MacPherson Strut VS Multi Link Suspension.
Following my Primary Ride Vs Secondary Secondary, I thought I’d post something else in the same vein. Namely, the bits of the car that give us an element of ‘ride’: suspension. Suspension is the stuff that (in some cases) makes you waft along gently, or (in some cases), makes your CD cases play well-known rock ballads.
There are two main types of suspension. The MacPherson strut, which has nothing to do with Scotland, and Multi-link suspension, which is even less Scottish. Let’s talk about the MacPherson strut first. It’s the most simple and therefore cheap way to keep your spine intact whilst you’re driving. It’s perfectly acceptable for use in most cars, but once you start driving enthusiastically, the MacPherson strut no longer ‘struts‘ its stuff. (sorry). This is because when you corner at higher speeds, the outside wheels gain in positive camber, because of complicated force things. This reduces the patch of rubber in contact with the road, limiting how much power can be put down.
This is where a multi link set-up comes in handy. It has control arms that do exactly what it says on the tin. They control the degree of camber that the wheel is subjected to, keeping the contact patches as large as possible, though they will still reduce in size slightly. This allows more power to be put down, allowing Clarkson more opportunities to yell “SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED” and “POWER” with an ear-uniting grin. Despite their obvious benefits, manufacturers validate the use of the MacPherson strut by telling us that multi links are heavier, and they’re all about losing weight, for a better drive. But then they counteract that weight loss by giving you a key fob with a mass rivalling that of a fridge/ freezer. But anyway.
Multi links are more commonly found on the rear end of the car, and MacPherson struts usually feature on the front, giving a balance of expense and ability. However, there are more types of suspension, which have stupid names, and there are countless versions of both of these types of suspension. Anyway, in conclusion, a multi link set up wins every hour of every day of evey week.