Timetable of Pioneering Innovations
1896: Stoewer brothers Emil (aged 23 years) and Bernhard (21 years) commence their development of a motor car, experimenting first with electric motors and De Dion single cylinder petrol engines.
1899: Commenced design and construction of a range of electric vehicles using power stored in lead-acid batteries manufactured in-house. Products included luxury personal transport, commercial trucks, buses, taxis and fire fighting vehicles. Maximum range was about 60 km.
1899: Construction of their first, completely in-house designed and built, motor car. This car had a 2-cylinder, water-cooled engine of 2,100 cc capacity, developing 6.5 HP and propelling the car at up to 17 kph.
1902: Constructed their first 4-cylinder engine and to prove its range and reliability, drove it 2,500 km from Stettin to Paris and back in snow-covered, sub-zero conditions during the middle of winter.
1906: Bernhard Stoewer built the first 6-cylinder, petrol engine in Germany. This engine had a capacity of 8,822 cc. It was cast in 3 blocks of 2-cylinders, had four main bearings and it developed 50 HP at 1,200 rpm giving the P6 car a top speed of 100 kph. The Prussian Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II purchased one of these cars.
1906: Stoewer win a contract to supply 200, double-decker buses to the London and District Motor Bus Company Limited. These were powered by a 4-cylinder engine of 4,562 cc developing 24 HP.
1911: Stoewer built a 4-cylinder aircraft engine with overhead camshaft, overhead valves and hemispherical combustion chambers, designed by employee, Boris Loutzkoy. This engine of 8,621 cc capacity developed 100 HP at 1,800 rpm. Five motor cars with touring bodies were built using this engine. They were capable of 120 kph.
1912: A 6-cylinder version of the Loutzkoy engine was built. Although never commercialised, it is likely that it was one of these engines that was used early in 1912 when it has been claimed, German pilot Hellmuth Hirth establish an air speed "record" of 160 kph. Details of this record are unclear and the flight is not included in the recognised list of world air-speed records which show Frenchman Jules Védrines reaching 162 kph on 22nd February, 1912.
1928: Stoewer develop and release its first in-line 8-cylinder engine cars. Their “top of the range” model, the 4,906 cc “Repräsentant” cabriolet of 1930 was regarded as one of the finest motor cars of the time.
1931: In February 1931, Stoewer released the first front-wheel-drive car in Germany using their patented constant velocity joint technology. This small car had a Vee-4 engine of just 1,191 cc capacity delivering 30 HP in un-supercharged form. With a light, alloy sports-car body the V5S soon established a reputation for manoeuvrability and traction leading its designer Bernhard Stoewer to become convinced that front-wheel-drive was the technology of the future.
1935: Stoewer produced the first four-wheel-drive car in Germany. Not only did this car have four-wheel-drive, but it was also equipped with four-wheel-steering. It was conceived as a light weight, general purpose military vehicle for off-road application. The Stoewer R180 Special preceded the American Jeep by some six years.