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10 revolutionary car inventions

These inventions have completely changed the way manufacturers build cars.

The automotive industry is an ever-evolving industry, geared toward increased power and performance. As with most areas of technology, automation has grown exponentially over the last century, new innovations seemingly appearing every day.

Looking at today’s supercars like the Lotus Emira or the Ferrari GTB, it’s almost impossible to believe that they came from rickety steam-powered cars from the late 19th century.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of innovation is that most of these improvements were imagined by the original inventors when formulating the idea of ​​the automobile. However, due to limitations in technology at the time, much was not done until many years later. Here are 10 such inventions that have completely changed the way automakers build cars:

10. Internal combustion engine

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Originally conceived by Nicolaus Otto in 1876 and then modified and optimized by Gottleib Daimer in 1885, the internal combustion engine gave birth to the concept of the modern automobile. It outperformed the steam engine, in both performance and power.

In 1891, Karl Benz, registered this engine in the Benz-Motorwagen patent, the first car to combine an internal combustion engine with a chassis.

9. Unibody structure

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Although often misidentified as “monocoque”, the Unibody or Unit-Body Chassis (Unibody construction) works by distributing the vehicle’s support between the outer shell and the chassis of the machine.

This work distribution reduces stress on the frame and allows for optimized performance. First conceived in 1922, the Unibody chassis was not used until 1934 when a French company called Citroën built the first model to use the design. Almost every vehicle today uses some type of Unibody chassis, with the exception of some trucks and industrial vehicles that still use the traditional “body-on-frame” design.

8. Turbocharger

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First introduced in the 1960s, turbochargers were not widely accepted in the automotive industry until the 1970s. This is an invention that allows cars to achieve higher speed and torque while using less fuel. It was launched at the F1 racing event, giving the push to make turbocharger a more common term.

With the growth in popularity and the constant advancements in performance and optimization by engineers, the turbocharger system soon became irreplaceable even until now.

7. Fuel injection

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Originally designed in the late 1800s, fuel injectors were not properly used in automation until the mid-1980s. This need arose from a multitude of carburetor-related failures. .

As the main mechanism responsible for regulating fuel usage, the carburetor is unnecessarily complicated and uses too much energy. Now that it’s been phased out, fuel injection systems directly deliver the right amount of gasoline when needed by injecting the engine in short, controlled bursts.

Thanks to the revolutionary invention of modern fuel injection systems, the carburetor has become obsolete.

6. Hemispherical motor

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Nicknamed “Hemi”, these super powerful engines were behind the incredible speed of early muscle cars. Powering iconic cars such as the Plymouth Barracuda and the Dodge Daytona, the hemispheric engine left a lasting impression on the automobile’s evolution.

By making the top of the cylinders hemispherical to increase surface area, the engineers increased heat absorption and made the engine run better with less fuel.

Unfortunately, due to compression speed and air flow issues, the Hemisphere engine was soon replaced by the Pent-hood engine, which is found on most car models today.

5. Regenerative braking system

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First used in the AMC Amitron 1967, the regenerative brake is one of those great inventions. The special feature of regenerative braking is that it can provide energy and charge the vehicle’s battery by converting the kinetic energy of braking into electricity, saving electricity. In fact, this is one of the biggest contributors to the improvement of the auto element of the car.

4. Electronic Stability Control

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On a stormy day in 1989, Mercedes-Benz engineer Frank Werner-Mohn was testing a new car in the snow when the car suddenly lost control and plunged into a ditch. He promised himself that he would fix the problem that caused the car to lose control.

After two years of research, the engineer and his team developed a system that stabilizes skidding vehicles by automatically steering intermittently on individual wheels.

Mercedes immediately implemented Electronic Stability Control into their 1995 S-Class limousine. Soon, the system was incorporated into all Mercedes models and even made available to other automakers, making automation much safer.

3. Power steering

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In the past, only healthy people could drive cars. Before manufacturers started equipping their models with power steering, all the hard work of turning the wheel was on the driver. Although this invention by Francis Davis was introduced a few times during the 30s, power steering didn’t start to appear until World War 2.

Soldiers had to drive extremely heavy vehicles through completely unknown terrain; As a result, companies have turned to power steering to reduce the effort required when controlling said vehicles. After the war, manufacturers realized that the power steering system could benefit the driver even in normal situations, so they applied and improved it day by day to make it simpler.

2. Dual clutch transmission

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The dual-clutch transmission was the work of French engineer Adolphe Kégresse in 1939. Kégresse developed the original concept of a transmission that operates in two parts, an odd-controlled clutch and a longer clutch. is an even gear. In this way, the car can maintain traction and torque while shifting from one transmission to the other, both upshifting and downshifting.

Although gearboxes appeared sparse in the 20th century in the form of racing cars, it was the humble 2003 Volkswagen Golf R32 that brought the Dual Clutch Transmission concept into the mainstream. Today, many cars are equipped with DCT versions, from regular sedans to supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Mustang Shelby and Porsche 911.

1. Body made from carbon fiber

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First introduced in the BMW I3 in 2010, the carbon fiber bodywork is one of the latest innovations in the automotive industry. With the introduction of carbon bodies, cars became lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient. Like the aluminum frame, launched in the early 80s of the last century, the carbon fiber frame is much lighter, but still ensures outstanding performance and durability.

Thanks to optimization in carbon production, the material has become much cheaper and easier to manufacture. This is the reason why most cars today have luxurious and durable carbon bodywork.

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