Mercedes unveiled an interesting new concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show: a sedan which can change its features automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode once it reaches a speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). The concept is called the IAA, which stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, not to be confused with Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA), also known as the Frankfurt Motor Show, at which the concept is being unveiled.

The vehicle is an early concept, but the company says it will take design cues from it for future models.

The goal is to not compromise on aerodynamics for design. Below 50 mph, the car has a modern, but not too unconventional design, and passed 50 mph the car transforms into an aerodynamic beast with a record-breaking 0.19 drag coefficient.

The IAA on ‘aerodynamic mode’:

Mercedes describes the transformation: “front flaps in the front bumper extend by 25 mm to the front and 20 mm to the rear, improving the air flow around the front end and the front wheel arches; the Active Rims alter their cupping from 55 mm to zero; and the louvre in the front bumper moves 60 mm to the rear, improving the underbody air flow.”

The concept car is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with a total output of 205 kW (279 hp).The top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h (155 mph).

In aerodynamic mode, the concept achieves an all-electric range of 66 km (41 miles) and  in design mode, the range falls to 62 km (38 miles) on a single charge.

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