Milestones of Innovation at Mercedes-Benz
Nov 20, 2007
First high-speed four-stroke engine developed by Daimler and Maybach
The world’s first motorcycle with a single-cylinder Daimler engine
The first motor vehicles: Benz Patent Motor Car and Daimler Motor Carriage
Daimler steel-wheel car with V2 engine and gear-only transmission
Daimler Phoenix engine with spray nozzle carburetor
Benz Victoria: the first four-wheel automobile from Benz with double-pivot steering
Benz Velo: the world’s first automobile from large-scale production
  • The first horizontally-opposed piston engine from Benz
  • Tubular radiator, developed by Wilhelm Maybach
First road-going car with four-cylinder engine: Daimler 8 hp Phaeton with Phoenix engine
  • Honeycomb radiator, developed by Wilhelm Maybach
  • 35 hp Mercedes: the first modern automobile with light-alloy engine, controlled intake valves, honeycomb radiator, spring-band clutch, pressed-steel frame, low center of gravity, jerk-free steering and water-cooled brakes
New high-performance engines with controlled overhead intake valves in the 18/22 hp and 60 hp Mercedes Simplex models
Six-cylinder racing car engine with turned steel cylinders and overhead camshaft, driven by a vertical shaft – a model for aero engines and high-performance car engines
37/90 hp Mercedes with three-valve technology and double ignition
28/95 hp Mercedes: large-scale production of a six-cylinder engine with turned steel cylinders and overhead camshaft, driven by a vertical shaft
  • First diesel-engine truck: Benz five-tonner with OB 2 four-cylinder diesel engine
  • 6/25/38 hp and 10/40/65 hp Mercedes: first production passenger cars with supercharged engines
Mercedes-Benz L 5: first truck with six-cylinder diesel engine
Mercedes-Benz 170 with swing axles (independent wheel suspension) front and rear
Double-wishbone front axle with coil springs – a world first in the Mercedes-Benz 380
Mercedes-Benz 260 D: first production car with diesel engine
First experimental car with sturdy side moldings, extremely rigid floor and three-part steering column
Béla Barényi designs "Terra Cruiser" with safety steering wheel
Patented conical-pin safety door lock, preventing the door from bursting open in an accident
Patented safety bodywork with rigid passenger cell and defined crumple zones front and rear
  • Single-joint swing axle in the Mercedes-Benz 220
  • Mercedes-Benz 300 SL: the world’s first use of gasoline injection in the four-stroke engine of a production car
Seat belt announced for Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
Wedge-pin door lock with two safety catches
  • First impact and rollover tests
  • The world’s first safety bodywork with integrated crumple zones for the Mercedes “tailfin” model
  • Passenger car models with interior appointments designed to reduce injury hazards
  • All Mercedes-Benz models fitted as standard with anchorage points for front seat belts
  • Dual-circuit hydraulic brake system with disc brakes front and rear on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE
  • First diagonal seat belt
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL: first sports car with safety bodywork
Development of a systematic safety research approach by Hans Scherenberg and Béla Barényi. Coining of the terms active safety and passive safety as central concepts of vehicle safety
Safety steering consisting of telescopic steering column and steering wheel with impact absorbers – standard on all models
  • Presentation of the Mercedes-Benz safety head restraint
  • First static three-point belt
  • First tests with airbag systems
  • Official start of Mercedes-Benz Accident Research, engaging in the analysis of real-world traffic accidents
  • Research vehicle C 111 with Wankel engine shown at the Frankfurt International Motor Show
  • Start of ESV (Experimental Safety Vehicle) program. ESV with automatic three-point seat belts, belt force limiters, belt tensioners and the first airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Mercedes-Benz 350 SL with belt buckle attached to the seat frame, four-spoke safety steering wheel and dirt-deflecting side windows and rear light units
  • Three-point seat belts and head restraints on the front seats as standard
  • First child restraint systems
  • First Mercedes-Benz offset crash test
Mercedes-Benz 240 D 3.0: first diesel production car with five-cylinder engine
New safety steering with corrugated tube in the W 123 series
Mercedes-Benz 300 SD: first diesel-engine production car with exhaust gas turbo charging
