Benz Motor-Velocipede back on the road in 2024

STUTTGART: The 130-year-old Benz Motor-Velocipede, a pioneering vehicle in automotive history, took its first outing of the anniversary year at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen on the outskirts of Stuttgart last month.

This location, housing Factory 56 equipped with advanced production technology, also serves as a testing ground for the integration of humanoid robots in production logistics. Mercedes-Benz Classic, with expertise from its Classic Centre in Fellbach, ensured the Motor-Velocipede was restored to its original operating condition.

The vehicle, previously showcased at the Mercedes-Benz Museum, will now be demonstrated at select public events in 2024.


Originally introduced in 1894, the Benz Motor-Velocipede represented a milestone in automobile manufacturing, being the first series-production passenger car.

Around 1,200 units of this compact Benz automobile model were made between 1894 and 1902 at the Benz factory in Mannheim.

Offering a lightweight construction and a 1½ horsepower engine, the Velocipede attained speeds of up to 20kph and could tackle gradients of up to 10% on good roads.

Initially priced at 2,000 marks, the vehicle was lauded for its performance and quickly became a bestseller.


Over time, Benz & Cie. introduced upgrades to the Motor-Velocipede, including more powerful engines and additional equipment options.

The Benz Comfortable variant, featuring enhancements such as a longer body, third gear, and pneumatic tyres, further expanded the model's appeal.

The vehicle concept underwent continuous development until 1902, with significant increases in power output observed over the years.


The power output of the horizontally installed 1-litre single-cylinder engine with vertical flywheel increased from 1.1 kW (1.5 hp) in the first Benz Velo of 1894 to 3.3 kW (4.5 hp) in the Benz Comfortable of 1902. From 1901 (2.6 kW/3.5 hp) to 1902 alone, the power output increased by 28.5 per cent.

The success of the Motor-Velocipede extended internationally, with variants marketed under different names in various countries and licensed production agreements established, such as with the British engineering company Arnold in 1895.

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