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Cars using transverse leaf springs in their suspension are not to be confused with older cars and trucks that use solid rear axle/leaf spring combinations.

The system is used in some high performance sports cars. Instead of using 4 coil springs, the cars use two single ply (instead of the multiple plys used in trucks/cars with live axles) leaf springs mounted transversely. Using a single ply makes them immune from the friction problems seen in multiple ply systems and also makes them very light (a single transverse leaf spring weighs 1/3 of the weight of the coil springs that could have been used). These cars often use double wishbone or multilink suspensions, just like any other sports car, just not paired with coil springs over the dampers.

Transverse leaf springs have the benefits of being very lightweight, moving more of the cars weight towards the ground, easily adjustable, and rarely (if ever) needing replacement.

They have the disadvantages of being more expensive than coil springs, and since the springs are often made of a lightweight composite material, they are sensitive to damage from harsh chemicals.
Modern Corvettes use transverse leaf springs paired with double wishbone supension on all four corners.

F1 used transverse leaf springs until they switched to the use of torsion springs.
by Subie April 27, 2006
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