I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say the Mercedes Concept IAA was the most incredible design study unveiled at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. This ravishing, futuristic and innovative concept was meant to embody two cars in one: a four-door coupé with a striking design and a record-breaking vehicle in terms of aerodynamics.
The Mercedes Concept IAA changes its shape while moving, and that is not part of a Sci-Fi script. At speeds in excess of 80 km/h, the concept automatically switches from design mode to aerodynamic mode, changing its form with the aid of various aerodynamic features.
Eight segments deploy at the rear end, extending its length by up to 390 mm (15.3 in), while the flaps in the front bumper extend outwards by 25 mm (0.98 in) and rearwards by 200 mm (7.87 in).
The active wheel rims continue with the innovative features, as they change their cupping from 50 mm (1.97 in) to zero, while the fin in the front bumper retracts by 60 mm (2.36 in) in order to improve flow along the underbody. As a result, the concept benefits from a very slippery aerodynamic shape.
The experts in aerodynamics at Mercedes-Benz worked hard at coming up with this shape, by using numerical flow simulation during around one million CPU hours. But the Concept IAA is more than just an aerodynamics study, as it comes equipped with a large number of sensors and modules that enable autonomous driving and car-to-X communication.
Other innovations worth mentioning include the operating concept with touch-based functionalities in the interior. The concept car is powered by a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid drive, with a total output of 279 PS (275 hp) that allows for an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Impressed yet?