Mercedes-Benz is planning a futuristic design concept for the 2015 Frankfurt auto show, and these teaser photos give us an idea of what this concept car might be. Called the Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA, for “Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile,” this new vehicle looks to be a four-door coupe with a sleek profile to cut through the air.
At the front of Concept IAA, flaps behind the grille close to improve airflow when none is needed to feed the radiator – already seen on other Mercedes production cars – while the lower carbonfibre front splitter retracts; at low speeds the splitter plays a part in pedestrian protection, but as speeds rise, so the splitter retracts to help under-car airflow. Gills at the side of the front bumper also adjust, moving 25mm out and 20mm further back to reduce turbulence around the wheel arches.
But the most interesting part of Concept IAA is its rear end. Looking like a longtail-Le-Mans-racer-cum-arse-of-armadillo, the bodywork electro-mechanically extends by 390mm, reducing the rear surface area of the car – it makes the biggest contribution to the IAA’s on-the-go aero improvement. The sprouting bodywork is made from carbonfibre to ensure both maximum strength and minimum disruption to the IAA’s weight distribution. While the aerodynamics only reduce CO2 by 3g/km on the EU cycle, Mercedes engineers claim a 20g/km reduction at 90mph. Mercedes quotes an all-electric range of 40 miles, and 28g/km on the combined cycle.