Mercedes IAA concept changes shape to help save you fuel
The buzz words at the Frankfurt motor show this year are ‘drag’ and ‘coefficient’, however we rather believe it’s the shape-shifting nature of Mercedes Concept IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) that has got people jumping with excitement.
The sleek Mercedes is a handsome looking brute, and has the brains to match, as it morphs at speed to become as slippery and fuel effective as possible. In total there are five separate measures capable of changing form on the IAA - a car which Mercedes are hailing as near the limit of what’s possible for a standard production car.
The most noticeable feature of the car is the extended rear, which extends by up to 390mm, and lengthens the overall length from 5040mm to 5430mm. In essence, the longer airflow is attached to the panels of the car, the less time it spends creating drag-increasing turbulence.
Other features include a cooling shutter system at the front, a retractable front lip, and Ferrari-esque front flaps that direct air-flow around the front wheels, which themselves become flat-faced at high speed.
The result of Mercedes fettling with aerodynamics is that it can drive a further 2.5 miles down the road when fully extended, at 41 miles compared to the 38.5 miles capable in ‘design mode’.
In a car such as the IAA it’s easier to overlook what actually pushes it along, however Mercedes have revealed that under the bonnet lies a 275bhp petrol-electric plug-in hybrid.