  • Market launch of the ABS anti-lock braking system: world premiere in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 116 series
  • Offset crash with 40-percent frontal overlap incorporated in the tough in-house test program
  • New S-Class, W 126 series: the world’s first car designed with specific offset crash capabilities in the form of the front-end forked-member structure
  • All Mercedes-Benz models fitted with three-point seat belts on the outer seats as standard
  • First belt height adjustment on the front seats, introduced in the S-Class
  • The world’s first driver airbag and belt tensioner, introduced in the S-Class
  • Mercedes-Benz develops three new engines for the research car Auto 2000
  • Multi-link independent rear suspension – a world first in the Mercedes-Benz 190 (W 201)
  • First experimental vehicle with hybrid drive based on a Mercedes-Benz passenger car
  • Mercedes-Benz presents study of a two-seater automobile for urban and short-range use: the Nahverkehrsfahrzeug NAFA, or compact local transit vehicle
All Mercedes-Benz equipped with belt tensioners on the front seats
First installation of ASD (automatic locking differential), ASR (acceleration skid control) and 4MATIC (manually selectable four-wheel drive)
Closed-loop three-way catalytic converter included in the standard specifications of all gasoline-engine Mercedes-Benz passenger cars
First front passenger airbag – optionally available for the S-Class
  • First seats with integrated seat belts, the first automatically raised rollover bar and the first draft stop in the Mercedes-Benz SL
  • Automatic height adjustment for rear-seat belts in the 124 series
Mercedes-Benz takes a farsighted look at the future of automotive engineering with the F 100 research vehicle. In the same year the Stuttgart make also presents the C 112 research car featuring suspension technology for the car of tomorrow
  • All Mercedes-Benz models equipped with driver airbag and ABS as standard
  • Front passenger airbag standard in the S-Class
  • One million Mercedes-Benz cars supplied with airbags
  • First offset crash against a deformable barrier
  • First integrated child seat, optionally available for the C-Class
  • First four-valve diesel engines for C-Class and E-Class
  • Catalyst included in the standard specifications of all diesel-engine Mercedes-Benz cars
  • All Mercedes-Benz models equipped with passenger airbag as standard
  • First rear-end crash against a deformable barrier
  • NECAR (New Electric Car): first experimental car with fuel cell drive from Mercedes-Benz
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) introduced in large-scale production in the S 600 Coupe
  • The world’s first belt tensioner with integrated belt force limiter
  • Mercedes-Benz shows the research vehicle Vario Research Car at the Geneva Motor Show
  • F 200 coupe design study features among other things drive-by-wire and Keyless Go systems
  • World first: large-scale production of Brake Assist (BAS)
  • New V6 and V8 engines with three-valve technology and double ignition
  • S-Class fitted with side airbags as standard
  • A-Class with sandwich floor and an engine that slides underneath the passenger compartment in the event of a frontal crash
  • New passenger car diesel engines with common rail direct injection (CDI)
  • NECAR 3 (on the basis of the A-Class): the world’s first fuel cell test car with onboard hydrogen generation
  • NEBUS, the “New Electric Bus,” brings fuel cell technology to the commercial vehicle sector
  • F 300 Life Jet research vehicle combines the dynamic cornering of a motorcycle with the safety of a passenger car
  • First use of window bags as optional equipment in the E-Class
  • S-Class with some 30 new developments including front passenger airbag with two-stage gas generator, belt tensioners and belt force limiters on the rear seats, automatic child seat recognition system (AKSE), air suspension with adaptive damping system (AIRMATIC), COMAND control and display system
  • Mercedes-Benz CL coupe: the world’s first production car with active suspension – Active Body Control (ABC)
  • All Mercedes-Benz models fitted with ESP as standard
  • First-time incorporation of DISTRONIC autonomous intelligent cruise control in large-scale production
  • ZAS – cylinder shut-off system in the S 600 and CL 600
  • The world’s most powerful passenger-car diesel engine in the S 400 CDI
  • First-time use of ceramic brakes (C-BRAKE) in the CL 55 AMG F1 Limited Edition
