RAC Cars News


Cars That Changed The Auto Industry

By raccars Published

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Of the huge number of cars on the market, very few have been serious game changers. Certainly, the Ford Model T, Austin Seven or the Mini could lay claim to the distinction, while the Tesla Model S is fast gaining plaudits as a car to change the way we see electric vehicles. What other cars have changed the auto word as we know it?

Citroen DS

A car ahead of its time, the DS was notable for the oleopneumatic suspension system for which the brand became famous and for the swivelling headlamps, which previewed by decades those we are seeing enter the market today.

Land Rover

While off road vehicles already existed by the time the Land Rover appeared on the scene, they weren't for public consumption. The Land Rover became a part of any farmer or country dweller's essential kit and gave birth to the huge 4x4 sector of the auto industry that we know today.

Toyota Prius

It's not a car to inspire passion but the Prius was the first hybrid to become a mass seller and paved the way for the current, far more sophisticated crop of electric vehicles, which every manufacturer is including in its line up.

Lamborghini Miura

Pioneering the mid-engined, rear wheel drive layout for sports cars, the Miura drew the blueprint for the modern supercar, still used by the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren today. It was also a stunningly beautiful car: the automobile as an art form.

Austin Seven

The car that brought motoring to the masses in the UK, the Seven also set the template for the three pedals, handbrake and steering wheel layout as we know it. The Seven was also sold in Germany, Japan and the USA, helping to mobilise the whole world and the international auto industry.

Lancia Lambda

Allegedly as a response to a rough sea crossing, Vincenzo Lancia came up with the unibody construction method that's also known as monocoque these days and used it in his next model, the Lambda. The result was lighter and stronger than the two part frame and body format that was standard at that time and is how most cars are built today.

Tesla Model S

Electric cars have fought against their dowdy image for years, despite manufacturers' desperate attempts to make them desirable. Tesla, however, may have finally done it with the Model S. It's practical, with a long range, good looking and fast - all areas in which electric vehicles have struggled.

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