Monday, February 2, 2015

2k: 4 Wheel Steer: 1988 Honda Prelude 2.0 Si 4WS

In 1987 Road and Track tested Honda's new Prelude 2.0Si and found that it outperformed every other car (included Ferrari 328, Porsche 911, C4 Corvette) that year on the 700-ft slalom with a speed of 65.5 mph.  How could a front-wheel-drive Japanese sports coupe out slalom all of the the wide/sticky tire equipped competition? Simply put, it cheated.  The 2.0Si introduced the world's first active four wheel steering system (called 4WS) for any mass produced car -- and turned the little prelude into a cone killing machine by swinging the rear wheels around like a forklift.  Find this 1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS here on eBay currently for $1,200 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go, located in Lakeport, CA. Tip from Brian.

 The third generation Prelude is a familiar sight on the road in the western states, usually driven to the ground by second or third owners, but it is fairly invisible.  The styling can best be described as 80s Japanese Coupe, but it isn't objectionable.


Power comes from a B20A5, a 2.0 liter DOHC fuel injected engine that put out 135 horsepower into the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox.  The B-series engines are known for durability, longevity, and tuneability -- but it is great to see a one that looks stock and unmolested.


The interior looks about like you'd expect for a car with 185,000 miles on the clock, but it could use some reconditioning. The steering wheel is connected to the 4WS such that under small steering input the wheels move with the fronts, but with more steering they reverse and help the car turn in a tight radius.  Drivers report an odd feeling like the rear end is slipping, but the system sounds like it would add a lot of excitement to an 80s Honda.


See another four-wheel-steered 80s classic? tips@dailyturismo.com


13 comments:

  1. Interesting choice, after posting the Kia/Lotus Elan. Got a question for DTers; has anybody actually seen, sat in or driven a Motegi? I never have and wondered what it might be like in the flesh.

    [img]http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6131/5981259110_09ea862fb6_z.jpg[/img]

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  2. Once again, I forgot to answer the question. Among several options, here's my (one year only) pick. The MX-6 too, of course, but at least they offered AWS on that model longer.

    [img]https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/120/302310944_214842eb31.jpg[/img]

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  3. It's a neat technology that seems to have stuck around and pops up every now and then. Obviously not that great of an option, though. People don't/didn't seem to want to pay for it or value it that much. Thanks for the reminder, DT!

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  4. I have driven one of these and yes it is awesome. When you go around a tight city turn the car bends around it instead of swinging the ass around like an after thought. Pretty neat.

    I sold a 71 Challenger to a guy in LA that collects these, 2 stoke street bikes, and has a coach built convertible Testarossa. Eclectic mix for sure.

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  5. I remember when these 4WS systems came out. I was coaching at a road racing school run by the local motorsports club. At racing speeds, these 4WS systems turn the back end slightly in the same direction as the fronts, preventing the tail of the car from stepping out. It became very difficult to teach the rookies the correct turn in points, because the 4WS masked their mistakes if they turned in too late or too brutally. It was not possible for them to get that "seat of the pants" feedback that helps you reduce your lap times. I filed this away as "Why Tech".

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    1. You nailed it, Bobinott, I think. The best usage of this technology is on the C3, in my opinion. It makes perfect sense on a full-size truck. Especially when soccer mom is parking it in the Walmart parking lot.

      [img]http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2010/09/07/18/04/2004_gmc_sierra_3500_4_dr_sle_crew_cab_lb_drw-pic-2047252285310757385.jpeg[/img]

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  6. “The fan switch is stuck on high, cruise control not coming on, the sunroof doesn't open. Other than that, this car is ready to rock! Title in hand, passed California smog certificate.”
    Sounds a lot like a song by C.W. Mccall…
    "Her shaft is bent and her rear end leaks, you can fix her quick with an oily rag. Use a nail as a starter; I lost the key. Don't pay no mind to that whirrin' sound. She use a little oil, but outside a' that, she's cherry."

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  7. My only experience with one of these was watching one try to make a banzai pass on me, to dive onto a freeway onramp, lose it and spin onto the gore point.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I remember seeing the '4WS' badge on the pillar as it spun around in front of me and thinking 'Well, THAT didn't help...'

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    1. Oh yeah, Karma is a B*tch (or in that case, "Car-ma").

      In a similar vein, I take twisted pleasure in driving past AWD vehicles (usually on all-season tires) in snow storms, in my humble FWD compact with four good snow tires and no electronic aids.

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    2. While not on all seasons, but toyo observe garritt g2's. I just got back from picking up my wife from work. Nova Scotia is getting hammered. 20cm earlier freezing rain now. The roads are bad. But I had no issues at all in the little pig (g5) drove around a few 4×4 trucks and Forrester's.

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gaTU4qY4nU

    Chebby

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