By on September 15, 2015

Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA"

While it may or may not be the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS-class (note: probably not), the automaker took the wraps off a transforming concept car that grows in length significantly at highway speeds to better cut through air.

The Mercedes-Benz IAA concept (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) was shown off Tuesday in Frankfurt and, according to the automaker, can grow by 390 millimeters to achieve a drag coefficient world record of 0.19. (The current generation Prius is around 0.25, for reference.)

The whole thing is powered by a hybrid powertrain that’ll never see the light of day and sports an interior array of electronics that’s probably something out of “Minority Report.” It’s the moveable aerodynamic elements on the IAA that could see production, and there are a lot of them.

In addition to the growing tail (Jalopnik has a gif, here) the IAA features other adaptive aero elements that help the car cut through the air. Flaps on the front and rear wheels grow by 25 millimeters and 20 millimeters respectively to cut down drag, and the front bumper’s louvres reach 60 millimeters underneath the car toward the rear to improve aero under the car. The five-spoke wheels also transform into discs at speeds over 50 mph, according to the automaker.

Mercedes-Benz showed off four other cars at its Frankfurt reveal including the new C-Class Coupe (including the already released AMG C-Class Coupe) an S-Class cabrio (and AMG variant) and its Smart Fortwo cabrio.

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