Khodrocar - They’ve been pumping out innovative and technologically groundbreaking vehicles since Karl Benz introduced what’s considered the first petrol-powered car in 1886. Here, some of the most fascinating highlights of the storied motor-car corporation's contributions to automotive history.
1 - Gottlieb Daimler inadvertently invented the first motorcycle
When Daimler created a vertical, one-cylinder engine in 1885 that ran on gasoline, he stuck it into a wooden frame based off of a bicycle. This cool contraption—monikered the Daimler Reitwagen (riding wagon) or Einspur (single track)—is now considered the very first true motorcycle.
2 - The first Mercedes-Benz introduced the modern automobile to the world
Karl Benz patented his three-wheeled, petrol-powered Motorwagen in 1886, which his wife Bertha Benz proceeded to take on a 120-mile tour through Germany without his knowledge. It was powered by a 954cc single-piston, four-stroke engine that boasted a blistering-for-that-time 0.9 hp.
3 - Mercedes-Benz made a hybrid vehicle in 1906
Early car companies toyed with a mix of electric- and gasoline-powered vehicles before pure petrol-powered engines took over, and Mercedes-Benz’ Mixte model was their first true hybrid. It had a gas engine in front with a dynamo that supplied spark for the two motors in the rear hubs. The Mixte had a claimed top speed of 75 mph.
4 - They were one of the first to stick brakes and suspension on all four wheels
By the summer of 1924, all Mercedes-Benz cars had brakes on all four wheels, helping to solidify the company's commitment to safety. Then, in 1931, they introduced the Mercedes-Benz 170, which had suspension on each corner of the vehicle—leaf springs in the front and an innovative coil spring set-up in the rear.
5 – Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance tuning arm, AMG, started in a German garage
Currently, more than 50 cars in Mercedes-Benz's book are AMG vehicles, meaning they contain the brute power of meticulously massaged engines and sublime handling of race-tuned suspension inside relatively mild-mannered models. Mercedes-Benz officially recognized the iconic performance brand—which was founded in the ’60s by two former Daimler-Benz motorsport engineers—after their heavily modified 300 SEL 6.8 sedan (called the Red Pig) took second place at the 24 Hours of Spa in 1971. AMG was officially brought into the fold in 1990.
6 - Anti-lock brakes were created specifically for the S-Class in 1978
Brakes that don’t lock up under full pressure on the pedal are now ubiquitous. They've helped save countless lives by allowing the driver to continue to steer the car—and, hopefully, avoid a collision—while braking hard. Mercedes-Benz first refined the technology with Bosch in the ’70s, then added the technology to the S-Class in 1978. Soon after, anti-lock breaks became standard on all Mercedes-Benz models.
7- Mercedes-Benz first unveiled a self-driving car over two decades ago
Self-driving cars are having their moment now, but way back in the ’90s, Mercedes-Benz developed an autonomous system installed in a 1995 W140 S-Class. The car, packed full of microprocessors—making it the equivalent of a supercomputer at the time—drove over 1,000 miles on the Autobahn and hit up to 115 mph with little to no input from a human driver. The systems onboard eventually developed into what you'll find in Mercedes-Benz’s latest safe-driving tech.
Source: Road & Track