A radical new concept from Mercedes-Benz previews the future of Mercedes’ design. The concept sedan features new active body components that transform the car between two different modes that change the aerodynamic profile of the car.
Slicing through the air with a fishlike 0.19 coefficient of drag, the new Mercedes-Benz Concept Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (IAA) has the ability to transform from its “design mode” into the more lithe “aerodynamic mode”. In aerodynamic mode, which is triggered by either the driver with the push of a button or automatically at 50 mph, eight rear segments of the car transform into a Kamm-tail, extending the length of the car by up to 15.4 inches. Flaps in the front bumper extend by one inch to divert more air to the rear, the wheels reduce their profile by around 2.2 inches, and the front louvers recess by 2.4 inches. This aerodynamic transformation results in an extremely efficient body that provides the least amount of drag as possible.
On the inside, Mercedes says the design previews future sedan interiors to come, building on the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagship. The design includes flowing lines of cut glass, aluminum, and white leather, contrasted by bluish-purple ambient lighting.
Underneath the sumptuously-designed skin, the Concept IAA is motivated by a gas/electric hybrid drive, with a combined output of 279 hp, pushing the sedan to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. The Concept IAA has an all-electric range of 39 miles in design mode, with a bump up to 41 miles in aerodynamic mode.
The Concept IAA made its official debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show. Take a look at Mercedes’ vision of the future in the photo gallery below.