Mercedes-Benz Concept IAAMercedes has showcased a near-future design at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with an innovative solution to fuel efficiency.
The Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA" (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) is two cars in one, with a 'design mode' providing an elegant four-door coupe vehicle and, at the touch of a button or at speeds over 50mph, an 'aerodynamic' mode, in which the whole car changes shape to slide through the air with unmatched ease.
Inside the Concept IAA is a continuation of the current direction of the S-Class and S-Class Coupe, with new touch-based functions to give insight into what the inside of a business saloon might look like in the near future.
The also offers a look into the future in other areas - some which may not be apparent at first glance. The study features Car-to-X technology which allows the car to communicate with other vehicles or other sources of information. This represents a major advance in helping to avoid accidents, as obstacles or events which are not actually visible to the vehicle itself can be detected - so the Concept IAA can look into its own future!
More obvious though is the external feature. Numerous aerodynamic measures alter the shape of the vehicle at higher road speeds to achieve better range and fuel economy figures. Eight segments extend at the rear, increasing its length by up to 390 millimetres;, while front flaps in the front bumper extend by 25 mm to the front and 20 mm to the rear, improving the air flow around the front end and the front wheel arches. There's also Active Rims that alter the wheel dish from 55mm deep to flat.
In this mode, the drag coefficient (Cd) is reduced to just 0.19, which increases the electric-only range of the plug-in hybrid Concept IAA from 62km to 66km. On the combined cycle, the car returns figures of 31g/km CO2 in design mode and 28g/km CO2 in aerodynamic mode.
Reducing drag coefficient is at the core of Mercedes, with models in nearly every vehicle segment occupying the top position for aerodynamics. The CLA-Class particularly, with a Cd of 0.22, has the lowest drag rating of any series production car.