The first all-wheel drive vehicle was the Lohner-Porsche, made by Professor Ferdinand Porsche in 1900. The car used individual wheel hub motors to propel each wheel independently. The unique feature of the car was that it was a hybrid vehicle that used batteries to power the wheel motors.
The first all-wheel drive passenger vehicle was attributed to Paul Daimler in 1907. The Dernburg-Wagon not only featured all-wheel drive but also had all-wheel steering.
The first mechanical four-wheel drive that utilized a transfer case and drive shaft setup was the Spyker, built by Jacobus Spyker in 1902.
All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between the two methods of propulsion.