Random # 167: Mazda MX6 AWS
All-wheel steering never really caught on in Australia. Other than the all-wheel drive Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, the Peugeot 306 GTi and possibly a late model Honda Prelude, this Mazda MX6 is one of the few cars to have featured the innovation in this country.
Being fairly uncommon, there aren't too many people that can comment on the system's performance. However, UMPH has spoken to the owner of an MX6 not dissimilar to the one featured here; he was a big fan, stating that it really enhanced the car's cornering abilities.
There doesn't seem to be any explanation as to why manufacturers stopped fitting AWS to their cars, although there are reports that maintenance and undue wear was an issue. It may also be that the advent of all-wheel drive - especially from the likes of Subaru and Mitsubishi - provided greater benefits and fewer problems than the addition of steerable rear wheels.
The Mazda 626-based car shown here - photographed in North Hobart - was in really good nick, with straight body work and a very tidy interior. The paint was particularly noteworthy; unlike most red cars of its era, its duco was actually still its original colour and not the usual faded pink travesty of the original hue.
It also appeared to be totally original and stock-standard, with no ostensible signs of modification. It even had its original wheel centre caps emblazoned with an AWS motif.
U M P H
All iPhone images.