In the multilink rear suspension system of the Mercedes-Benz model series W 201 and W 124, the wheel carriers are each linked to the body via 5 links (or struts).
Four of the links essentially only support tension/compression forces; one link also transmits the spring and damper forces to the wheel carrier. The upper and lower pairs of links each perform the function of a wishbone. The fifth link, which is located roughly at the level of the center line of the wheel, functions as a tie rod.
In the top view, the intersecting point of the lines of action of the upper pair of links is located on the outside of the wheel center plane; while that of the lower pair of links is located on the inside. The position of the "steering axis" hence determined results, for example, in the longitudinal forces causing elastic toe-in changes to be compensated by kinematic toe-in changes, so that there is zero elastokinematic change of toe-in.
The side view reveals an angular position of the body-end "rotation axes" relative to the "triangular transverse links" formed by the upper and lower pairs of links.
The positions of the transverse centers which are hence decisively influenced result in a braking-dive compensation of 60% and an accelerating-squat compensation of 67%. The use of a subframe allows the use of additional rubber elements for noise and vibration isolation between axle (incl. differential) and body. Moreover, this also simplifies vehicle production, since the complete axle can be pre-assembled as a system.
In the kinematic and elastokinematic design of suspension systems, a maximum number of influencing possibilities are available if those links which exclusively cancel only one of the six degrees of freedom of the wheel carrier relative to the body, are used. It is not absolutely necessary for all 5 links to be arranged between wheel carrier and body. If it is taken into account that the individual links are subject to bending not exclusively by the spring/damper forces, then further possibilities of arrangement open up.