The Frankfurt Motor Show is better known as the IAA which is the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (obviously not an American English spelling at all). This might make you think the new Mercedes-Benz concept car was named after the show, but it wasn’t. The confusion is the fact that this new car is called the Concept IAA which actually stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, which might be a boring name, but it’s certainly not a boring car at all.
When it comes to aerodynamics this new concept is able to match or beat some of the most aerodynamic production cars ever built. When hybrids were starting aero became important, but as we have moved through development more power made it ok to offer hybrid sports car that were some of the most aerodynamic ever. This car has a drag coefficient of 0.19 which matches the GM EV1, beats the Tesla Model S and is extremely close to the Volkswagen XL1.
What makes the IAA one of the most interesting cars at the show, or anywhere for that matter is the ability of this car to transform. At about fifty mph the car can change with the press of a button to full aerodynamic mode. When this happens you want to stand back and see exactly what happens because the change is dramatic and extremely cool.
IN the rear the car extends out about fifteen inches adding to the vehicle length. This is the most visible change, but there are several more. The front has flaps in the bumper that extend outward an inch on each side and a smaller extender in the rear bumper pops out as well. These flaps are made to keep air away from the wheel arches where drag can come into play and air can get stuck. In order to aid this further the car is fitted with Active Rims. This feature changes the cupping of the rim from 55 mm to zero to give only a flat surface for air to pass over. The last part of the aero is the louver in the front bumper that extends back 2.3 inches to help the air traveling under the car to pass by more quickly.
Other than the aerodynamics of the car the IAA has a beautiful look to it that will appeal to many drivers, especially those looking for amazing aerodynamics and an electric powertrain. The plug in hybrid system has a range of 41 miles in full aero and 38.5 otherwise. The power plant does produce as much as 279 horsepower which is enough to take this beautiful sedan up to 155 mph on the track.
Even though it is only in concept you can see where Mercedes-Benz is headed with this car. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that some of all of these features make it onto some of the production cars in the future. In fact the IAA could fit in nicely in the CLS-Class where it would fit right in with its attractive white leather interior and touch controls. Even if it feels or looks a bit over the top, automotive technology is headed in this direction with cars that can improve themselves with just the push of a button to give you the best drive you can find anywhere.