Wed, Sep 16, 2015

Mercedes concept saloon shifts shape!

Mercedes-Benz is to reveal a concept luxury car that changes shape that at high speeds and becomes an “aerodynamic world champion”.

The concept makes its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, which opens its doors to the public tomorrow. 

The Concept IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) is two cars in one: an aerodynamics world champion with a coefficient of drag value of 0.19 and a four-door coupé embodying irresistible design, according to the German luxury car brand.

The car switches automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode when the vehicle reaches a speed of 80 kmph, whereby numerous aerodynamics measures alter the shape of the vehicle. 

Inside, the car continues the design line of the S-Class and S-Class Coupé, offers new touch-based functions and provides an idea of what the interior of a business saloon might look like in the near future.

At the touch of a button, or automatically on reaching a speed of 80 kmph, the Concept IAA performs a fascinating transformation in which the four-door coupé turns into an aerodynamics world champion: eight segments extend at the rear, increasing its length by up to 390 mm; 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; the Active Rims alter their cupping from 55 mm to zero; and the louvre in the front bumper moves 60 mm to the rear, improving the underbody air flow.

"Fascinating and technically sophisticated cars form the core of Mercedes-Benz. The Concept IAA applies intelligent innovations to resolve the conflicting aims of functionality and aesthetics and shows that we still have plenty of ideas on how to achieve further improvements in efficiency," says Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Mercedes designers employed the latest algorithmic design methods to handle the concept car’s complex geometric design with individually adapted software enabling dynamic design in three-dimensional space. 

The aerodynamics were developed in parallel with the aid of numeric flow simulation. In around one million CPU hours, the aerodynamics experts from Mercedes-Benz simulated the flow characteristics, calculating some 300 variants. 

The Concept IAA also offers a look into the future in areas which are not apparent at first glance. The study features Car-to-X technology, for example, which enables the study 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 visible to the vehicle itself can be detected - the Concept IAA is able to look around the corner, as it were. 

With this and its interior and operating concept, the concept car also offers a foretaste of the business saloon of the near future, says Meercedes.


With its dynamic drop shape, elegantly purist overall design and aerodynamic innovations, the four-door Concept IAA Coupé Saloon is a symbiosis of design and aerodynamics, says Mercedes.

The vehicle interprets classic sports car proportions in a modern vein: the long bonnet flows aerodynamically into the compact, set-back greenhouse, whose roof slopes down elegantly towards the rear, ending in an airflow break-away edge.

The vehicle's elegant side view combines a purist, long basic volume with highly pronounced wheel arches. The sporty, minimalist front of the show car boasts a striking "shark nose" profile. Like the front, the show car's rear end also presents a clear-cut and purist appearance. As on the front grille, horizontal louvres lend structure to the shape of the rear end. An illuminated ring running around the rear end adds the finishing touch to the high-tech appearance.


The interior of the car combines stylish sportiness with modern luxury. The interior continues the design line of the S-Class and S-Class Coupé while providing an idea of what the interior of a business saloon might look like in the future. The choice of colours and materials conjures up extrovert contrasts between anthracite and white as well as between aluminium and cut glass. Elegantly curved forms, flowing lines, carefully chosen high-quality materials and the touch-based operating philosophy provide for a high level of functionality.

The two-spoke steering wheel is a further development of the Mercedes-Benz steering wheel philosophy. The steering wheel also incorporates touch-based operating functions, offering great functionality in the most compact dimensions as a study in perfect ergonomics: OFN (Optical Finger Navigation) buttons, embedded in the clusters in a similar hovering manner as the touchpad in the centre console, enable the driver to scroll through the instrument cluster menus. The OFN button on the left controls the left-hand display, while the button on the right controls the right-hand display. In this way, the "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road" philosophy which has been applied by Mercedes-Benz for many years now is implemented in a manner which is at once brilliantly simple and uncompromising.

"Captivatingly sporty lines, fascinating technical solutions: the Concept IAA symbolises the emotional core of Mercedes-Benz: The best or nothing. And it shows in a host of details what our customers can look forward to in future production models," says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Daimler, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.

The "Concept IAA" is 5040 mm long (5430 mm in aerodynamic mode), 1995 mm wide and 1305 mm high. Its wheelbase measures 2975 mm, and the front/rear track widths are 1710 and 1770 mm respectively. It is powered by a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid drive with a total output of 205 kW (279 hp). 

This provides it with a top speed of 250 kmph.

Now in its 66th edition, the Frankfurt Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung – IAA) opens tomorrow and runs until September 27.

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