Honda-The Power of Dreams
Honda's Next-Generation Chassis Technology Offers Enhanced Motoring Pleasure Through Improved Safety

Tokyo, July 2, 1997 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has always been committed to the pursuit of ultimate driving pleasure through improved vehicle dynamics, going hand in hand with a similarly unwavering stance toward safety..
As a further step in its development of proprietary high performance front wheel drive chassis technology, Honda is introducing today the following new technologies:

  • An all new 5-Link Double Wishbone Rear Suspension for a new level in driving stability and ride comfort.
  • A new EPS (Electric Power Steering) + VGR (Variable Gear Ratio) system redefining steering linearity and response.
  • A VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) system enhancing active safety by adding slide control to ABS/TCS (Anti-lock Braking System/Traction Control System) systems.

With the incorporation of these new technologies, Honda is setting new standards in chassis performance, with an unprecedented combination of safety and driving pleasure. These technologies will be offered in an up-coming mass production model, bringing a new spectrum of driving pleasure to a wider range of customers.

Technical Overview

1. 5-Link Double Wishbone Rear Suspension

  • With the adoption of a 5-link layout, each suspension arm is located to take loads from one single direction, along the arm's axis, allowing the use of straighter, lighter arms.
  • Two arms, one trailing the other leading are aligned into a Watt link, a world first in multi-link suspensions. This allows the rear wheel to move at a rearward angle when viewed from the side.
  • In a straight line, toe angle was reduced while a toe-in effect was added in cornering and braking situations to further increase stability.
  • The combination of a compact in-wheel layout and the above mentioned Watt link-effect allowed for increased cabin space and trunk volume.

5-Link Double Wishbone Rear Suspension

2. All New Electric Power Steering (EPS) with Variable Gear Ratio (VGR)

The new electric power steering system we are introducing today is the culmination of our efforts in developing a high performance steering system meeting the particular demands of front wheel drive cars. It features a variable gear ratio, making it the first steering system of its type in the Japanese ordinary passenger car category.

This new steering system can be programmed to offer a variety of different steering characteristics, faithfully responding to driver expectations by providing just the necessary amount of steering assistance at all times. Being electrically powered, it also contributes toward reduced fuel consumption.


3. VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist)

From the early days, Honda has looked at means to increase active safety. It was the first to offer a four-wheel anti-lock brake (ABS) system in Japan, and the first in the world to successfully develop a traction control system for front wheel drive vehicles.

The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system we are introducing today adds side slip control to ABS and TCS systems. This new system controls sudden changes in vehicle behavior, giving the driver the time to keep control of the situation. When driving in the rain or on snow, the system stabilizes the vehicle, reducing counter-productive driver tension.

In order not to spoil driving pleasure we have devised a unique system based on the concept of "vehicle stabilization through control of the front wheels". VSA is a simple, reliable system enhancing performance and driving pleasure.

  • Oversteer control through brake application to the outer front wheel.
  • Understeer control when cornering under power through engine torque control and inner front wheel braking.
  • Standing Start Slip Control by braking the wheel with the lowest grip to provide greater torque to the wheel on the other side, ensuring quick, powerful acceleration.
  • Braking control under cornering by taking advantage of the weight transfer to apply a higher brake pressure on the outer rear wheel, thus improving overall braking performance.