|* The 5-Link Double Wishbone Suspension Layout
As shown below, the 3-link and 4-link layouts allow for movement in two or more directions. By comparison, in Honda's new 5-link double wishbone suspension, the fore-and-aft loads are controlled by the trailing and leading arms while lateral loads are controlled by the upper, lower and control arms. The dampers' work load is thus reduced to vertical loads for improved stability and ride. Each suspension arm being located to take loads from one single direction, along the arm's axis, has allowed the use of straighter, lighter arms.
* 5-Link Double Wishbone Suspension with Watt Link Locating Arms
Two arms, one trailing , the other leading, are aligned into a Watt link layout to allow the rear wheel to move along a rearward line when viewed from the side. In more conventional layouts, the wheel travels along a curved plane. Longitudinal loads from the road surface are thus substantially reduced, improving ride characteristics. Finally, with the rear wheel locus angle remaining the same whatever the load, the advantages presented by this layout remain the same under all driving conditions.
* Increased Cabin/Trunk Space:
Wheel housing intrusion into the cabin has been reduced thanks to the Watt link layout and a very compact in-wheel suspension design. All five arms fit within the circumference of the wheel, allowing for increased cabin space and a larger trunk volume.
* Straight Line Characteristics:
The toe change associated with wheel movement is limited and linear. This is accomplished by aligning the virtual axis passing the trailing and lower arm mounting points and the virtual axis passing the leading and upper arm mounting points in parallel. This translates into increased straight line stability, higher rolling resistance and reduced understeer.
* Toe-in Characteristics
The upper, lower and control arms are arranged to be true to the wheel longitudinal axis, which, coupled with a straight arm design, ensures high stiffness against lateral force. The wheel center to control arm span is longer than the one between the wheel center and the lower arm, allowing a greater displacement of the lower arm bushing to increase toe-in under cornering. This translates into improved handling characteristics and traceability.
The diagonal arrangement of the trailing and leading arms increases toe-in under braking. The control arm on the other hand remains virtually unaffected, further allowing appropriate toe-in control. Handling characteristics are thus maintained even under braking.