Could ZF’S AKC Bring Back the Mitsubishi 3000GT?
Rear-wheel steering is making an unexpected comeback thanks to ZF’s Active Kinematics Control (AKC), a technology that exponentially improves vehicle handling in the Porsche 911 GT3, Turbo, Turbo S, and 918 Spyder. More cost-effective production methods could very well lead to the return of a number of once-promising nameplates, including the Mitsubishi 3000GT.
While rear-wheel steering has always been great, it’s never been what could be deemed inexpensive, which is a large reason for its disappearance in the last several years. ZF says that AKC runs on a modular platform that cuts down on the once-problematic cost and opens the door for other automakers to explore bringing rear-wheel steering to their lineups.
“We will use common belts, pulleys, linear sensors and so on. We have a position sensor in the electric motor,” Mark Rotary, engineering manager of ZF’s Chassis Technology Division, tells Wards Auto. “There are a lot of common pieces that gives us the ability to build on two lines, and we get economies of scale.”
According to Wards, ZF says that three more customers are planning to use AKC in 2015, with a fourth slated to use the technology in 2016.
While no names were named, it seems like this would be a good time for Mitsubishi—a brand in search of a game-changer—to consider investing in AKC and bringing back the 3000GT. Mitsubishi needs a model to set itself apart from other automakers, and being one of the first automakers to offer an affordable sports car with rear-wheel steering to the masses might be a great place to start.