Suspension is the term given to the system of springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two.[1] Suspension systems serve a dual purpose — contributing to the vehicle's roadholding/handling and braking for good active safety and driving pleasure, and keeping vehicle occupants comfortable and reasonably well isolated from road noise, bumps, and vibrations,etc. These goals are generally at odds, so the tuning of suspensions involves finding the right compromise. It is important for the suspension to keep the road wheel in contact with the road surface as much as possible, because all the forces acting on the vehicle do so through the contact patches of the tires. The suspension also protects the vehicle itself and any cargo or luggage from damage and wear. The design of front and rear suspension of a car may be different. This article is primarily about four-wheeled (or more) vehicle suspension. For information on two-wheeled vehicles' suspensions see the motorcycle suspension, motorcycle fork, bicycle suspension, and bicycle fork articles. Ancient military engineers used leaf springs in the form of bows to power their siege engines, with little success at first. The use of leaf springs in catapults was later refined and made to work years later. Springs were not only made of metal, a sturdy tree branch could be used as a spring, such as with a bow. [edit]Horse drawn vehicles Strap suspension 1605 By the early 19th century, most British horse carriages were equipped with springs; wooden springs in the case of light

one-horse vehicles to avoid taxation, and steel springs in larger vehicles. These were made of low-carbon steel and usually took the form of multiple layer leaf springs.[2] The British steel springs were not well suited for use on America's rough roads of the time, and could even cause coaches to collapse if cornered too fast. In the 1820s, the Abbot Downing Company of Concord, New Hampshire re-discovered the antique system whereby the bodies of stagecoaches were supported on leather straps called "thoroughbraces", which gave a swinging motion instead of the jolting up and down of a spring suspension (the stagecoach itself was sometimes called a "thoroughbrace"). Automobiles Henri Fournier on his uniquely dampened and racewinning 'Mors Machine', photo taken 1902 Automobiles were initially developed as self-propelled versions of horse drawn vehicles. However, horse drawn vehicles had been designed for relatively slow speeds and their suspension was not well suited to the higher speeds permitted by the internal combustion engine. In 1901 Mors of Paris first fitted an automobile with shock absorbers. With the advantage of a dampened suspension system on his 'Mors Machine', Henri Fournier won the prestigious Paris-to-Berlin race on the 20th of June 1901. Fournier's superior time was 11 hrs 46 min 10 sec, while the best competitor was Leonce Girardot in a Panhard with a time of 12 hrs 15 min 40 sec.[3] In 1920, Leyland used torsion bars in a suspension system. In 1922, independent front suspension was pioneered on the Lancia Lambda and became more common in mass market cars from 1932.[4]