IAA MOBILITY 2021: Cars, scooters and bikes of the future revealed

Internationale Automobil-Austelung has always been about its country. First organized in Berlin in 1897, in modern times the IAA is almost exclusively associated with Frankfurt. Postponed by the pandemic, as well as the ongoing decline in auto show attendance in the West, the 2021 event has rebranded itself to IAA Mobility and has changed venues to locations around Munich. No longer a collection of huge exhibition halls assembled as a shrine to the cult of the car, IAA Mobility has established itself as a venue for talking about all aspects of contemporary transportation. For now, the car is still king and the electrification stutter means there is no longer a dominant aesthetic or trending design language.

In many ways, it was Mercedes’ show, even though it was held in BMW’s hometown. The three-pointed star showed off three new electric models, the EQB, EQE and Mercedes-AMG EQS, with three electric concepts, the Mercedes-Maybach EQS, Concept EQG and Smart Concept #1, as well as some conventionally powered new cars.

VW, Audi and BMW were not far behind in innovation. Although there were still plenty of no-shows, the automakers were not only battered by the economic downturn, but were still conscious of the continued lack of interest in big auto events. IAA’s organizers weren’t able to woo the world’s three biggest mobility companies – GM, Toyota and Stellantis – but it did ensure that smaller manufacturers and bike makers were welcomed. BMW exclusively showed that it can cover all segments of the mobility spectrum, with bikes, scooters and a concept car on display.

Introducing our pick of the best mobility of the future.

Polestar Cake Mecca and Re-Move

Polestar showed off a working prototype of the Re:Move concept, developed from our own Re-Made series in collaboration with Konstantin Grisik and Hydro. The slim, 750 mm electric transporter is designed for urban centres, capable of carrying up to 180 kg of cargo via bike lanes. Polestar describes it as a ‘new vehicle category’, and it reflects the constant stream of smart thinking emanating from the brand. Another collaboration on display was a new version of Cake’s Mecca bike. Mecca by CAKE – The Polestar Edition is designed to mount on the Polestar 2 car, with an integrated charger that tops off the bike’s battery as it travels to your destination, before it’s the ultimate last mile commuter Or become an adventure bike.

Polestar.com, RideCake.com, Konstantin-Grcic.com, Hydro.com

BMW & Vision AMBY & Motorrad Vision AMBY

BMW’s two AMBY concepts encapsulate the company’s future intentions. AMBY – ‘Adaptive Mobility’ – takes the form of two different types of two-wheelers. The first, the i Vision AMB, is an electrified bicycle, or ‘high-speed pedelec for the urbanites’, as the Bavarian company calls it. The second, the Motorrad Vision AMBY, is a more robust, motorbike-like machine that removes the pedals entirely. Both bikes serve to blur the lines between e-bike and scooter, although the company notes that going up to 60 km/h on the main road will require insurance and a license.


BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02

BMW’s final two-wheeler was the Motorrad Concept CE 02, the latest in a series of increasingly radical concepts from the carmaker’s motorbike division. The CE 02 is a vision of the electric scooter of the future, with an integrated skateboard that doubles as a footrest, along with zippy acceleration and a geometrically pure and intricate design.

BMW.com, BMW-Motorrad.com

BMW i Vision Circular

The motto of IAA Mobility was ‘Circularity’. With electrification essentially set to be the powerplant now and of the immediate future, the next challenge is to reduce the massive carbon footprint involved in building a car – factory-generated emissions for up to a quarter of the lifetime of a conventional car. That is, a figure that rises for electric vehicles. BMW’s answer is the i Vision Circular, a vision for the status of four-wheeled luxury in 2040. The answer is a more modest exterior approach than the current one, in which the passenger compartment morphs into the entire superstructure of the car, which is adorned. Subtle geometric forms and lighting.

Only 4 meters long, the form has been shaped to maximize the interior space. A ‘physical’ user interface occupies the dashboard, part artwork, part command center, with driver information on the windscreen. The concept also features sound design by Hans Zimmer. Although the shape and design ethos are new, the main story behind the Eye Vision circular is the use of material. As the name suggests, this is a car built for a closed materials cycle, with every single element from the bodywork to the battery designed to be reused or recycled. The company currently achieves a 30 percent recycled and reused material ratio in its new cars and expects to increase this to 50 percent over the next few years. The trend towards less material is something the company’s designers have explored with the current BMW IX and going forward circular, quick-release fasteners are used to help ease the final dismantling of the car.


