Digital transformer

Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA” (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile)

Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA” (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automob


The Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA” (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) is two cars in one: an aerodynamics world champion with a Cd value of 0.19 and a four-door coupé embodying irresistible design. The study, which is celebrating its world premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, switches automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode when the vehicle reaches a speed of 80 km/h, whereby numerous aerodynamics measures alter the shape of the vehicle.

Inside, the “Concept IAA” continues the design line of the S-Class and S-Class Coupé, offers new touch-based functions and provides an idea of what the interior of a business saloon might look like in the near future.

At the touch of a button, or automatically on reaching a speed of 80 km/h, the Concept IAA performs a fascinating transformation in which the four-door coupé turns into an aerodynamics world champion: eight segments extend at the rear, increasing its length by up to 390 millimetres; 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.

Equally, the Concept IAA exemplifies the fundamental technological changes which are taking place in the automobile industry. The primary driving force behind this process of change is digitisation – commonly referred to in a business context as “Industry 4.0”. For Mercedes-Benz, a continuous digital process chain from research and development through production to marketing and sales, logistics and the service area is already becoming reality.

The design and aerodynamic shaping of the Concept IAA would not have been possible without the systematic digital networking of different specialist departments. The designers have employed the latest algorithmic design methods to handle the complex geometric design. The individually adapted software enables dynamic design in three-dimensional space. This dynamic modelling makes it possible to display and model different states simultaneously. The resulting highly complex geometries were turned into reality with the aid of innovative production technologies (rapid prototyping).


Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA” (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile). Die Studie schaltet ab einer Geschwindigkeit von 80 km/h automatisch vom Design-Modus in den Aerodynamik-Modus und verändert durch zahlreiche aktive Aerodynamik-Maßnahmen ihre Gestalt. Das Fahrzeug erreicht dadurch einen cw-Wert von 0,19.  The study switches automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode when the vehicle reaches a speed of 80 km/h, whereby numerous aerodynamics measures alter the shape of the vehicle with a Cd value of 0.19

The study switches automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode when the vehicle reaches a speed of 80 km/h, whereby numerous aerodynamics measures alter the shape of the vehicle with a Cd value of 0.19

The aerodynamics was developed in parallel with the aid of numeric flow simulation. In around one million CPU hours, the aerodynamics experts from Mercedes-Benz simulated the flow characteristics, calculating some 300 variants. This roughly corresponds to the scope of work involved in developing a production model.

The Concept IAA also offers a look into the future in areas which are not apparent at first glance. The study features Car-to-X technology, for example, which enables the study to communicate with other vehicles or other sources of information. This represents a major advance in helping to avoid accidents, as obstacles or events which are not visible to the vehicle itself can be detected – the Concept IAA is able to look around the corner, as it were. With this and its interior and operating concept, the Concept IAA also offers a foretaste of the business saloon of the near future.


The interior: touch-based operating philosophy

The interior: touch-based operating philosophy

60 years apart: Silver Arrows captured in 360˚ films – download the app

Classic Insight Erfolgsgeschichten 1955

Classic Insight, Erfolgsgeschichten 1955


Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows dominated race tracks around the world 60 years ago – winning in Formula One and the World Sports Car Championship in what were, at the time, the fastest and most advanced machines ever created – the mighty W 196 series racing cars.

Now, using cutting-edge filming techniques, there’s the chance to experience what it must have been like to wrestle the Silver Arrows in vivid, 360 degree films, packaged into an app and now available to download in the Android Store and via iTunes. Search for ‘Mercedes Classic’.

Using the accelerometers in a tablet or phone, you can change the angle you view the action from by simply moving the device – creating an interactive film that can be viewed from any angle, and relayed realtime.

In the app, you’re given the chance to ride alongside Sir Stirling Moss in his 300 SLR ‘722’ as he’s reunited with the same car in which, 60 years ago, he won the Mille Miglia in 10 hours, 7 minute and 48 seconds – a record time that’s never been broken.

