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Most Innovative Cars

Benz Patent-Motorwagen

With the development of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen in 1885, the motorcar as we know it today was born. Karl Benz's two-seater, despite having just three wheels and 0.75 horsepower, is commonly known as the first automobile. A 954cc one-cylinder engine was mounted in the back of the vehicle's tubular steel frame, providing power. 1)

Ford Model T

Making a few cars is one thing, but what happens when you need to create thousands, or even millions? This is where Henry Ford's revolutionary assembly line manufacturing process was put to use. Ford built 16.5 million Model Ts between 1908 and 1927, accounting for half of all cars on American roads by 1918. Almost every car manufacturer has since introduced the production line. 2)

Volkswagen Beetle

When Ferdinand Porsche designed the original Beetle in 1930 as a “car for everybody,” he should have made his mark on the automobile. The little Beetle took a short detour through history after Adolf Hitler changed the name to People's Car, or Volks Wagen, in 1938. It was liberated by allied forces after WWII and later turned into the quintessential symbol of peace and liberation by the hippy movement. 3)

Land Rover Series 1

Maurice Wilks drew a drawing of a car he thought would be better than the U.S. Army's Willys Jeep in the sand on a Welsh beach in 1947, and the civilian off-roader – better known today as the SUV – was born. The car he drew became the first Land Rover, better known as the Defender. It debuted at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, laying the groundwork for all future off-roaders and SUVs. 4)

Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1

The 1975 Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1 was the start of the hot hatch craze. The GTI, which stands for ‘gran turismo iniezione [injection]', had a simple recipe: take a small, light family car and give it more power. The engine's output increased from 75 to 108 bhp as a result of the changes. 5)

Lamborghini Miura

The Miura was unlike anything the world had ever seen when it was introduced in 1966, just three years after Lamborghini shifted production from tractors to vehicles. The Miura was the world's fastest car, with a top speed of 170mph and a dramatic clamshell that folded back to expose its 350-horsepower, 4.0-litre V12 engine. It took Ferrari seven years to deliver a mid-engined counter-punch in the form of the 365 GT4 BB, and Lamborghini responded a year later with the even more outrageous Countach. 6)

Mercedes S-Class

Mercedes's flagship car, the S-Class, was the first to include several features found in modern cars. Crumple zones debuted in 1957, an electronic anti-lock braking system debuted in 1978 and SRS airbags, three-point seatbelts and the first mass-produced turbocharged diesel engines all debuted on the S-Class over the years. Back in 1995, the S-Class had traction and stability control, and it has remained a pioneer in autonomous safety systems including Brake Assist, Lane-Keep Assist and the use of infrared to detect pedestrians at night. 7)

Porsche 959

Although the Ferrari F40 is the purist's option for an 80s supercar, the Porsche 959 is the most revolutionary. It was the first supercar to feature all-wheel drive, active hydraulic suspension and an automatically lowered ride height to increase high-speed stability. The 959 had the world's first electronic tire pressure control system, as well as some of the world's first run-flat tires. This car also impressed with its ability to combine efficiency and daily conveniences, nearly matching the Ferrari F40's speed while also including luxuries like leather seats and air conditioning. 8)

McLaren F1

This car, which had three seats and air conditioning and could reach 231 mph, is still widely regarded as one of the best supercars ever built. The McLaren F1 was the first road car to use a carbon fiber monocoque, and it was popular for using gold leaf to help insulate the engine bay when it was introduced in 1993. Magnesium for the wheels and titanium for the toolkit were among the other rare materials used. The fact that the F1 had its own modem (from 1993!) that linked to the McLaren factory in Woking and transmitted data from the car to support mechanics troubleshoot problems was also well ahead of the curve. 9)

Google Firefly

The Firefly gave the world its first proper glimpse of what it could be like with fully autonomous vehicles. As it ferried blind people to the shops in gleaming promotional videos and racked up millions of autonomous test miles, its cute face and innocent nature helped make the technology underneath more approachable. But, at the end of the day, this was just a test. Even Google has no plans to develop its own self-driving vehicles on a large scale. Firefly had a brief existence, first appearing on the streets of California in 2014 and then being retired three years later. 10)

most_innovative_cars.txt · Last modified: 2021/10/25 18:49 by rapidplatypus