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Mercedes Concept IAA (2015): Show car with E-Class cockpit

Thomas Gerhardt
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E First impression: The Mercedes Concept IAA is a four-door coupé à la CLS - but with impressive proportions and hidden tricks. The Concept IAA is 5,040 millimeters long, 1,995 mm wide but only 1,305 mm high. The wheelbase is 2,975 mm. While the shark nose with a combined light /cooler front mask over almost the entire width, interrupted only by a mighty Mercedes star, is already formidable, the transformer-like changing body parts steal the show from every other concept car.

Mercedes
The roof of the Concept IAA is completely glazed.

Mercedes Concept IAA transforms its body

From 80 km /h or at a standstill for demonstration purposes also at the push of a button, flaps at the front extend, the apron under the star extends, and baffles extend over the rear lights and to the sides, making the Concept IAA a full 39 centimeters longer. The LEDs in the rear lights switch to multiple lines and, thanks to the special processing of their luminous bodies, glow promisingly like the afterburner of a fighter jet. At the latest when the active rims also change their dish from 55 mm to zero, the reference to the Hollywood flick 'Transformers' can no longer be denied. The highlight: The rims only work electrically on the show car, but are designed in such a way that, thanks to centrifugal force at 80 km /h, they form a smooth surface even without a drive. Effect of the apparent gimmicks: The drag coefficient improves from 0.25 to 0.19. What's the point? In design mode, the Concept IAA can travel 62 km in purely electrically powered mode, and 66 km in aerodynamics.

The study is powered by a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drive with a system output of279 hp that could drive the four-door car to a regulated 250 km /h.

Mercedes
The cockpit design will be found in a similar form in the new Mercedes E-Class.

Mercedes Concept IAA optimizes aerodynamics and design

Attentive readers may now ask themselves: Starting drag coefficient 0.25 - why not take the CLA right away, at best it already reaches 0.22 as a production car. With the frills of the show car, it should be even better, right? 'Yes, it would be,' says aerodynamicist Martin Konermann. But the Concept IAA has completely different dimensions, 22-inch wheels, is wider at the back than at the front ... We took the spatial concept of one of our current production cars and not only paid attention to the shape of the vehicle, but above all to the design - and we are but still outstanding in terms of aerodynamics. Of course, there have been cars before that are similarly streamlined or even slightly better, but require enormous compromises in terms of everyday usability or appearance '.

Perhaps that is why parts of the concept do not have the worst production chances - because there are such enormous improvements in terms of aerodynamics without new cars having to look like 'fever suppositories', as Kamermann puts it.

Mercedes Concept IAA with E-Class cockpit

Indeed, it succeeds, for example the entry into the show car is very well mannered. And despite a height of 1.84 meters, I could probably find enough space behind me. Admittedly: 'For giants that is nothing at the back, the roof drops too much for that,' says Konermann. But After all, we're talking about a coupé with a very sporty look.

The steering wheel and digital instruments in front of me look very futuristic, but shouldn't change much until they are used in series production in the E-Class. Even that the giant display above the center console and the generous touchscreen controls for the air conditioning on it should be extremely close to series production.

Sure, the huge screen landscape above the steering wheel is already familiar from the S-Class; but in the Concept IAA everything looks more like a piece and the vision from the F015, where almost all surfacesscreens are somehow, is easy to imagine here. It was not possible to determine clearly whether the touch areas on the steering wheel for controlling the 12.3-inch displays in front of it are also close to series production.

A few gimmicks for the gallery

Not close to series production - thank God - are the (eight) air vents made of Swarovski crystals, which, when illuminated by LEDs, sparkle bold purple. The rest of the interior also relies on ambient lighting using LEDs. But that is less noticeable thanks to the generously glazed roof.

More like the strikingly comfortable seats, which with their brushed aluminum shells look chic but not so comfortable, especially since the leather cover does not suggest any particularly thick upholstery . The feet are just as pleasantly bedded as the passengers' buttocks: the floor of the Concept IAA is leather-covered. But that should definitely not be for the series. Imagine an E-Class taxi with a leather-covered floor!

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