Ultra-slippery concept showcases advanced aero tech and reveals the look of the next CLS
15 September 2015

Mercedes-Benz has previewed a series of active aerodynamic developments and a svelte new styling treatment with a futuristic concept revealed at the Frankfurt motor show.

The car also shows the frugal petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain technology and contemporary touch-based interior controls the company plans to use on future road cars.

Called the Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (IAA), the four-door saloon features an extendable body that provides it with a drag coefficient of just 0.19 in its most efficient ‘long tail’ form.

The dimensions and silhouette are said to preview those of the third-generation CLS, due out in 2017.

The IAA automatically switches from ‘design’ mode to aerodynamic mode when it reaches 50mph, with elements in the tail section extending to increase overall length by 390mm. At the same time, flaps in the front bumper and louvres in the grille are deployed to improve airflow around the wheelarches and underneath the car.

The new exterior styling is set to filter down into future road cars. Mercedes-Benz sales and marketing boss Ola Källenius said: “It shows in a host of details what our customers can look forward to in future production models.”

At 5040mm in length in design mode, the IAA concept is 100mm longer than today’s CLS. In aerodynamic mode; with its body fully extended, it stretches to 5430mm, 185mm longer than the long-wheelbase S-Class. Width and height are 1995mm and 1305mm respectively.

The 2975mm wheelbase is 100mm longer than that of today’s E-Class and CLS, hinting at a larger interior in the next generation of both models. The concept rides on the latest evolution of Mercedes’ MRA platform.

Power is provided by the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid system used in the C350e Plug-in Hybrid. It pairs a 208bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an 80bhp electric motor to provide a total output of 275bhp and 442lb ft.

Mercedes is yet to provide any performance claims, although computer simulations suggest that the new concept is capable of delivering an electric-only range of up to 41 miles and combined fuel economy of 191.6mpg.

The lavish interior of the IAA closely previews that of the upcoming new E-Class. Building on the design used by the latest S-Class, it features a long, horizontally mounted high-definition monitor, as well as a centre console with touch-sensitive controls.

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Comments
11

14 September 2015

I absolutely love this, its my favourite car of the show... its like a cross between ultra modern and a 1930s concept car. It would be great if they put it into production.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

289

14 September 2015

as a long time Mercedes-Benz owner/Dealer I despair at M-B's designs these days.
Maybe this will go down well in the Middle East or China, but from a personal point of view I cannot find a single design cue in this concept I like.
I think M-B are at risk of losing their loyal buyers in favour of the new markets.

14 September 2015

"The new exterior styling is set to filter down into future road cars" - I should hope not. There is nothing genuinely new about this concept car's styling clues.

15 September 2015

It's still very much a Mercedes-Benz: note the plastic nose cone and dodgy bonnet shut lines...

15 September 2015

I see hints of Austin Maxi mixed with XJ220 at the back. A lovely body but a mildly challenging "boat race".

15 September 2015

This is simply hideous while the rear end has hints of Audi A7. What is it with Mercedes as they seem incapable of building a car you'd call good looking and this has been the case for many many years now?

15 September 2015

completely agree - too much of the A7's saggy bottom in there, definitely not a good thing. and with crash regulations that aero rear end is very unlikely to happen.

The Porsche concept blows this out of the water for me I'm afraid.

15 September 2015

In the grille space race between the big names, one of them was gonna come up with a front end that was all grille.

Makes the Audi grille seem tiny now doesn't it?

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

15 September 2015

Must be the most outrageous concept car I've seen in years! Good on Merc for coming up with such an eye-catching modern but also retro-looking at the same time design. Reminds be of back in the 70s/80s when concept cars were mad-looking concept cars and not just near-production ready variants of soon to be released new models, like it has been over the last couple of decades.

Cyborg

15 September 2015

It's a very german design, much better than the current styling.

There are definitely one or two odd touches on it like those wings/fins ahead of the front wheels and the extending tail shield (how does the boot work?)

As a CLS replacement I'm not sure, but I'd certainly take it over most other current MB saloons.

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