaround on a small back street for reasons I shouldn’t legally mention.
Should you find yourself in that situation Porsche has you covered. The GT3’s rear-steering system is designed to move the rear wheels up to 1.5 degrees, not a whole lot of angle. Multiple automakers have incorporated rear-wheel steering into their vehicles in the past such as Honda, BMW, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, just to name a few. The technology is not all that new and exciting, but Porsche has managed to do it in a very precise and – not surprisingly – possibly superior way.
Instead of using a computer to control the rear wheels, Porsche utilizes two electromechanical actuators. This equates to less weight and less to go wrong, something Porsche needs to avoid in the GT3. Turn into a corner below 30 mph and the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the font, effectively decreasing the turning radius. At 50 mph the front and wheel wheels will turn in the same direction, providing more high-speed stability.
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the point of only being able to turn the wheels 1.5 degrees?” Good question. I found myself scratching my head, too. But the engineers at Porsche explained, when turning, the forces on the rear axle build up much faster than in the front. This means that in order to change direction more rapidly, a minute steering angle is required. Suspension experts over at Elephant Racing have managed to capture the system in action, which you can see in the video below. It’s pretty neat, but not unexpected in a car that costs at least $130,000.