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Mercedes-Benz is a German automotive brand that manufactures cars, buses, trucks, vans, and minibusses within the Mercedes-Benz Group, which also includes the brands Maybach and Smart. The name “Mercedes” comes from the daughter of Emil Jellinek, an Austrian businessman who ordered 36 vehicles from Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1900. But you probably already knew this little short background history about the car brand, so let’s jump right into ten more fun facts and trivia that you may not have known before!

The first Mercedes-Benz introduced the modern car to the world…

Karl Benz patented his three-wheeled, gasoline-powered motorcar in 1886, which his wife Bertha Benz took on a nearly 20-mile-long tour through Germany without his knowledge. It was powered by a 954cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine that boasted 0.9 horsepower at the time. [source]

Gottlieb Daimler unintentionally invented the first motorcycle…

When Gottlieb Daimler, co-founder of Mercedes-Benz, created a vertical single-cylinder engine in 1885 that ran on gasoline, he inserted it into a wooden frame based on a bicycle. This cool contraption, called the Daimler Reitwagen (riding car) or Einspur (single-track), is now considered the very first true motorcycle. [source]

Produced a hybrid car as early as 1906…

Early car companies experimented with a mix of electric and gasoline-powered vehicles before pure gasoline engines took over, and the Mercedes-Benz Mixte model was their first true hybrid. It had a gas engine with a dynamo that provided sparks to the two motors in the rear hubs. The Mixte boasted a claimed top speed of 120 km/h. [source]

The iconic silver color came about to save weight during racing…

Most Mercedes-Benz racing cars – and some special and flagship vehicles – are clad in the company’s recognizable silver hue, but that color was originally an improvisation. In 1934, during the Nürburgring race, the white Mercedes-Benz W 25 car with an aluminum body had to weigh under 750 kg to compete, but at the weigh-in, it was one kilogram overweight. The team manager decided to sand off the paint, resulting in a gleaming silver color that also ended up winning the race – and cementing an archetypal color. [source]

Introduced four-wheel brakes and suspension…

By the summer of 1924, all Mercedes-Benz cars had brakes on all four wheels, contributing to the company’s commitment to safety. In 1931, they also introduced the Mercedes-Benz 170, which had suspension at each wheel of the vehicle – leaf springs in the front and an innovative coil spring setup in the rear. [source]

Volvo invented the three-point seatbelt – but Mercedes-Benz invented airbags…

Mercedes-Benz is known for inventing several innovative technologies, such as ABS brakes and airbags. They were also the first to introduce a fuel cell-powered vehicle driven by hydrogen. [source]

Developed the first autonomous car as early as the 1990s…

Self-driving cars have recently been under significant development by virtually all major car manufacturers. But as far back as the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz developed an autonomous system installed in a 1995 W140 S-Class. The car, filled with microprocessors – making it equivalent to a supercomputer at the time – drove over 160 miles on the Autobahn and reached speeds of up to 185 km/h with very little input from a human driver. The onboard systems eventually evolved into what you find in Mercedes-Benz’s latest safe-driving technology today. [source]

The meaning behind the well-known logo…

Mercedes-Benz is known for its logo featuring a triangular star, representing the company’s dominance on land, sea, and air. Previously, it was also a symbol of the universal motorization that would take over all modes of transportation. [source]

Has manufactured cars for the world’s celebrity elite…

The automotive company has produced cars for several of the world’s most famous and influential individuals, including popes, royalty, and political leaders. For example, Pope John Paul II drove a specially built Mercedes-Benz with a glass enclosure to enhance security. The car quickly earned the nickname “Popemobile.” [source]

Mercedes-Benz + Star Wars = True…

Mercedes-Benz has an interesting connection to the Star Wars films. The design of their concept car, the F 015 Luxury in Motion, was inspired by the spaceships in the Star Wars universe, and the car was also featured in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. [Source]

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