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I'm building a car sim in Unity3D. I'm trying to set the properties of the car to be as realistic as possible. I can't seem to get a straight answer on Google so I thought of asking here.

What is the typical maximum steering angle of a normal passenger car ?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can calculate this based on the properties of the vehicle. Using Ackermann steering geometry you can calculate the center of the turning circle. This will take into account the length and width of the car and simulate accurately the maximum steering radius you can take.

enter image description here

The reason you're unable to find a definitive answer is because it varies from car make to car make. The maximum turning angle of the front wheels depends on the available wheel well space and the hardware involved. You can assume some maximums based on the hardware commonly involved. I would say the wheels wouldn't turn any more than 65 degrees in either direction. That's a pretty high upper bound. However, this is something you can simulate using the model you've created of your car. How far can you turn the wheels before they contact the wheel well?

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About 40 degrees. To be honest I was looking for some sort of average of typical steering angles, but I can work with this. thanks. – Jonny Feb 25 '13 at 22:09
@Jonny Modeling the actual values for the actual car you're using should make it very accurate :) If still want a average of typical steering angles, you'll probably have to ask on an automotive forum. – Byte56 Feb 25 '13 at 22:11

Car manufacturers generally list the turning circle radius, as well as the wheelbase of the car. From there following the diagram above with some simple maths you can calculate back to the approximate steering angle of the inner wheel.

atan(wheelbase / (turning circle - car width)) = angle. For the outer wheel don't subtract the width.

Picking a random car spec sheet look on page 62 of:

That quotes a wheelbase of 2468mm and a turning circle of 10.7m (giving a radius of 5350mm). atan(2468/(5350-1546)) is about 33 degrees.

A more extreme example from this taxi gives 53 degrees.

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