5 of the Most Innovative Cars Ever Made
October 25, 2019 by Carshopper.com under Innovative Cars
It’s been little over a century since the motor car was introduced, and in this relatively short span of time, it has evolved beyond recognition. However, the basic recipe has remained pretty much unchanged: it still has four wheels, some seats, and a steering wheel and pedals for controls.
We’ve seen a range of powertrain options, including steam, gasoline, diesel, electricity, and even hydrogen. Styles and design trends have come and gone, safety standards have advanced drastically, and performance has reached stratospheric heights.
Over the course of this blog post, we’ll take a look at some revolutionary cars that made the biggest impact on the automotive industry.
Ford Model T
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen is widely regarded as the first motor vehicle made for civilians. However, it looked nothing like the cars we see today. In essence, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen was a motorized tricycle with a 0.95-loter 0.75 horsepower engine. In two years of production, only 25 examples of the Motorwagen were built.
The motorcar, as we know it today, was born with the Ford Model T. Unlike the Motorwagen, the Model T had bodywork, 4 wheels, pedals, a steering wheel, and even a windshield. However, the most innovative thing about the Ford Model T was the way it was built. It was the first time the revolutionary assembly line production method was used to build a machine. In a span of just 19 years, Ford managed to build over 16.5 million units of the Model T, and by 1918, half of the cars on US roads were Ford Model T’s. Since then, Henry Ford’s innovative production method has been adopted by almost every automaker on the planet.
Conceived in 1931 by the legendary Ferdinand Porsche, the Volkswagen Beetle holds the distinction for being the first utilitarian car for the masses. The functional objectives and underlying concept of the Beetle were formulated by none other than Adolf Hitler himself, who wanted a simple, affordable car to be produced for Germany’s new ‘autobahn’ road network.
The Volkswagen Beetle turned out to be a huge success. Enjoying a production span that lasted 65 years in which over 21 million units were produced, the ‘VW Bug’ is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made. Today, the car is considered a true automotive icon. Volkswagen even launched a modern version of the Beetle in 1997.
The company that gave us the first true SUV, Land Rover, initially made its name as a manufacturer of utilitarian civilian off-roaders in the 1940s. However, in 1967, the British company realized there was a gap in the market for something completely different. Therefore, Land Rover decided to ditch its tried-and-tested original recipe for once, and the original Range Rover was born.
Needless to say that the Range Rover bloodline has become one of the most widely-recognized series of cars in the world and has been a leader of the luxury SUV segment for as long as we can remember. Today, brands such as Bentley, Porsche, Rolls Royce, and even Lamborghini have joined the SUV game. But while these brands offer some great cars, they’re not specialists in the segment. That title exclusively rests with Land Rover.
Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1
Hot hatchbacks are highly popular these days, and it’s not surprising why. We mean, who can say no to sports car performance wrapped up in a compact, practical package? And for many people, the hot hatch story started with the original Golf GTI, the Mk1. Volkswagen used a very simple recipe for the MK1 GTI: take a small, light compact car, and give it a boot load of power. The 1.6-liter engine was tuned and tweaked to the extent that it produced 110 bhp instead of 75 bhp. While that may seem tiny when you consider that a modern Ford Focus RS produces 345 bhp, it was a lot of power for a car that just weighed 1782 lbs. The little Golf could slingshot its way past 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, which was considered amazingly fast in 1975.
The original Volkswagen Golf GTI is undoubtedly an automotive legend, and one of the most revolutionary cars of all time. It showed us that you don’t need a huge, powerful engine in order to go fast or have fun.
To tell you the truth, this list could be easily comprised of just different models of the Mercedes S-Class. Just think of all the most important safety features in your car. What springs to mind? Three-point safety belts? SRS airbags? Anti-locking braking system? Crumple zones? Well, all of these features have one thing in common – they all debuted in a Mercedes S-Class. While most automakers have only just started offering traction control and electronic stability control with their cars, the S-Class has had these features since 1995. If you want to know which features your car will have 10-15 years down the line, just look at the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
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