It is incredibly easy to take automotive advancement for granted. After all, drivers today are enjoying amazingly luxurious vehicles without any knowledge of “how things used to be". It’s an understandable dynamic, but for fun, and obviously perspective, it can be beneficial to take a look back on where our cars and trucks truly originated, and, even if for a moment, reflect on how far things have come in the last 100 years of automotive engineering.
We have seen engines that would once provide transportation at a “blazing" 12 mph evolve from 5 HP designs to average-performance sedans that deliver 240 HP. To commemorate these advancements, and humor our own amusements, we created an infographic that outlines how things have changed, and just how many things we truly take for granted every time we get behind the wheel...
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Power and Performance
Let’s consider, for a moment, just how far we’ve come since the first automobile. As we mentioned before, the first vehicle brought a whopping 5 horsepower engine to the table. Today, you can find the same power in a residential pressure washer! Imagine trying to get to work using little more than a lawnmower engine...
We now have cars that can not only provide performance, but do so with limited fuel usage. Sure, we’re still working to perfect the hybrid engine, but even the notion that such a concept exists is enough to knock even the most talented 1901 auto designer out of their chair!
While safety may not have been considered too much of an issue in the beginning of automotive design (considering that the vehicles were travelling at less than 15 mph), we certainly demand it as drivers today. As the speeds increased, so did the need for improved features that would protect passengers in the event of a collision. While we are taking this proverbial trip down an automotive memory lane, let’s remember one thing – airbags are a relatively “new" development when looking at the auto industry from a macro-level. Granted, cars from the 1960’s didn’t “fold up" upon contact with an immovable object as they do today, either.
The aforementioned point of airbags and the construction of vehicles in the 1960’s raises another interesting question: Would we be able to pursue fuel economy, given the weight of the mid-20th century cars, without first reducing the durability of the materials used in the framework?
And yes, these are the discussions that float around our office...
So, when you climb into your car tomorrow morning for your morning commute, take a moment to be amazed at the amount of engineering that has been put into the automobiles of today.
Sure, they aren’t flying cars, something we still believe we were promised years ago, but when we see how far the industry has come in a little over a hundred years, there is plenty to admire.
With that, we tip our caps to the auto engineers of the world for their dedication to the overall improvement of our transportation. However, we would like to ask…."when are we getting those flying cars you promised, guys?"
-The Go-Part.com Team