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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA is Like a Real-Life Transformer

BOLD RIDE

 
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No, this isn’t some Michael Bay thriller with a gratuitous amounts of explosions, it’s actually a real car built by Mercedes-Benz that actually transforms. Well, it’s still just a concept, for now. It’s called the IAA, or “Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile” and it made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show yesterday.
 
On paper, it sounds like a simple idea. The IAA Concept has the ability to transform its shape while driving in order to reduce drag, and in doing so, increase efficiency. In its “standard” driving mode, if you will, it has the ability to reach 80 km/h (50 mph) and resembles your average, everyday luxury sedan.


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Anything above 80 km/h (50 mph), and that’s where the transformation begins. A number of panels on the front, rear, and sides deploy to reduce the drag coefficient to just 0.19. If actually produced, that would give it the best drag coefficient of any production car, alongside the current Volkswagen XL1. But don’t hold your breath for that first part.
 
The Mercedes IAA concept is definitely unique, but it’s far from production ready. The design more closely resembles something out of a RoboCop film, and the front and rear light fixtures are nowhere near legal by any standards. Not to say that the technology couldn’t eventually make its way to other Mercedes-Benz vehicles.


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Power comes from a modest 279-horsepower hybrid drivetrain, while the interior features two 12.3-inch displays sending information to the driver, and a set of steering wheel controls to make life easier, just to name a few features.

If you’re in Germany, catch it on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show this week.