Mobility & Design

Electricity, Lines, Shapes: Our IAA Highlights

As expected, electrification takes center stage at the car fair IAA in Munich. But it's not alone. Design is increasingly taking the spotlight because it represents the face of a brand, a form of communication in itself. That's why we've selected our visual highlights from the trade show, while of course not forgetting the technical aspects.

  • Text
    Marko Knab
  • Photos
    Hersteller
CUPRA DarkRebel

What does it look like when a dynamic and active community collaborates remotely, developing a shared vision of future mobility? Just like the CUPRA DarkRebel. It's the result of over 270,000 configurations. Data collected in the online hyper-configurator shaped the final design of the CUPRA DarkRebel showcar, resulting in a fully electric, two-seater shooting brake sports car with a finish that reminds us of mercury. All combined with the innovative use of light as a tangible material and a stronger focus on sustainability. There's only one thing to say about the design: It's CUPRA. It's spectacular. And it demonstrates how electrified mobility can be truly breathtaking when it's reimagined.

Mercedes Concept CLA Class

One thing is clear: This is a true Mercedes. Luxurious and efficient, the Concept CLA Class is visually influenced by the iconic star emblem of the Stuttgart-based brand. This includes the logo-inspired lights. Otherwise, it features flowing lines that create a muscular yet elegant silhouette. Underneath the bodywork, it incorporates technology and know-how from the attention-grabbing EQXX. 

The numbers speak for themselves: with a range of over 750 kilometers, it achieves a consumption of approximately 12 kWh/100 km. Even in the chassis construction, the "hypermiler" impresses: nearly CO₂-free steel meets CO₂-reduced aluminum, sustainable leather upholstery, and decorative elements made from paper. The goal: a relatable interpretation of desirable luxury for a young and dynamic global market segment.
Mini & Mini Countryman

In 2001, BMW revived the traditional Mini brand and scored a huge success. Now, 22 years later, the popular lifestyle car is experiencing its second rebirth in Munich. Fully electrified, even more minimalist in appearance, and equally minimalist yet immersive in the interior. The Go-Kart feeling remains, as emphasized by the creators. With up to 60 kW/218 PS in the Cooper SE variant, it sounds more than plausible. Also introduced is the larger off-road sibling, the Countryman. It's also electric, visually streamlined, and ready for adventures in urban and non-urban settings.

BMW Vision Neue Klasse

So, this is the BMW Vision Neue Klasse. The near-production study was introduced ahead of the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich. The name alone is noteworthy, as it pays homage to the Neue Klasse, which marked a turning point for BMW starting in 1962, ushering in a successful era. The design departs from BMW's previous style: as a logical continuation of the i Vision Dee technology showcase, the sedan features a clear design language with generous surfaces, few distinctive lines, short overhangs, and a sharknose front. Even the Hofmeister kink dates back to that era. Only the yellow cord fabric on the seats in the interior recalls the past. The electric drive technology, on the other hand, is highly modern, leaving nostalgia behind.

ID. GTI Concept

"We don’t want to look in the rearview mirror, we want to create new icons. We want to use the concept to create a high emotional profile and convince anyone who isn’t convinced by the new technologies yet so they’ll say, yeah, that looks good, we’ll go along with that.," says VW Chief Designer in ramp.design "Success by Design" about the first electric GTI. Taking a closer look at the compact sporty electric vehicle, it's clear that the folks from Wolfsburg have done a great job. The Volkswagen Not-Golf-but-GTI revives familiar virtues: a red GTI line, which is like the red thread in design – and of course: a wide stance, a slim body, and prominent wheels. This concept has been seen before with the Beetle and the Golf, and it keeps on running, of course, even in electric form.

Marko Knab

Marko Knab

Journalist & Photographer
Life writes the best stories - and Marko Knab tells them in text and picture form. His focus: people & their very own stories and cars, motorsports and travel stories. He already worked for Motorsport-Total.com while completing his Bachelor's degree in German Language, followed by a brief stint at a local daily newspaper and a Master's degree in literature and cultural theory - and ramp.

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