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2015 Frankfurt Motor Show: Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA – It changes shape

Mercedes-Benz has brought a very interesting concept, called the Concept IAA, to the Frankfurt Motor Show, coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, also called IAA in German. The Motor Show’s IAA name stands for Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung while the Mercedes IAA stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile. And it’s definitely intelligent, but almost too intelligent.

Mercedes-Benz has thrown many facts and informations at us with this new concept and it’s quite a bit to digest. The whole idea of the Concept IAA is that its aerodynamics change while in motion. But this isn’t just some fancy active spoiler that deploys at 55 mph. No, the entire rear end extends outward and flaps on the front bumper extend outward an inch. Mercedes-Benz didn’t stop there though, as they’ve fitted Active Rims on the Concept IAA, which “alter their cupping from 55 mm to zero,”. It’s all very hard to understand.

Mercedes-Benz IAA Concept Aero Demo

With its active aerodynamics put away, the Concept IAA looks almost like a futuristic Mercedes CLS Class, so not that bad looking. However, once those aero flaps come out, it’s quite ungainly looking. It looks like something that was designed in the ’50s to look like something from the future. So not good looking. However, it is impressive so we’ll forgive it for its strange looks.

As far as powertrain goes, the Concept IAA will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, making 279 hp and will have a range of 66 miles on its battery alone.  This should allow for decent performance, as the top speed will be limited to 155 mph. However, Mercedes hasn’t given much more information than that.

Mercedes-Benz IAA Concept Interior

Mercedes-Benz did provide some information on the new technology that the Concept IAA will have, including all of the strange acronyms that come with it. OFN, or Optical Finger Navigation as Mercedes likes to call it, has something to do with being able to hover your finger over touch-sensitive buttons. I think. There will also be touch buttons on the steering wheel for some reason. It’s all very advanced and seems to be confusing many, but I’m sure it will all work perfectly, in typical Germanic Mercedes-Benz fashion.

All in all, the Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA is a very intriguing car with some interesting active aerodynamics. What will this materialize into in the future? We’re not really sure. But it’s something to watch out for, as this is likely a technology test-bed for other future Mercedes-Benz models.

CategoriesAuto Show
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.