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How Car Technology Evolved Over The Years

Have you ever wondered how we have got to where we are now today with the modern car? In this blog, we are going to take a drive down memory lane to see how we got to today, technology-wise.

The first vehicles either ran on steam or electricity, and fun fact, the first hybrid car was invented by Porsche in the 1900’s which ran on electricity and petroleum! However, the first car invented was the Benz Patent-Motorwagen in 1886, it had 3 wheels, a petrol engine, 1 brake horsepower, and a range of around 5 miles. In typical British pluckiness, Royal Enfield invented their version of the Motorwagen but added a 4th wheel, they called it the Quadricycle. Fast forward a few more years and Ford invented the Model T, which was the first mass-produced car. Back in these days cars did not have an ignition key or a start motor, so these cars had to be started by manually cranking it over, they were also remarkably difficult to drive with different sorts of switches and pedals in odd places.  

The first car invented that we would now class as a typical layout with a clutch pedal on the left, break in the middle, and accelerator on the right, with a gear stick and hand brake on the left (or right) was the Cadillac type 53 from 1916 which was a large source of inspiration for the Austin 7,  the first mass-produced car to have a conventional layout; this was then made under license by the likes of Nissan (Datsun 16), BMW (which was the first produced BMW car as 3/15) and many more. However, it still required to be manually cranked to start and it wasn’t until 1949 that Chrysler introduced the car key that could power the ignition.  

It wasn’t until in 1955, with the introduction of the Citroen DS that some may say we saw the first ever futuristic car. French car makers (in particularly Citroen) had always been Avant-Garde with innovations either in terms of mechanics, styling, or technology which you can still see today with the likes of the new Citroen Oli which you can find here. The Citroen DS was the first to introduce powered steering, a semi-automatic gearbox, and the most advanced and efficient heaters up to that day.  

Now if we move onto safety, we must talk about seat belts, it wasn’t until 1965 that cars had to be sold with seat belts, but it was in 1956 that Volvo introduced the Amazon with the seat belts we see today in all cars.  

Back in the day, coupes, hatchbacks, saloons, and superminis either came in front-wheel drive configuration or rear-wheeled drive, the only 4x4s you could get was the Land Rover, Jensen motors initially tried to launch a coupe with 4-wheel drive however, was largely unsuccessful and no other car manufacturer played with the ideal, it wasn’t until 1980 when Audi launched the Quattro, which was a high-performance four-wheel drive car. 

Moving on to 1997, this is when the Toyota Prius was launched. Now this was not the first hybrid car, however, it did take the world by storm and certainly kick-started the hybrid revolution. Now there is a wide choice of hybrid models available which you can find here

*cartechnology *cartechnologyevolution *EVs *Hybrid 

Written by Jordan | 4 min read
30 Aug 2023