It wouldn't be wrong to say that the world's first automobile was at the same time the first research vehicle in the brand's history. Carl Benz filed for a patent on his motor car on 29 January 1886. He developed it into a production vehicle on its basis. And in so doing, he ushered in an entirely new era of personal mobility. By the way, his then competitor Gottlieb Daimler recognised the potential at exactly the same time and realised it in his vehicles.
Thinking ahead and testing ideas: research vehicles are both suitable as well as convincing vehicles for this purpose. Every single one of them is equipped with important technologies for future production vehicles. This is evident when looking at the more recent vehicles that have the "F" in their name and some of their technologies, which were ahead of their time and in part made it to series production today.