MWM motorhorse revolutionizes transportation

Ein „MWM Motorpferd“ zieht eine 250 Zentner schwereLokomotive durch die Innenstadt in Mannheim

The world’s first tractor with a diesel engine: “The MWM motorhorse”

A MWM motorhorse pulls a 250 hundredweight locomotive through downtown Mannheim.

With the development and sale of the MWM motorhorse, the MWM brand revolutionized transportation in Germany. From 1924 to 1931, the company produced and delivered a total of 558 units of the world’s first tractor with two-cylinder four-stroke prechamber diesel engine. In order not to violate the contractual rule of Benz & Cie. not to produce any vehicles with engines weighing less than 25 kg/hp, engineer Prosper L’Orange developed a transversely mounted diesel engine (RH18 Z). With its compressorless MWM diesel engine, the motorhorse had a power of 16 to 18 hp at 750 to 800 rpm.

In August 1924, five engine-powered MWM motorhorses passed through Mannheim without producing any smoke, providing a fine spectacle. One of the first tractors drove up to the Königsstuhl with a trailing load of 5 t. After the focus had been shifted to engine production and sales, the production of the MWM motorhorse was stopped. However, the invention had not only shown the inventive spirit and innovative drive of MWM, it had also demonstrated the performance and suitability of the diesel engine for everyday use. As a result, more and more companies started using MWM diesel engines.


MWM History. Future Needs Tradition.

More about the history of the company, the MWM brand and the experience in developing and optimizing stationary gas engines.

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A Rarity on Lake Constance

The MWM motorhorse of 1925, which was restored by Holger Völkel and Bernd Handke for the Car & Tractor Museum on Lake Constance, is a magnet for fans of legacy engine technology.

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Lucky Strike: A 1925 MWM Motorhorse

Vintage tractor enthusiast Edgar Pohl talks about the discovery and restoration of an MWM motorhorse manufactured in 1925.

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Brand expert Thomas Wilkens on the MWM Brand: Brand Management an Important Success Factor

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The brand quiz Take part and win parts 1 to 10

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The MWM Kit for distributors for the brand anniversary

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Image: 150th Anniversary Book (page 43)

Eisinger, Norbert (2021): 1871–2021, 150 Years of Continuous Innovation, Milestones and Highlights, Baier Digitaldruck GmbH, Heidelberg

Eisinger, Norbert (2022): Motoren-Werke Mannheim AG, articles and information from Mannheim newspapers from 1922 to 1927