The shape-shifter focuses on aerodynamics.
Automakers are looking towards electric vehicles and hybrids to improve fuel economy. But Mercedes appears to be going after perfecting the next generation of vehicles through design. Its latest concept, the IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile), has active aerodynamics that can change its body shape. The Mercedes-Benz CLA is the world’s slipperiest production car with a drag coefficient of 0.23 Cd, which the IAA bests with one of just 0.19 Cd. Above 50 mph, the vehicle can grow 15 inches in length.
The incredible concept has eight segments in the rear that extend the four-door coupe’s length to increase aerodynamic efficiency. Flaps in the front bumper extend by one inch to the front and 0.8 inches to the rear for improved airflow around the front end. The vehicle is powered by an unidentified gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drive that puts out 279 hp and can get the concept onto a limited top speed of 155 mph. In “Design Mode,” the IAA has a range of 39 miles, which improves to 41 miles in “Aerodynamic Mode.” This may be a concept that’s at least a decade away from being built, but damn it looks good.