  • The world’s first electrohydraulic brake – Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™) – incorporated in large-scale production in the SL (R 230)
  • Novel head-thorax side airbags in the doors of roadsters
  • F 400 Carving research vehicle with entirely new suspension technology
  • Completely new 1.8 liter four-cylinder direct-injection engine, setting new standards in terms of fuel economy, torque characteristics, power development, lightweight design and smooth running
  • PRE-SAFE® safety system in the S-Class prepares passengers for an accident as well as possible upon emergency braking or in critical driving situations
  • Further developed AIRMATIC DC (Dual Control) in the new E-Class: springing and damping controlled by microelectronics on the basis of road condition, driving style and load
  • Up-front sensors in the front end of the bodywork – the world’s first to trigger the restraint systems adjusted to the situation on hand
  • First-time use of front passenger weight recognition system, permitting the triggering of the airbag adjusted to the situation on hand
  • Electricity from solar cells in the E-Class glass roof for cooling the passenger compartment of the stationary car
  • F 500 Mind hybrid-drive research vehicle: The car is a laboratory on wheels for researching future drive, assistance and display concepts
  • Particulate filter for passenger car diesel engines: Mercedes-Benz is the world’s first automobile brand to offer the combination of particulate filter and EU 4 emission standard for diesel-powered cars. Particulate filter fitted as standard as of 2005; emissions of soot particles reduced by 95 percent
  • S-Class W 221 with new safety philosophy PRO-SAFE™, made up of the elements PERFORM-SAFE (active safety, handling safety, perceptual safety and stress-reducing safety), PRE-SAFE® (preventive safety systems which “anticipate” to mitigate the effects of an accident), PASSIVE-SAFE (passive safety, interior safety) and POST-SAFE (assistance systems designed to prevent further damage occurring after an accident)
  • S-Class: brake lights pulsate during emergency braking · Night view assist in the S-Class. Operates with infrared headlamps which illuminate a far larger portion of the roadway in the dark than low-beam headlamps. The enhanced night image is shown on the instrument cluster display
  • The proximity control system DISTRONIC PLUS covers a speed range from zero to 200 km/h. Even in slow-moving traffic DISTRONIC PLUS maintains a constant interval to the vehicle ahead and brakes the car, if need be, to a full stop
  • BLUETEC diesel technology with SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) reduces nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gas of diesel engines by around 80 percent. Initially only for commercial vehicles, factory-fitted
  • Three vehicle studies based on the S-Class show the status of Mercedes-Benz hybrid technology: S-Class HYBRID plus DIRECT HYBRID with gasoline engine and electric motor and the BLUETEC HYBRID, in which a diesel engine works together with the electric unit. The electric motor of the two concept cars shown in Frankfurt develops 6 kW (8.2 hp)
  • F 600 HYGENIUS research vehicle with fuel cell drive and a body and design concept developed specifically for the fuel cell. An innovative control concept featuring virtual displays and new types of seats also are tested in the F 600 HYGENIUS · Interface kit for Apple’s iPod® MP3 player
  • First production passenger car with BLUETEC: the Mercedes-Benz E 320 BLUETEC was launched onto the US market in October 2006
  • Gasoline engine with spray-guided direct injection in the Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 CGI
  • ADAPTIVE BRAKE offers auxiliary functions for hill starts and urban traffic
  • Intelligent Light System, a headlamp system offering five lighting scenarios that come on automatically depending on weather and traffic conditions (cornering light, country light, motorway light, active headlamps and extended fog light functions)
  • Rain sensor with second sensitivity level
  • PRE-SAFE® brake – in the event of acute risk of a rear-end collision the system automatically performs a partial braking
  • New 4MATIC all-wheel drive system for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • ADVANCED AGILITY package: Tunes shock absorbers and transmission at the touch of a button
  • AGILITY CONTROL package: A selective damping system matches shock absorber power to different driving conditions
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