Audi Grandfire Concept

The second of Audi’s three ‘Sphere’ concepts, the GrandSphere is a Super GT that eschews the values ​​of speed and maneuverability in favor of comfort and feel. Like the earlier Audi SkySphere concept, this change includes a steering wheel that disappears from sight. The interior is spacious, reminiscent of the saloon on a yacht or the cabin of a private jet. The concept’s sheer length and width allow for plenty of room, including space for a potted plant, and cool contemporary luxury with lots of curved, unpainted wood and no leather to look at. The large bodywork is undoubtedly elegant and hints strongly at the upcoming electrified flagship from the company.


Mercedes-Maybach Concept EQS

Previewed the world’s first ultra-luxury electric car, the Concept EQS is a powerful SUV packed with high-end technology, rich materials and acres of space. The epitome of what one might call a ‘global luxury’ aesthetic, the Concept EQS features spacious rear seating for two people, deep within a two-tone high-riding body dominated by a massive front grille: Herman Melville’s The pass will have a thing or two to say. About this new Cetacean class of car. The Concept EQS is also a lightly hidden preview of Mercedes’ traditional next-generation electric SUV, which will appear next year without the white leather and rose gold.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG

An all-electric version of the iconic ‘G’ Class was inevitable, and the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG shows that development work is well advanced. It’s worth considering what a long, awkward journey this car has traveled. While the current ‘G’ is essentially a brand new platform, introduced in 2018, it continues the familiar aesthetic and basic look of the original Gellandwagen, which was first introduced in 1979. That vehicle began life as a military machine; Difficult to image, its form would survive for 40 years and the advent of a new propulsion technology.


Mercedes-AMG EQS

The Mercedes-AMG EQS takes the established sturdiness, sleekness and style of the new EQS electric sedan and elevates the dynamic ante. The car has the distinction of being the first pure electric machine to come out of the Mercedes-AMG performance division. The zero to 60 time of about 3.4 seconds is still a bit off the pace set by Tesla, but Mercedes’ impeccable track record with build quality and refinement will make it a worthy competitor. Another debut was the Mercedes-Benz EQE, the important mid-size premium EV that should lead sales over the next few years.


Smart Concept #1

Not to be outdone, MB’s Smart division also proposes to change direction with its Concept #1 small SUV. For a company that has always struggled to make financial sense with its undeniable innovation, the move to an SUV is surprising. Concept #1 also hints at the end of the design language that has shaped the Smart since the brand’s inception (initially in collaboration with watchmaker Swatch). Leaving the playful two-tone colored body style in favor of a smoother, more traditional appearance, the Concept #1 is larger than its predecessors in every way, suggesting that the company may be looking to return to the lucrative US market. Whether there is a future for the new version of the less fortwo model remains to be seen.

smart dot com

ACM City One

Really small cars became the niche player in IAA Mobility. ACM’s City One is an example. ACM (Adaptive City Mobility) has created an industrial micro machine that looks at the world like a giant remote suitcase. By including a set of slot-in additional batteries, the range of the car can be extended quickly and easily without the need for bulky charging infrastructure. Engineered in Germany, the City One has been in development for eight years and is now ready for production, with car-sharing plans and potential buyers for a business fleet.


City Transformer

Another ultra-compact urban machine, the party trick from the City Transformer is a set of extendable axles that give the slim two-seater the traditional handling of a car on the open road. In Slim City mode, a 1m-wide vehicle can be parked in the tightest of spaces (up to four can fit in a traditional parking space), with a forward-hinged scissor door for ease of access. The manufacturer suggests a more than 100 mile range and a low-maintenance design.


Volkswagen ID. Life

VW played a relatively less significant role in IAA Mobility. The main disclosure of the company was the ID. One more step towards the idea of ​​a universal electric car for life, all. The key metric here is cost, as VW looks to expand the idea of ​​’entry-level electric mobility’ with a car that is well designed, easy to build, easy to connect and, above all, Less expensive than any full-size electric car. It has happened till today. Imagine this with an ID.1 or ID.2 badge and a street date of c.2025.


Renault Megane E-Tech Electric

The new Renault Megane e-Tech Electric applies the French manufacturer’s substantial EV know-how to its best-selling and best-known models. Signaling the convergence of separate EV and ICE model lines, the e-Tech will be a worthy competitor to more compact EVs like VW’s ID.3 and Tesla Model 3. If the suggested range of about 300 miles is achieved, it will be near the top of its class.


Porsche Mission R Concept

Add back everything that’s been stripped down to this pure electric racing car, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of ​​what the first pure electric Porsche sports car will look like. To this day, electric Porsches have all four doors. Whether the company’s long-awaited transition to pure electric will be seen as heresy as the launch of its first SUV in 2002 remains to be seen. The Mission R is a pure machine, achieving lightness through new materials like natural fibers and reinforced plastics with a new type of electric motor. The raw interior with a carbon fiber roll cage and race-spec safety harness hints at a future where sporty Porsches draw a lot of track inspiration. I


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