On Wheels: How the Car Was Invented

The car is one of the most important inventions of mankind. The history of its invention is full of interesting and fascinating events.

In fact, the history of only one car can be devoted not only to a separate book but a whole multi-volume collection of works. The first transport capable of carrying people and goods without the use of muscle power or animal traction is dated to the end of the XVIII century. However, the car, in the conventional sense, only appeared at the end of the XIX century. So now let's talk about production cars that have played a significant role in the history of the world's automobile manufacturing.

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Certainly, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen played the most important role. This is the world's first car powered by an internal combustion engine. In 1885 German engineer Karl Benz designed his own tricycle. The inventor officially received a patent for his development only on January 29 in 1886. The history of the car begins just from this date.

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The two new models, the Cord L-29 and Citroen Traction Avant, appeared at the beginning of the XX century. They became the first production cars with front-wheel drive. The American Cord appeared in 1929, and the French Citroen debuted in 1934, but it was the Traction Avant that became the first production car with front powered drive wheels. Before that, there were various experiments; different racing cars with front-wheel drive were designed but they were never mass-produced.

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A little later, in 1936, the Mercedes-Benz 260 D was presented to the world. As well as the first mass-produced car in General, It was the Germans who released the world's first production passenger car powered by a diesel engine which was previously installed only in trucks.

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Interestingly, the Hanomag Rekord Diesel Typ D 19 A was shown along with the Mercedes-Benz model. However, the first production car was the 260 D. The production of the Citroen Rosalie commenced in 1931. The model was powered by a diesel engine, which was installed only in the cargo configurations. This fact does not give us a full right to name this car as the first passenger model with a diesel engine.

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The next milestone in the world’s automobile manufacturing was marked by the Jensen FF, which was produced since 1966. The British model became the world's first passenger car with all-wheel drive. Before that, the all-wheel drive engagement was exclusively the prerogative of transport for highly rough terrain. Nevertheless, Jensen Motors decided to break the mould and design the Gran Turismo road car with all-wheel drive.

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The General Motors EV1, which became the world's first mass-produced electric car, was released in 1966. But even though electric cars appeared almost at the dawn of self-propelled vehicles, it was the American coupe that became the first relatively mass-produced electric model. The Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf appeared much later, although they were the first truly national electric cars.

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In 1997 the debut of the Toyota Prius was another significant event. The model, being very unprepossessing, was nevertheless the first ever production car with a hybrid powertrain. The sedan with a petrol-electric unit under the hood has become a harbinger of fancy technologies these days. So, almost every major company has a hybrid model in its lineup today.

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In 2013, Hyundai distinguished itself by introducing the Hyundai ix35 FCEV SUV. This car was the first mass-produced hydrogen car in history. The model is driven by an electric motor powered by fuel cells that generate electricity from hydrogen stored in cylinders. The technology has not yet become relatively popular but several companies have been producing hydrogen cars for sale.

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Nowadays, car manufactures make a bet on hybrids and electric cars, although the usual internal combustion engines on gasoline and diesel fuel will not leave the market for a long time. But it is possible that modern technologies in the coming years will make it possible to take a new step forward and enter a new chapter in the history of the world's automobile manufacturing.

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