Multi-link independent rear suspension was developed on the basis of research into optimised wheel movement geometry, conducted with the aid of practical testing and computer simulations. A wheel not constrained by attachment to an axle has six possible degrees of freedom: it can move in vertical, horizontal or perpendicular direction and it can also rotate about these three directions.
The suspension engineers seek to prevent such uncontrolled kinematic behaviour and to restrict the freedom of the wheel to move on anything but a carefully pre-scribed path. They therefore attached the wheel to five separate, flexibly mounted links, which limit it in five of its degrees of freedom. This ingenious arrangement of links leaves each rear wheel just one degree of freedom – controlled compression and rebound.