Rare Rides: The 2003 GMC Yukon 2500 XL, a Quadrasteer Experience

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 2003 gmc yukon 2500 xl a quadrasteer experience

Today’s Rare Ride coverage was prompted when your author saw an unusual pickup truck on the roads of Cincinnati. The truck in question was a black Sierra Denali from the early 2000s, with a telltale feature on its rear fenders: little lights on either side. Let’s talk Quadrasteer.

Quadrasteer was developed at Delphi Automotive Systems in the late Nineties. An Irish company, Delphi was founded in 1994 as Automotive Components Group but changed its name to Delphi shortly thereafter. A provider of vehicular electrics, modules, and other components, General Motors contracted with Delphi to create a new four-wheel steering system for its full-size trucks.

While other manufacturers had used four-wheel steering in production vehicles in past, most of those systems were implemented on coupes or sedans to assist with high-speed handling. The old Honda Prelude 4WS comes to mind, and Infiniti used Nissan’s HICAS four-wheel steering system on the original Q45.

With Quadrasteer, GM wanted to enable tighter turns on its trucks – a feature intended to appeal to owners who towed large things. At low speeds, trucks with Quadrasteer could turn their rear wheels up to 15 degrees in the opposite direction of the front ones. With the truck in towing mode, that figure was reduced to 12 degrees. Quadrasteer was effective and reduced the turning radius on trucks up to 21 percent. The system worked at higher speeds as well and turned the rear wheels to a lesser degree than at low speeds, in the same direction as the front. Trucks equipped with Quadrasteer were obvious upon visual inspection given wider rear fenders that were legally required to have their own marker lights. The rear axle on Quadrasteer was based on the Dana 60.

GM limited the availability of Quadrasteer to its 2500 models, and the system debuted in 2002. At that point, the very popular GMT 800 trucks were in their second model year. Quadrasteer was offered on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500s, as well as their counterpart Suburban and Yukon XLs. Quadrasteer was not limited to Denali trim, but on the Sierra, that’s where it was most often optioned.

That choice made sense when one considered Quadrasteer pricing; it wasn’t cheap. Initially, the system asked $7,000, but almost immediately GM realized it aimed a bit too high. Pricing was cut to $5,600, then $2,000, and finally just $1,000 at the end of Quadrasteer’s life before it was dropped. It was offered through the end of the GMT 800 generation in 2005. Probably for the best, as at the same time Delphi disclosed some interesting accounting practices it used, which led to an almost immediate Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But that’s some Abandoned History for another day.

Today’s Rare Ride is a Yukon XL 2500 in SLT trim, with Quadrasteer. In decent condition (with rebuilt title!) it sold earlier this year for $9,500.

[Images: YouTube]

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2 of 22 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Oct 06, 2021

    Ronnie, you can drop the apostrophe after Curtiss in the headline. Artifact from an edit? I do stuff like that, too.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Oct 08, 2021

    QS was awesome - friend's truck had it and it was amazing. This only failed because of the way it was priced and packaged. BTW, all QS trucks also have the cab roof lights as well...

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.