A popular used Chevy for sale, blue 2020 Chevy Camaro SS, is shown driving on a open road.

Chevrolet Has Been Influencing Auto Innovation for Over 111 Years

Have you ever wondered who was one of the first to implement some of the most helpful features in your vehicle, like the electric starter, anti-lock brakes, or even the car radio? Well, you can give all the credit to one powerhouse automaker that has a storied history in the industry—Chevrolet. If you’ve ever glanced at a new or used Chevy for sale, you’ll be able to tell instantly that these vehicles are a cut above the rest. Not only are they filled with plenty of highly sought-after features every driver wants, but they’re also affordable and catered to the everyday American traveler. When it comes to some of the most groundbreaking tech and equipment releases, Chevrolet has plenty of firsts under its belt that deserve heavy recognition.

The Early Years: Advanced Features for a Fair Price

When Chevrolet got its start in 1911, it was already years behind Ford, a fierce competitor in the industry, and instead of competing on a level playing field, Chevrolet decided to up the ante. To stand out from the crowd, Chevrolet founders Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss racecar driver, and GM mogul William C. Durant took Chevy in a different direction that would ultimately lead to its domination of the market. Offering features that could only be found in luxury vehicles of the time for an affordable price put Chevy on the map with drivers across the nation. The Series C Classic Six, which was first seen in 1911, debuted a number of features that made for a more comfortable and safe driving experience, like electric headlamps to see better at night, as well as an electric starter that made its operation seamless.

The 1920s saw the addition of the first car radio in Chevy vehicles, bringing forth an era of traveling that was unlike anything that had ever been experienced before. In the ’50s and ’60s, as cars became more advanced, so did their features. From anti-lock brakes to fuel injection engines, Chevy implemented the latest and greatest technology in its vehicles for fair prices to help bring a better way to travel to more drivers everywhere. The biggest draw to all of these features was that they were available in vehicles that were affordable to the masses, allowing more families the ability to afford to bring an automobile into their driveways. The same holds true to this day.

Performance & Design Enhancements

Chevy isn’t just known for its affordability and cutting-edge features; it’s also recognized for bringing forth some of the most iconic designs and performance elements that have ever graced the roadways. In 1955, Chevy introduced the first small-block V8 engine, which would revolutionize the way vehicles performed, enhancing its power and capabilities like never before. This level of technology would go on to influence many other models in the future, and as the years went on, these engines only continued to advance in every way. This also solidified Chevy’s spot at the top when it came to the track, as these vehicles were fierce competitors in the racing world, especially the Corvette, which debuted in 1953, regarded as one of the first sports cars in North America.

It wasn’t just sports cars that were outfitted with legendary performance capabilities; regular everyday vehicles were consistently being enhanced as well. The arrival of the Corvair in the 1960s brought forth an air-cooled engine, as well as an independent four-wheel suspension, while a decade prior, the first automatic transmission was seen in economy vehicles. In 1970, unleaded gasoline was utilized for the first time, making the automaker the very first to utilize this type of fuel to help reduce emissions and prevent further pollution of our environment. Chevy has also been known as a design influencer, dating back to the 1957 Bel Air, which sported cat-eye headlamps and large fins, becoming the poster child of the ’50s. Of course, you can’t travel down the road today without noticing the angular design of the Corvette or the sleek style of the Camaro, which originally debuted in 1966.

Perhaps what the brand is most recognized for is its selection of tough trucks, showcasing an arsenal of high-performing engines, as well as work-ready equipment designed to complete more. From a multifunctional tailgate to an interior worksurface, Chevy trucks are built with the modern worker in mind. Whether it’s a sports car or a tough truck, Chevy has had a hand in influencing the market to showcase machines that perform above and beyond the call of duty.

Advanced Safety Tech & Equipment

As the years have progressed, vehicle safety has advanced, and whether it’s the construction of vehicles or the tech included inside of them, Chevy excels here. In 1972, new frontal crash testing standards were developed by the GM brand, setting a new standard for the safety and durability of vehicles. A year later, in 1973, airbags were introduced into Chevy vehicles, which have gone on to save tens of thousands of lives, according to a study performed by the NHTSA.

Technology continues to play a significant role in the overall safety of vehicles, and Chevy is at the helm of many of these developments. One of the most helpful services found in many modern vehicles is OnStar Safety & Security, which started making its way into GM vehicles in 1997. Perhaps what’s most exciting is the introduction of hands-free driving technology, which GM introduced in 2017 with its Super Cruise feature. The ability to travel on over 200,000 miles of pre-mapped roadways throughout the U.S. and Canada by utilizing Adaptive Cruise Control, a series of cameras and sensors, and other advanced tech, this feature has revolutionized the way we travel. Not only are drivers able to stay more focused on the ride, they’re also able to stay safer and more controlled with their vehicles assisting every step of the way.

Into the Future

In true Chevy fashion, the brand has become a force in the electric vehicle movement, unveiling some of the most impactful EVs to the market. The Chevy Volt, which debuted in 2007, was perhaps one of the most influential EVs to become available to the masses, with its stylish design and plug-in hybrid capabilities. It would go on to usher in the Bolt EV in 2017 and later the Bolt EUV in 2022, which showcases an impressive range, loads of tech, including Super Cruise capabilities, as well as modern styling that appeals to today’s driver.

These EVs are powered by the Ultium platform, which debuted in 2020, paving the way for others to follow suit with their electric options. Utilizing pouch cell technology, these batteries are easily stackable, taking up less space in vehicles and weighing less as well. This allows vehicles operating on the Ultium platform to achieve better performance and feature more spacious interiors, making Chevy vehicles, once again, superior to their rivals. The brand also has helped to contribute to the conservation of our planet by building the Factory ZERO facility in Detroit, which will be the birthplace of Chevy EVs for the future. The plant opened in November 2022 and will undoubtedly transform the way EVs are manufactured, thus taking the EV industry to new heights.

As you can see, Chevy has been changing the game in the auto industry since its inception. From its early days emerging onto the scene among a sea of competitors to its plans for the future, you can expect many more firsts from this esteemed brand. When it comes to innovation, Chevy excels, and when it comes to vehicles that have your needs in mind, there’s no better model than one emblazoned with a bowtie.