Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA Frankfurt 1

Greetings from Frankfurt, where the 2015 edition of the Internationale Automobil Austellung (IAA) is set to kick off later today at the Messeturm – ahead of that, there have been unveilings at pre-show events, and for Mercedes-Benz the first of its world premieres has come in the form of the Concept IAA, which made its debut at the brand’s media night.

The four-door coupe study’s acronym title is a clever play on that of the show’s, but in this case works out to Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile. As the moniker suggests, it’s all about aerodynamic ability with this one, and all very actively done at that.

In its standard design mode configuration, the Concept IAA measures in at 5,040 mm long (with a Cd value of 0.25), but at the touch of a button – or automatically when the car reaches 80 km/h – the car extends to 5,430 mm in its aerodynamic mode, the changes in shape altering the Cd value to 0.19.

In the latter mode, eight segments extend at the rear, making for the primary increase in length. Front flaps in the front bumper do their bit too, extending by 25 mm to the front and 20 mm to the rear, helping to improve the air flow around the front end and the front wheel arches.

Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA Frankfurt 2

Elsewhere, the louvre in the front bumper moves 60 mm to the rear, improving the underbody air flow, while the design of the Active Rims (which are 22-inch units) alter their cupping from 55 mm to zero at speeds.

Other measurement numbers include a 1,995 mm width and 1,305 mm height. while wheelbase length is 2,975 mm and front/rear track widths are 1,710 and 1,770 mm respectively.

The Concept IAA is powered by a petrol/electric plug-in hybrid drive with a total output of 275 hp, and quoted performance figures are an electronically-limited 250 km/h top speed and an all-electric range of 66 km in aerodynamic mode (28 g of CO2 per km) and 62 km (31 g per km) in design mode.

Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA Frankfurt 7

Design-wise, there’s a continuation of that seen on the similarly-sized F015 Luxury in Motion, especially in terms of interior outlook – the overtones are all there, from the primary white finish and trim choices.

The striking bits on the IAA’s cabin are the eight air vents, which have been produced by Swarovski on commission by Mercedes-Benz as a work of art in glass – they provide a level of dazzle though the use of blue and red ambient lighting.

Mercedes says the interior continues the design line of the W222 S-Class and S-Class Coupe and “provides an idea of what the interior of a business saloon might look like in the near future.” The subtle wording doesn’t quite hide things convincingly.

Effectively, what we’re seeing here is the next-gen W213 E-Class’ interior, the resemblance to the fascia on the latter quite evident from spyshot comparisons. Much of the top half of the dashboard is based on the S-Class, with two 12.3-inch screens sitting side-by-side. The lower half, meanwhile, is very much W205 C-Class.

Tech bits include touch-based operating functions buttons for the steering wheel – OFN (Optical Finger Navigation) buttons, embedded in the clusters in a similar hovering manner as the touchpad in the centre console, enable the driver to scroll through the instrument cluster menus, with the left button controlling the left-hand display and the right button, the right-hand display.

Aside from the E-Class dashboard, more hints of the future come in the form of the tail lights, which the automaker says is imbued with a look that is evocative of stardust, or the glow of a jet engine. Apparently, the stardust-look lights will make their debut in a series-production Mercedes at the beginning of 2016.