New exhibit marks 125 years of Bosch in the 125th year of the motor car

08 December 2011 #SMMT News

The latest arrival in SMMT’s Westminster exhibition space celebrates the 125th anniversary of Robert Bosch GmbH. The multinational industrial technology company is the largest supplier of automotive components globally, and shares its anniversary with the patent of the world’s first motor car in 1886.

The two cars on display at SMMT showcase the oldest and newest Bosch automotive technology. The 1899 Daimler Phaeton 12hp, the first car to be driven into the yard of the Houses of Parliament and currently owned by the Science Museum, has the Bosch magneto ignition device installed. The Daimler, which is an exhibit from the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, was considered on its day as being technically very advanced with candle powered headlamps and solid rubber rear tyres on wooden spoke wheels. The car had a maximum speed of 30 mph and cost £775 to buy at the time. The 2011 Jaguar XJ Portfolio LWB being exhibited is fitted with a variety of Bosch technologies, including a diesel engine management system, electronic stability program (ESP®) modulator and pedestrian protection sensor.

When the Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering was opened in Stuttgart, as the company was then known, the most important product was the magneto ignition device, producing pulses of high voltage for the ignition systems of internal combustion engines.

Robert Bosch was the first to adapt this to fit a vehicle engine, solving one of the biggest technical problems faced by the automotive industry at the time. In 1899, Bosch and Frederick Simms, founder of the SMMT, teamed up to produce an innovative magneto that enabled engine designers to precisely time the ignition of fuel. Simms later went into business on his own, manufacturing devices under licence from Bosch until 1913.

Bosch and his company went on to develop and launch some of the most well-known inventions in automotive history, from the windscreen wiper in 1926 to more recent technologies like the antilock braking system (ABS) in 1978 and ESP in 1995. The business now has a global presence and employs over 275,000 people.

For more information about the latest Bosch innovations, visit the company’s automotive technology website hub.

Click through for more information about the 1899 Daimler 12hp.

Visit the JLR media centre for more information about the Jaguar XJ.

Click through the slideshow below to see all the photos from SMMT’s exhibition space:

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