Alternatively, you can hang on tight as a W 196 R Streamliner is taken around the famous banking at Monza – two camera views allowing you to experience the epic noise made by the straight-eight engine.

The launch of the app coincides with a packed weekend for Mercedes-Benz at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, as nine of the surviving W 196 series racers are on display – with six of them taking to the Hill.


24.04.2015_Classic Insight “Erfolgsgeschichten 1955“

New Lotus runs Merc power



Just catching up on a few of the new F1 car launches for this year.

First up is Lotus with its E23 hybrid. There’s a change to a Mercedes Benz power unit for the 2015 season. The team struggled with last year’s car so it’s targeted every area that caused it an issue.

Says Technical Director, Nick Chester:

“We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling. The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we’ve paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable.

“In terms of the suspension, we were delivered something of a blow last year when the front-rear interconnected suspension was outlawed mid-season. The E23’s suspension design is specific to the updated regulations so we’re not trying to update a system originally intended to work a different way.

“We learnt a lot in many areas of the car over the course of 2014 so there are many lessons which have been applied. We know we’ve made a big step. We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.”




The new Williams




Williams has released the first images of its 2014 challenger: the Williams Mercedes FW36.

It’s the culmination of two-plus years research and development by the team’s technical departments in Grove and it incorporates the power unit from the team’s new partner, Mercedes-Benz.

Says Chief Technical Officer, Pat Symonds:

“There’s a lot more technology on the cars this year. We’ve had turbo-charged engines in F1 before; what’s different this time is that it is much more than just an engine change, it is a completely different system.

“We’ve gone from a slightly hybridised, normally aspirated engine to a fully integrated hybrid power unit with novel technology at its heart.”

To meet the challenges of the new power unit, Williams signed the deal with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Powertrains midway through last season. The team received the first CAD (computer-aided design) data for the power unit at the end of May, at which point the detailed design of the FW36 could begin to be finalised.

This is the first time that Williams has worked with Mercedes in F1.

The design phase of the FW36 was completed by mid-September, by which time the team had found solutions to the major challenges presented by the regulations. (Cooling, weight, a new gearbox and aerodynamic changes are just some of the areas of focus.)

Continues Symonds:

“Overall the cars will need more cooling this year. The demands on water and oil cooling may be slightly diminished, but the ERS system is significantly more powerful and hence needs more cooling. We also have to cool the charge air from the turbocharger compressor which requires a substantial intercooler.”

The FW36’s gearbox ran on the dyno for the first time at the beginning of November, before running with the full power unit several weeks later. It’s the first eight-speed gearbox in Williams’ history.

Says Symonds:

“We finished the gearbox relatively early. It’s completed a lot of running on the test rig and at Mercedes HPP in Brixworth, but you can’t take reliability for granted. It’s a completely new box and it has to cope with a lot more torque than was the case with the V8.”

The weight of the car, when combined with the FIA’s ever more stringent crash tests, has been another challenge of the 2014 rules. But the FW36 was one of the first cars to pass its crash tests prior to Christmas.

“The build of the new car has gone remarkably smoothly,” says Symonds. “But it’s been a challenge to get the car down to the weight limit. It’s been achievable, but it hasn’t been easy because the new power unit is heavier than the outgoing V8.”

The launch-spec aerodynamic package was finalised in the first week of December, with an upgrade package for Melbourne’s season-opener signed off in early January.

Adds Symonds:

“F1 is still going to be an aerodynamic formula in 2014. There are some significant changes: the nose is lower than last year and the front wing is narrower, which means the end plates are now more shrouded by the front tyre.

“The rear wing isn’t as deep as last year and the beam wing below it is no longer permitted, and we’ve also lost the ability to use the exhaust to enhance aero performance.”

Until the car begins testing the team won’t know how its design solutions will translate on to the track, but Symonds is confident that Williams has done enough to move up the grid after a disappointing 2013 season.

“I’m confident that we’ll be closer to the front aerodynamically than we were last year,” he says. “Our ambition for the year ahead is to have a strong 2014 season.”

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