At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Mercedes Concept IAA to preview its future production models. IAA stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, reflecting the car’s radical design that takes the science of aerodynamics to new lengths.
Believe it or not but the Concept IAA can actually changes its physical shape based on speed in order to move through the air as efficiently as possible. At 50 mph (80 km/h), it automatically deploys several flaps installed in the front bumper and extends eight segments at its rear, increasing in overall length by 390mm. Even the wheels change shape to cut through the wind.
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At lower speeds, the Concept IAA remains in “design mode,” closely resembling a normal four-door coupe rather than an outwardly sci-fi vehicle.
The interior is visually less farfetched than the exterior and is said to preview the future design direction of the next-gen S-Class. It boasts new Optical Finger Navigation (OFN) buttons on the steering wheel that, similar to the central touchpad used in Mercedes-Benz’s current vehicles, rely on a touchpad rather than the physical button to interact with the vehicle’s controls. The left side of the steering wheel controls the left-hand side display, while the right set controls the LCD screen closest to the passenger.
Powering the Mercedes Concept IAA is a gas-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain that generates a combined output 279 horsepower. It can achieve an all-electric driving range of around 40 miles (64 km) and returns 194mpg in aerodynamic mode.
According to the German automaker, efficiency gains are most pronounced in highway driving because the aero tweaks don’t help much at lower city speeds.
“Captivatingly sporty lines, fascinating technical solutions: the ‘Concept IAA’ symbolizes the emotional core of Mercedes-Benz: The best or nothing,” Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, said in a statement. “It shows in a host of details what our customers can look forward to in future production models,” said.
Expect elements of the radical Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA to make their way into future Mercedes vehicles, especially the next CLS and S-Class.
Toyota Supra TRD Concept Shows Off New Carbon Fiber Parts
It’s an unbridled love affair with carbon fiber.
Not long after taking the wraps off at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota has revealed a TRD Concept that shows off some of the accessories from Toyota Racing Development possibly coming to the Japanese sports car.
Unveiled at the Osaka Auto Messe aftermarket show, the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD is fitted with many new carbon fiber parts to increase downforce and reduce lift. The front spoiler, side skirts, and rear spoiler and spats are all crafted from carbon fiber, while a carbon fiber door garnish replaces the stock faux vent to reduce turbulence of the airflow over the rear end.
The exterior is finished in a muted silver color that compliments the carbon fiber parts nicely, while unique 19-inch wheels highlight the four corners.
Unfortunately, TRD made no upgrades under the hood. Power is provided by the stock Supra’s turbocharged 3.0L inline-six, generating the same ol’ 335 hp and 365 lb-ft. of torque.
It’s not known if or when these carbon fiber parts and new wheels will be available, and whether they will remain exclusive to the Japanese market like many TRD parts in the past. Either way, share your thoughts about the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD in the comments below.
This Crossover Concept Previews Cadillac’s First-Ever EV
It came out of nowhere and shocked the Detroit Auto Show.
Cadillac followed up the unveiling of the Cadillac XT6 large crossover with a preview of its first-ever all-electric vehicle.
Taking the form of premium electric crossover, the concept is striking and likely also hints at the brand’s future design direction.
“Cadillac’s EV will hit the heart of the crossover market and meet the needs of customers around the world,” said Steve Carlisle, president of Cadillac. “It will represent the height of luxury and innovation while positioning Cadillac as the pinnacle of mobility.”
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The surprising reveal comes not long after General Motors announced that Cadillac will lead its electric vehicle strategy, effectively making it the automaker’s Tesla-fighter. Specific details such as power or features aren’t known, nor do we have a definitive timetable as to when the production model will be ready, but it will be the first GM vehicle to be built on the company’s forthcoming dedicated EV platform and should offer level 4 autonomous capabilities at the least.
In essence, not only will the vehicle be Cadillac’s first step into the EV world, but it will also push it deeper into the autonomous realm.
Lexus LC Convertible Concept Previews Stylish Drop-Top Roadster
The rumors about the LC 500 getting a droptop version were true after all.
Lexus has revealed the LC Convertible Concept, which likely previews an upcoming open-top roadster and hints at a shift in the LC’s design language.
Presented as a roadster, the LC Convertible Concept is designed to express “ultimate beauty” and serve as an aspirational halo vehicle for the entire Lexus lineup. Its proportions are nearly identical to the LC Coupe but stands out with a steeply-raked windshield and a contoured trunk lid.
“This concept takes the unmistakable design of the LC coupe and reimagines it as a future convertible,” said Tadao Mori, chief designer of the LC Convertible concept. “It blends all the best aspects of the original coupe with the dynamic design of an open-air convertible.”
The interior features white leather trim, contrasted by yellow accent stitching to break up an otherwise monochrome look.
The Lexus LC Convertible Concept appears to be close to production-ready. Do you want one?