While most of the people consider the Ford Model T 1908 for being the first automobile, it was the German automobile manufacturer Karl Benz who came up with the first prototype in 1886. Later Karl Benz’s company was merged with Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and became Mercedes Benz in 1926. The car is known for its design and high performance engine and has established itself as one of the top luxury car brands in the world. Even the insurance for Mercedes-Benz is highly priced and its extended warranty can cost between $2,240 to $6,710 a year. It also remained a favorite of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany and is one of the most preferred luxury brands across the globe. Listed below are some of the best Mercedes cars in History.
1. Mercedes-Benz SSK (1928-32)
Designed by the German Engineer and SS member Ferdinand Porsche, the SSK (Super Sport Kruz) was launched in 1928. The original model utilized a Straight Six Engine that produced upto 300 mhp that allowed it speeds upto 190 kilometers per hour. It was considered the fastest car of the era and was primarily used for racing events. Unfortunately, only 40 models of the car were produced between 1928 and 1932, parts from which were later used to build replicas. Today, only a few of the original models remain and are considered to be highly sought after by collectors and are often auctioned for huge prices.
2. Mercedes-Benz 500E (1990-94)
Designed with the collaboration of the contemporary automobile manufacturers Porsche, the 500 E was launched in 1991. It was a 4 door luxury sedan that was powered by a M119 V8 engine that produced 322 bhp. The car became insanely iconic due to its robust design and a 4 speed automatic transmission, which put it on top of most luxury sedans in production. It also utilized an Airmatic DC suspension that provided the extra comfort that the car is known for. The Acceleration Skid Control also made the car more stable to balance out its powerful engine while maintaining a high driving satisfaction.
3. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss (2009)
The car was developed and designed with collaboration with the British manufacturer McLaren and was initially launched in 2003 as a Grand tourer. It used a M155 V8 Engine and a 5-speed automatic gearbox. In 2009 a Korean car designer named Yoon Il-hun reworked on the car’s design and 75 special edition models named ‘Stirling Moss’ were launched. The facelifted model featured a speedster style design that eliminated the roof and windscreen. The functional changes included a retuned V8 engine that allowed the car to reach speeds upto 350 kilometers per hour. The newer designed also lowered the car’s weight by almost 200 kg, resulting in better engine performance.
4. Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (1955-63)
With an idea of a street ready sports car, the 300 SL was commercially launched in 1954. The inspiration of the car was a suggestion given by Max Hoffman and resulted in more than 80% of the cars being sold in the US markets. Unlike other Mercedes Benz cars of the era, the 300 SL was launched at the New York Auto Show than the regular Geneva or Frankfurt motor shows. The heart of the car’s power was produced by a M198 Straight 6 Engine and was designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The car soon reached iconic status in the US markets due to its chrome finished metal body and the signature ‘gullwing’ doors.
5. Mercedes-Benz 540K (1936)
Produced between 1935 and 1940, the 540k was launched at the 1936 Paris Motor Show. Designed by the legendary automobile designer Friedrich Geiger the car soon became one of the most famous car during the pre-World War 2 era. The car was marketed as the successor to the 500k that was launched at the 1934 Berlin Motor Show and used a similar V8 engine which was re-tuned to increase its cubic capacity and produced 180 units of horse power. The car was available two-seater convertible, 4-seater saloon and 7-seater Limousine models and 4-speed or 5-speed manual gearbox. Like its predecessor, the 540 K has become an essential collector’s item due to its antiquity in design and availability.
6. Mercedes-Benz C111-II (1970)
The 70s was a time of experimentation and accepting the cultural changes that engulfed North America and Europe. Mercedes too was experimenting with its vehicular designs and engines and came up with the iconic C111 platform. Leather interiors and air conditioning was a much sought after feature in cars during the 70s and the C111 platform effectively implemented both. Additionally different engine variants such as diesel and wankel rotary engine were also developed for use with the C111 platform. The second series debuted at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show and although none of the models were launched commercially, they became stepping stones in automobile design, luxury and performance.
7. Benz Velo (1894)
Known as the first official automobile, the Benz Patent Motorwagen was manufactured by German engineer Karl Benz. It was a 3 wheel automobile that was powered by a 2 stroke internal combustion engine. With the success of his first vehicle, Benz soon followed up his work and designed the Benz Velo in 1894, which came to be known as the first commercially produced car with 1200 models produced. It was powered by a 1,045 CC engine and a 3-speed automatic transmission. The Velo also participated in the world’s first automobile race, held in Paris in 1895.
Since its rebranding under the name Mercedes Benz, the German automobile giants are known for their highly reliable, high performance cars that remain a favorite worldwide. The above mentioned models are just a few of the amazing line of sports and luxury cars produced by Mercedes Benz.