The night before the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show 2015 opened its doors to the press, Mercedes-Benz organized their exclusive Media Night. Dr Zetsche hosted the night and talked us through various insights into the future of the German marque. Highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA – a luxurious aerodynamic concept car.
Three key themes were discussed by the Daimler CEO this evening: Digitalization, alternative drive-trains and optimized aerodynamics. Mercedes-Benz will continue to research, develop and invest in new techniques to connect the modern online world with and in its future automobiles. Launching new services like MercedesMe and Car2Go will change the way we use and see cars.
Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz pushes forward with a growing line-up of plug-in hybrid vehicles that combine extended range with high efficiency. On stage the C, GLC, GLE and S-Class plug-in hybrid vehicles appeared.
Last but not least it was time for the Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA to celebrate its debut. Here to showcase both the future Mercedes-Benz design as aerodynamic innovations the luxurious four-door coupe showcar wowed the crowd.
The mission for this concept was to show Mercedes-Benz’s competence in the aerodynamics development and particularly for increased efficiency. The Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA has five key aero features that reduce drag and improve efficiency. These include a retractable front lip which improves the air flow underneath the car. New side blades improve the air flow along the side. The wheels automatically ‘close’ while driving and play an important part in reducing drag and improving efficiency. Probably the most eye catching feature of the new Concept IAA is the expandable rear that extends outwards from 80 km/h and above. This helps clean the airflow behind the car and gives the car a bit of a Thunderbirds look.
Noteworthy about the development of the new Mercedes-Benz IAA Concept was that it was developed and rendered digitally in the first phases. Only when all calculations and designs were done, a scale model was produced to see if the calculations were correct, and they were. This process reduced the development time of the concept car from 1.5 years to just 10 months.
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA is very clean and finished in white leather and aluminium. The large screens behind the steering wheel and the controls are reminiscent of the current generation S-Class but the new aluminium seats and the two part panoramic sun roof set the tone for a bold and bright new style.
We were hoping to see a few more Mercedes-Benz premieres this evening but it appears we will have to wait till tomorrow; The two most significant launches are the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet in both S500 and S63 guises as well as the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe and C63 S Coupe models.
Starting with the S-Class Cabriolet, it is most closely related to the S-Class Coupe. In fact, the drop-top adopts about 60 per cent of its body from the coupe. One of the most important new features is the aluminium rear floor which means that over 50 per cent of the S-Class Cabriolet’s surface area is made from aluminium.
Powering the S500 Cabriolet is a 4.6-litre V8 engine delivering 455 hp and 700 Nm of peak torque from 1800 rpm. This engine is coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission. As for the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet, it utilises a 5.5-litre V8 with two turbochargers making for a total of 585 hp and 900 Nm. It will accelerate to 100 km/h in a brisk 3.9 seconds.
As for the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe models, both utilise a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine. The entry-level model pumps out 469 hp between 5500 and 6250 rpm while the more potent ‘S’ branded model delivers 510 hp between the same rev range. Torque for the two models stands at 650 Nm and 700 Nm respectively. Consequently, the C63 Coupe will hit 100 km/h in 4 seconds while the C63 S Coupe will reach the same mark in 3.9 seconds. In person, the C63 Coupe bares many similarities to the larger AMG-branded S-Class Coupe models.
Another important car to be unveiled by Mercedes-Benz is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC. It replaces the outgoing GLK and features a slightly longer wheelbase. Despite the added size however and the range of new equipment available, the GLC actually weighs 80 kg less than the GLK. Those weight savings have been achieved primarily through the use of new aluminium and high-strength steel body panels. Make sure to read our 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Review for our verdict on the car.
Also presented by the German marque tomorrow is the DTM racing variant of the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe. It will compete in the 2016 DTM season.