Mercedes-Benz unveiled its newest concept, the IAA at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. The name is a bit of a pun as in Germany the Frankfurt show is referred to as the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung or IAA. But in this case, IAA stands for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile and this car is exactly that.

At rest, the IAA concept already looks extremely sleek, but once it hits 80km/hr, the car can literally transform itself, realigning its exterior elements, into an ultra-aerodynamic wind cutting machine with a drag coefficient of just 0.19. The same transformation can be accomplished at rest via the push of a button.

Changes to the body that occur when that car switches to its aerodynamic mode include: eight segments at the rear which extend to increase the car’s length by up to 390 millimetres, flaps in the front bumper that extend 25 mm to the front and 20 mm to the rear, improving the air flow around the front end and the front wheel arches, Active Rims that alter their cupping from 55 mm to zero while the louvre in the front bumper moves 60 mm back to improve air flow under the body.

“Fascinating and technically sophisticated cars form the core of Mercedes-Benz. The ‘Concept IAA’ applies intelligent innovations to resolve the conflicting aims of functionality and aesthetics and shows that we still have plenty of ideas on how to achieve further improvements in efficiency,” says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Powering the IAA is a gas-powered, plug-in hybrid making 279 horsepower that can pushthe car up to a top speed of 250 km/hr. All-electric range from a single charge varies from 62 to 66 km depending on what mode the IAA’s body is in.