Ownership Explained: The Five Most Common Automotive Suspensions

23:55  20 june  2017
23:55  20 june  2017 Source:   Car and Driver

2017 GMC Acadia V-6 FWD

  2017 GMC Acadia V-6 FWD Makes more sense without the high-zoot badge.While this surely is working out well for GMC profit margins, not everyone can afford to plunk down that kind of cash on an SUV or a truck. So let us present this significantly cheaper Acadia SLT, the next step down the pecking order from Denali, with front-wheel drive, far fewer options, and significantly less flashy trim inside and out. It stickered at a far less ambitious $40,765.

Explained : The Five Most Common Automotive Suspensions . June 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm by Eric Tingwall | Illustration by Jeff Xu and Chris Philpot. Here are the five most common suspension configurations found in today’s vehicles

Here are the five most common suspension configurations found in today’s vehicles Put simply, multilink suspensions offer the most separation between handling and ride-quality attributes to reduce compromises.

Explained: The Five Most Common Automotive Suspensions© Eric Tingwall Explained: The Five Most Common Automotive Suspensions From the June 2017 issue

How, you may wonder, do dynamics engineers determine what kind of hardware to use in a suspension? Here’s the short version: Other people tell them. Engineers must work within the constraints of the basic suspension arrangement dictated by packaging requirements, budget, and the vehicle architecture. But there’s plenty of tweaking to be done: After collecting benchmark data from the kinematics-and-compliance machine, engineers define a set of K&C targets for their car. They then collaborate with suspension designers to create front and rear geometries that mimic those attributes, altering mounting points, bushing stiffness, link and arm design, and other variables. Here are the five most common suspension configurations found in today’s vehicles:

2017 Mazda 3 2.0L Automatic Sedan

  2017 Mazda 3 2.0L Automatic Sedan Not even our favorite 3 . . . and still good.Yet the 3 family is so good that no member underachieves. The six-speed automatic we’d so readily trade for the standard manual shifts crisply and makes the most of the 2.0-liter inline-four engine’s 155 ponies—and the automatic’s manual shift gate has you push the lever forward for downshifts and back for upshifts, the most intuitive layout. The smaller engine moves the 3 admirably, but its high-rpm graininess and loudness on cold starts (it quiets down when warm) don’t measure up against the smoother base engines in newer competitors. If it’s speed you’re after, the more powerful 2.

Here are the five most common suspension configurations found in today’s vehicles The greatest sophistication and tuning flexibility comes from using a combination of links and arms, or just five individual links.

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Solid/Live Axle© Provided by Car and Driver Solid/Live Axle Using the axle housing to locate the wheels is as durable as the idea itself, which is why this ox-cart technology persists in off-roaders, pickups, and commercial vehicles. The obvious flaw: a bump at one wheel also excites the opposite wheel. When a solid axle connects two driven wheels—also known as a “live axle”—the axle shafts, differential, and housing all contribute to unsprung weight, affecting ride quality and aggravating axle hop under acceleration and braking, particularly in high-torque vehicles.

Control Arms© Provided by Car and Driver Control Arms A pair of lateral arms, sometimes called double wishbones or A-arms, offers better control over the kinematics than a strut-type arrangement. Among the benefits: an upper arm that’s shorter than the lower arm to optimize the orientation of the tire contact patch as the body rolls, increasing lateral grip. Control arms also require less height than a strut suspension—the better to slip under the low hoods of sports cars such as the Acura NSX and the Chevrolet Corvette.

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid

  2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Falling further behind the curve.Although the C-Max is refreshed alongside its plug-in-hybrid counterpart for 2017 with slightly sharper headlights and taillights, its mechanicals are the same as they’ve been since 2013. That means the Ford’s fuel economy is, by and large, the same as it’s always been. (The EPA estimates have been adjusted a bit, lowered for 2014 before inching up by 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway, to 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway this year.) We recorded 35 mpg over the course of this test—and a less encouraging 33 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test loop.

Feature Explained : The Five Most Common Automotive Suspensions . Long-Term Road Test Wrap-Up 2016 Ford Mustang GT. Feature Q&A with Matt Becker, Ex-Lotus (and Current Aston Martin) Chassis

Here's the short version: Other people tell them. Engineers must work within the constraints of the basic suspension arrangement dictated by packaging Subscribe to the mailing list and get a daily update with the most important news about Automotive !

Multilink© Provided by Car and Driver Multilink The greatest sophistication and tuning flexibility comes from using a combination of links and arms, or just five individual links. One common arrangement includes three lateral links for side-to-side wheel location, one longitudinal link for fore-aft restraint, and a toe-control link that effectively makes minute steering adjustments as the suspension strokes. The multilink approach allows for higher lateral stiffness and the desired toe change with appropriate vertical and longitudinal compliance. Multilink setups can also be designed to better resist dive and squat under braking and acceleration, respectively. Put simply, multilink suspensions offer the most separation between handling and ride-quality attributes to reduce compromises.

Torsion Beam© Provided by Car and Driver Torsion Beam Frequently found at the rear of economy cars, this arrangement uses trailing arms integrated with a crossmember that is designed to twist as the wheels move. While the torsion beam or “twist beam” isn’t as compromised as a solid axle, neither is it a truly independent suspension. Stiffer bushings can compensate for the torsion beam’s inherent side-to-side compliance, but that comes with a toll of greater impact harshness. (Some vehicles use a Watt’s linkage or a Panhard rod to improve lateral stiffness without compromising ride quality.) Low mounting points along with springs and dampers that are mounted farther outboard than in other arrangements create more interior and cargo space.

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid

  2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Falling further behind the curve.Although the C-Max is refreshed alongside its plug-in-hybrid counterpart for 2017 with slightly sharper headlights and taillights, its mechanicals are the same as they’ve been since 2013. That means the Ford’s fuel economy is, by and large, the same as it’s always been. (The EPA estimates have been adjusted a bit, lowered for 2014 before inching up by 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway, to 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway this year.) We recorded 35 mpg over the course of this test—and a less encouraging 33 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test loop.

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Strut© Provided by Car and Driver Strut In this, the most popular front-suspension setup, a beefed-up damper (typically with a concentric coil spring) serves double duty, acting as a locating device while calming vertical movement. Strut configurations are commonly chosen for their simplicity and cost, and they’re narrower than control-arm and multilink arrangements, making them ideal for transverse-engine cars. However, the strut design limits an engineer’s options to optimize camber as the wheel moves vertically.

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2017 Jaguar F-Pace 20d Diesel .
Slinky, sporty, sleek . . . and fuel-sipping.When the F-Pace launched last year, the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel model (labeled 20d) anchored the bottom of the SUV’s price ladder. (For 2018, the name 25t denotes a new base engine, a 2.0-liter gasoline turbocharged four.) Jaguar enters the diesel market at a time when most others are exiting it; BMW’s X3 diesel disappeared from the lineup recently, Mercedes-Benz has given up on EPA certifying all of its diesel models for the time being, and we all know what happened to kill off Audi’s Q5 diesel.

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