Since Karl Benz first put an internal combustion engine in an automobile, the history of Mercedes-Benz has been one of ceaseless and inspiring innovation.
This innovation has been applied to all areas of automobile technology, and it is no surprise to see that Mercedes-Benz was behind many of the new ideas in suspensions throughout their storied history.
Just what was the evolution of Mercedes’ suspensions? And what types of suspension systems can you expect to find in cars from different eras? We’ll answer these questions and more in this history of Mercedes suspensions.
The Early Days
When Daimler and Benz were just getting started with their new designs for automobiles, there wasn’t much precedent for suspension systems. Since roads were mostly made for horse-drawn carriages, they were rough and unsteady.
Cars going at faster speeds and with heavier motors needed a way to smooth out the rough ride, and the first innovation on this front came in 1895 when coil springs were added to the rear axle.
Independent Wheel Suspension
Another huge innovation came at the 1931 Paris Motor Show, where Mercedes-Benz presented their new model, the 170. The new suspension on this car was a type of swing axle suspension that treated each of the four wheels separately. This set a new standard for comfort and safety on the roads, establishing a reputation for luxury and ride quality that Mercedes maintains to this day.
As the years went on, Mercedes continued to make new waves while maintaining their commitment to comfortable independent wheel suspension. In 1961 they rolled out their first car, which used air bellows instead of coil springs. They would continue using different variations of both in the coming years.
For example, in 1982, Mercedes introduced multi-link independent rear suspension. This system used five different links arranged in three dimensions to maximize the car’s ability to absorb shocks from the road and maintain a smooth ride.
The introduction of the AIRMATIC suspension system in 1998 marked a new era for the safety and drivability of Mercedes vehicles. It was an air suspension system that used air springs instead of coiled springs and an electronically controlled system with adaptive damping.
Eventually, this system was able to adjust the dampers and ride height on its own when faced with bumpy roads, an increased load from passengers or cargo, or even higher speeds. This meant that it would always maximize your stability based on your driving style.
AIRMATIC also paved the way for numerous other innovations, like ABC (Active Body Control), which helped correct uncomfortable vibrations and road noise.
Adsitco and Your Suspension
As you can see, the history of Mercedes Benz is the history of creating new technologies to solve problems. In the same way, Adsitco is here to help you solve any problems you are having with your Mercedes suspension.
Our extensive online catalog has hundreds of parts relating to suspension and steering alone, not to mention any other parts you may need for your car. And with over 40 years of Mercedes experience, we’re ready to help you answer any questions you may have about your car. Give us a call or send us a message today to learn more about how we can help you.