Technical article: Rear-axle Steering

Technical article: Rear-axle Steering

Offering a trifecta of manoeuvrability, driving safety and maximum driving performance.

A dynamic wheelbase with rear-axle steering

The relentless pursuit of Porsche engineers in further developing the Weissach axle from the 911 has evolved to another revolutionary technology to improve the agility and driving performance as well as day to day usability – the rear-axle steering.

Making its debut in the 918 Spyder, the rear-wheel steering technology was then rolled out in other rear-engine model lines like the 991 GT3 and Turbo, due to lack of weight over the front wheels causing a tendency to understeer. 

The technology then made its way to the Panamera, and subsequently the latest generation of the Cayenne for the first time, giving the larger model lines more agility on bends and stability when changing lane speeds. 

Bringing up the rear

Porsche’s rear-axle steering consists of two electromechanical actuators, placed on the left and right of the axle instead of the conventional toe control arms. These actuators collect road speed and steering angle data, and communicate the information to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which then sends a signal back to the electric motors to make necessary adjustments to the rear axle.

For example, the rear axle of the Cayenne steers (up to +/- 3 degrees) in the opposite direction of the front axles at low speeds (80 km/h and below), effectively shortening the wheelbase. This feature not only ensures significantly higher agility and steering precision, but also makes manoeuvring easier, especially in tight spaces like parking lots.

At higher speeds (80 km/h and above), the two axles steer in the same direction, effectively lengthening the wheelbase. With this, the Cayenne gains greater performance and driving stability, for example, when changing lanes on the highway at high speeds.

The use of rear-axle steering not only means greater comfort and driving safety, but also increases the driving dynamics in particular. Thanks to this system, the Cayenne steers without delay and builds up lateral acceleration at the rear axle significantly sooner.   

This fascinating and complex system operates invisibly, granting Porsche drivers with a more precise, controllable and safe sportscar in both urban environments and track settings. The latter becomes a more thrilling experience with the added stability giving drivers the opportunity to enjoy greater manoeuvrability through fast corners and maximum driving performance on the straights.    

Thanks to the four wheel steering technology, the steering precision and everyday handling of the Cayenne is like no other in its vehicle segment, with its reduced turning circle and improved stability. Whether going on a road-trip out of town or simply to the grocers, the Cayenne delivers an exceptional driving experience, ensuring you reach your destination safely, comfortably and efficiently.

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