By Philip Etemesi
A few privileged Kenyans own Mercedes Benz vehicles including our boss Tonnie Mello. But there are a few facts about the German machines that even their owners might not be aware of. My curiosity made me do some research and here is what I found out.
Why its logo is a three pointed star
Mercedes’ famous three-pointed star logo has a special meaning. Each point represents mobility on land, on water, and in the air since the company makes cars, boats and plane engines as well. However, decades ago there a fourth point was nearly added to represent space since Mercedes had plans to venture into space travel. After careful consideration, this plan was later scrapped as it would have been too expensive.
A woman came up with the idea of the first Mercedes
The first of the ground-based, internal combustion powered vehicles we enjoy today known as cars were created back in 1886 by German engineer Karl Benz. The vehicle was initially called the Patent Motorwagen since it was the first car to be awarded a patent. Technically Karl’s wife came up with the idea but since women were not allowed to hold patents back then, he had to file the invention under his name.
The first Mercedes was a three-wheeled vehicle that almost had the appearance of a bicycle. It’s parts constituted a steel tube frame, wooden panels and small gasoline-powered engine.
Mercedes invented the air bag technology
Clearly, the German car manufacturer has many firsts. For example, the airbag was first introduced by this revolutionary car brand in the 1981 S-Class. Since this installation, the airbag has become arguably the most impressive and life-saving contribution ever incorporated into automotive technology
Medical personnel assist with designing the seats
The neat seats in Mercedes-Benz vehicles are designed with the help of orthopedic physicians so that they support kidney, back, and knee-joint areas. This ensures that the vehicle is comfortable for all people regardless of their health status. Quite impressive
Mercedes made the very first diesel engine passenger car
In 1936, Mercedes Benz manufactured the first ever diesel-engine passenger car – the 260D. Considered a huge technological feat at the time, the vehicle had 3 wheels, a four-cylinder engine and 4 doors. The cost of the Mercedes-Benz 260D was roughly the modern equivalent of the Mercedes E-Class.
See Also: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Toyota
All Mercedes cars undergo rigorous engine testing before being put to market
Mercedes cares about quality. It is reported that every single Mercedes engine goes through a rigorous testing process for over five hours, including 40 minutes straight on an engine dyno at full throttle just to see if there is anything that can go wrong. .
…And there is intense inspection too
Mercedes puts one qualified automobile inspector in charge of every 11 workers it employs to build its luxury cars. By the time a car is released to the market, every single detail would have been examined.
Unique shock absorbing steering wheel
The steering wheel of almost every Mercedes Benz vehicle comes with its own built-in shock absorber that’s able to cushion rough roads and bumps before they can affect the driver’s hands.
Mercedes prefers welding most body parts instead of fixing them with bolts
According to the Stuttgart factory center, Mercedes-Benz bodies are welded in over 10,000 places. Ignoring bolts has its benefits as it generally means less wear and tear on a car and a longer road life.
Mercedes actually built the first driverless car many years ago
You might be forgiven think that self-driving cars are a recent phenomenon. But you’re very wrong! Thanks to some massive funding from the European Union, to the tune of €800 million, and a few years of technological studies and development, Mercedes engineered an autonomous S-Class that basically drove itself from Munich, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark and back in 1995. Yes… that’s over 20 years ago. Along the way it hit speeds of up to 109 mph. Sounds like something only a drone can do but Mercedes did it.
Intense paint job
Every Mercedes undergoes an intense paint job. The car is first drowned in a 52-ton primer and then given four coats, with hand polishing applied in between. The final coat is applied by hand with a salt-resistant material.