clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA can 'transform' at high speed

Ahead of this week's Frankfurt auto show, Mercedes-Benz just showed off the Concept IAA, a silver bullet of a car that's designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. But it's got two very different modes: below 80 km/h (50mph), it bears some resemblance to a normal sedan; above 80 km/h, a bunch of panels deploy from the front, rear, and sides to reduce drag coefficient to 0.19 (for comparison, the most efficient current-generation S-Class has a Cd of 0.23).

There's clearly some design DNA shared with Mercedes' wild F 015 self-driving car, but the Concept IAA feels considerably closer to reality, despite its status as a transformer — it's got a fairly conventional 279-horsepower hybrid drivetrain and appears to be designed for driving by an actual driver. Two 12.3-inch displays handle the job of communicating information to the occupants, while the steering wheel makes use of optical sensors to navigate through menus with your fingertips.

Clearly it's not a production car, but it's easy to imagine that some of the Concept IAA's ideas could make it to the dealership — some modern vehicles already have "active" aerodynamics that move louvers and other exterior features to minimize drag while meeting cooling needs, and this looks like a logical next step.


Tesla is offering half-off its Full Self Driving package and more for loyal customers in China


No electric vehicles on the market today qualify for the new EV tax credit


Lucid unveils new ‘Stealth Look’ for its luxury electric Air sedan

View all stories in Transportation