There are 3 different types of suspension systems on cars today.
To understand what the suspension system is called to do will better help anyone understand the options some manufacturers took in designing their suspension systems.
The suspension system of a car is designed to carry the weight, control wheel movement as well as body movement and to allow tires to grip the road over a multitude of different surfaces.
a basic suspension style that's been around for ages is the Short-Long Arm(SLA) suspension. independent front suspension and 0IRS (independent rear suspension) both lend themselves to this suspension design in most cases. It's gone through many design changes but it's systematically been pretty much unchanged as far as principal is concerned.
First is the part of the wheel movement controllers, The a-arms.
this is an Radio Controlled car, but it operates on the same principal as automotive suspenions.
the two pieces connecting the chassis with the wheel are the control arms. these limit the motion of the wheel to up and down. the upper A-Arm is responsible for controlling Caster and Camber. The farther outward from the chassis the upper a-arm is from the lower a-arm give a higher Postive camber. if it's closer the the chassis, you end up with Negative camber. Caster is the fore/aft position of the Upper A arm to the lower A-Arm.
Postive caster gives the car tractability. Along with Tractability, the caster is also one of the main contributors to the steering wheel returning itself back to center after a turn, and is what makes the wheel whip around when drifters are sliding around stringing different direction drifts into one motion.
Caster is controlled SOLELY by the suspension arms in the SLA suspension, as is camber.
In older style cars there was a Shock place somewhere on the lower arm to the chassis and there was a spring cup.
there's a spring cup for the spring to sit in on the arm and it connected to the frame. to support the weight of the vehicle. this was the norm for a good while...
Then came the Strut system. notably "MacPherson Strut" system. Manufacturers flocked to this system as it was easier to produce, it was "new technology" and eliminated a few parts.
as you can see here, the strut system totally eliminated the upper control arm.
this eliminated A LOT of stress to manufacturers but added and compounded stress on the suspension system. since there was nothing to hold the top of the tire in place, the Strut had to compensate. all of the body's weight is transmitted laterally and vertically through the struts body. under normal conditions this is pretty mild, but the strut will have a shorter life due to the added lateral stress caused by the lateral force. Overall a plus for OEM.
For performance however, Struts are a "no-no" any real performance vehicle manufacturer knows that Struts are a no go. There's very few, if any, real performance cars today that don't use the SLA/Wishbone suspension system style. If you notice, only cars that are based on econoboxes still ride on struts. WRX (which was/is just a Subaru impreza) the EVO series (which was/is just a Mitsubishi lancer/mirage)
To application, Honda has been known for outstanding handling cars. In most cases the cars that honda made that handle ridiculously well are SLA styled suspensions.
In the mid 80s the Legend was introduced as a mid level luxury/sports car for the likes of the BMW 3 series and the Infiniti M30. in order to play in this crowd the Legend had to have handling and power. power was good for the car. it was much better than BMW or Infiniti could muster and the handling was better than Infiniti's M30 and one par with BMW's 3 series, with a better ride quality. How did the Legend perform this feat? Using the SLA suspension in conjunction with COIL OVER SHOCK
dampers, the car was able to control its body motion and camber with aplomb. the BMW 3 series of that era used Macpherson struts, not the best idea, but it was cheaper to make.
On through the 2nd generation, the Legend again retained the Honda style double wishbone SLA suspension in front adding a "Multilink" rear suspension, that operated on the same "SLA" principle controlling camber with unequal length arms. if you were to raise a legend to full suspension travel you'll notice it has Negative camber, if you lower it to zero suspension travel, it again has Negative camber. this controlled camber allows for better grip when the car leans for a turn.
this is somewhat what the Legend's front suspension looks like. As does many other cars such as the R34 Nissan Skyline.
this is a SLA suspension with Coilover dampers.
The BMWs with IRS in the older models (the E30) had Struts in the rear with a single lower control arm when raised up it would give positive camber and when lowered would provide an unchecked and nonlinear amount of negative camber. this causes a lot of trouble when the car is cornering as this rapid change in camber upsets contact patch and can end with lost grip.
In a strut system, since there is no upper control arm, all the suspension's actions depend on the strut itself. the camber and the caster. by moving the upper mount of the strut you get more camber or caster depending on which way you move it.
When purchasing suspension systems, a multitude of suppliers don't know what is the difference between a shock/spring coil over damper, and a strut damper.
One way to remember is this:
For Strut equipped cars. and ONLY strut equipped cars...if the car has no strut the car is NOT going to move. the tires have no support and the thing will not be able to move.
in SLA cars (such as the Legend) that use Coil Over Shock Dampers. it is theoretically possible to drive the car with ZERO suspension. yes, if you've got the clearance in the wheel well, front and rear ground clearance enough, The tires have the support they need to stand up straight (because of the upper arms) so the car would be able to move under its own power.