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The 4MATIC Legacy

Moments in time. A history of traction.

No matter what the conditions - wet or dry, slippery or rugged - the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system from Mercedes-Benz creates grip by engaging all four wheels. The result? You can venture out and make that moment happen - with confidence - every day. Different 4MATIC systems have been developed to meet the unique needs of our diverse Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG line-up. Check them out here.

1903: Early days of the Mercedes AWD

Paul Daimler creates initial designs for an AWD automobile.

1907
1931: Making history

The first ever fully independent 4-wheel suspension is introduced with the Mercedes 170

1951
1972: Military use

Development begins for the Gelandewagen, a cross-country SUV suitable for industrial, municipal and military use. Its comfort and safety appeals to civilians too.

1978
1979: Launch of the G-Class

Production of the Gelandewagen, or "G-Model" begins in Graz, Austria, where it remains handcrafted, and known as the G-Class, to this day.

1985
1987: E-Class debuts first 4MATIC models

The W124-series (E-Class) debuts the first 4MATIC models, featuring an electronically lockable differential (ESD).

1997
1999: 4-ETS sedan and wagon launch

4-ETS is added to the E-Class 4MATIC sedans and wagons

2008
2016: 4MATIC available in nearly 50 models around the world

Today's 4MATIC is available on more than a dozen Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and SUVs found in Canada and nearly 50 models around the world, from cars to SUVs, and vans with gasoline, diesel, and hybrid power.

1903
1907: AWD makes its way into production vehicle

Daimler "Dernberg-Wagen" is the first AWD car for everyday use. It also features 4-wheel steering.

1931
1951: Farming & Construction

Prodution begins for the Unimog, a 4WD truck for agricultural use. Still in production generations later, it's ideally suited for farming and construction in rugged terrains.

1972
1978: Introducing ABS

Introduction of the Anti-lock Braking System lays the foundation for future electronic traction control systems.

1979
1985: Introduction of the term "4MATIC"

Mercedes-Benz engineers introduce a new passenger-car AWD drive system at the Frankfurt Motor Show called "4MATIC"

1987
1997: M-Class launch

The M-Class SUV is launched with the first ever 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS) among its many innovations.

1999
2008: A new generation of 4MATIC

A new generation of 4MATIC achieves a system weight of well under 200 lb. It appears first on the CL 550 Coupe

2016
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