The Evolution of Cars

By Ashritha Raghavendra

August 04, 2022

Steam Wagon

Cugnot’s Fardier à Vapeur was a steam-powered, self-propelled mechanical vehicle. The first steam-propelled vehicle was said to be designed by Ferdinand Verbiest in 1672. 

Year: 1771

Image Source: Wikipedia

Steam-Road Locomotive

Richard Trevithick was a British engineer who built a steam-road locomotive and successfully transported several passengers from Ore Street to Camborne Hill in England.  

Year: 1801

Image Source: Flickr

Internal Combustion Engine

Karl Friedrich Benz is considered the inventor of the modern car. He designed the Motorwagen — the first automobile propelled by an internal combustion engine. 

Year: 1886  

Image Source: Wikipedia

German Engineering at the Forefront

Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach established Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (now the Mercedes-Benz Group). Maybach designed their first car. It had 4 cylinders with operated exhaust valves in the camshaft.

Year: 1894

Image Source: Wikipedia


Karl Benz’s Boxermotor increased fuel economy and provided smoother acceleration with a horizontally opposed piston in engines. This design is still used in high-performance engines such as Porsche and racing cars. 

Year: 1896  

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Era of Mass Production

Henry Ford transformed the automobile industry. He promoted the mass production of cars and pursued marketing strategies that made his cars popular in every corner of North America.  

Est. 1903

Image Source: Wikipedia

Post-Modern Era Cars

During the World Wars, closed-bodied cars with multi-valve camshafts were the most popular. Lancia Lambda, Bugatti Type 35, and Ford Model A were some sought-after cars of the era.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Electric Cars

As the world consciously strives toward carbon neutrality, the electrification of automobiles is now at its peak. Global EV sales show a significant spike year after year, indicating the onset of the EV era.

Image Source: Wikipedia