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Mercedes-Benz said it installed the first series-produced four-stroke (Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

Mercedes-Benz said it installed the first series-produced four-stroke direct-injection petrol engine in the 1954 300SL sports car. It was among the fastest cars of its time.

Mercedes-Benz cars through the years

Ever since Carl Benz filed a patent application in 1886 in Berlin for a three-wheeled motor car, Mercedes-Benz has stood at the forefront of vehicle innovation and design. Now synonymous with foreign luxury cars, the brand has seen many changes through the years, most recently with the return of a two-door Gullwing sports car, introduced in 2011 as the SLS AMG.

Carl Benz patented the Benz
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

Carl Benz patented the Benz "Motorwagen" in 1886.

The 1902 Mercedes-Simplex 40 PS was so named
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1902 Mercedes-Simplex 40 PS was so named for its advances, which were aimed at maximizing ease of use for drivers.

The 1936-37 Mercedes-Benz 540K was notable for its
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1936-37 Mercedes-Benz 540K was notable for its design, which featured flowing lines and tailored forms.

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Introduced in the 1930s, the Mercedes-Benz Grosser 770
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

Introduced in the 1930s, the Mercedes-Benz Grosser 770 was a larger luxury vehicle that was used mostly as a government vehicle, most famously by Adolf Hitler.

Mercedes-Benz's SL cars were best known for their
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

Mercedes-Benz's SL cars were best known for their gull-wing doors during the mid-1950s.

Mercedes-Benz said it installed the first series-produced four-stroke
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

Mercedes-Benz said it installed the first series-produced four-stroke direct-injection petrol engine in the 1954 300SL sports car. It was among the fastest cars of its time.

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz S220 Ponton coupe was named
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1955 Mercedes-Benz S220 Ponton coupe was named for the "pontoon" styled fenders that were popular after World War II.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS Roadster was produced between
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS Roadster was produced between 1957 and 1963.

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The W113 series was produced between 1963 and
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The W113 series was produced between 1963 and 1971 in an attempt to offer buyers a combination of sports car performance and traveling comfort.

The Mercedes-Benz 250C, of model years 1967 through
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The Mercedes-Benz 250C, of model years 1967 through 1976, is shown.

The 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL is notable for its
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL is notable for its concave hardtop, which eventually gave birth to the "Pagoda" nickname.

The 1969 Mercedes-Benz C 111 was the first
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1969 Mercedes-Benz C 111 was the first in a series of experimental cars unveiled through the late 1970s.

The Mercedes-Benz SL-class debuted in 1952 and was
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The Mercedes-Benz SL-class debuted in 1952 and was named "SL" as an abbreviation for super light. The model produced between 1971 and 1989 is shown.

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The Mercedes-Benz S-Class design was used between 1979
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class design was used between 1979 and 1990.

The 1977 Mercedes-Benz 300SD was notable for being
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1977 Mercedes-Benz 300SD was notable for being the first car built with a turbocharged diesel engine.

The 1982 Mercedes-Benz 190 was the inaugural edition
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The 1982 Mercedes-Benz 190 was the inaugural edition of the car manufacturers' entry-level car that was popular through the early 1990s.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was first given its now-standard
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class was first given its now-standard name with this model, produced between 1987 and 1996.

The M-Class, introduced in 1997, was Mercedes-Benz's first
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The M-Class, introduced in 1997, was Mercedes-Benz's first premium SUV model.

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The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was introduced in 2003
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was introduced in 2003 and was inspired by a 1955 Mercedes race car. Production ceased in 2008.

The E-Class was revamped in 2006. Pictured is
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

The E-Class was revamped in 2006. Pictured is the Mercedes-Benz E320.

In 2011, Mercedes-Benz introduced the SLS AMG in
(Credit: Mercedes-Benz USA)

In 2011, Mercedes-Benz introduced the SLS AMG in the United States. It was designed to be a more modern take on the 300SL Gullwing.

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