Oddities Dominate IAA — Are Electric Vehicle Concepts Newsworthy?

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The Munich Motor Show (IAA) was held last week in … Munich. On the one hand, it’s exciting to see new electric vehicles hit the market at shows like this, and this is a big one. On the other hand, you have to weed through so many ridiculous concept vehicles to get to the real news that motor shows like this have become a chore. And then there are even other oddities beyond concept cars. Let’s have a roll through and decide what was newsworthy and what wasn’t.

Even with all of the weird concept cars, I think the non-reveal reveal from ŠKODA is the weirdest, so I had to include it. The company wrote a long press release about the ŠKODA Enyaq Coupé iV that included various details about the coming electric vehicle … but it left the too-new-for-you camo on the vehicle. Sorry to say — I don’t get it. You can read about the ŠKODA Enyaq Coupé iV via the link above. You can see some of the camo pics here:

Moving on …

I’ll jump to the Mercedes-Maybach EQS next. This concept car is the first fully electric Maybach. Of course, as I just noted, it’s a concept car, which means it’s not real. It will not be produced and is just created to show off some cool, pretty looks (and also some quite odd, unpretty looks) for some reason that I’m not sure I fully understand. I get it — a concept car that gets a lot of eyeballs may steer some buyers to your brand. (But will it? Really?) Or perhaps its just about testing out different elements and seeing how people respond. However, I feel like the testing methodology is quite poor and nothing particularly noteworthy or different will ever go into production anyway, no matter what the fans say. Well, with Maybach, maybe you will get one or two new fancy elements at some point — or your billionaire friend will.

“With the Concept EQS, Mercedes-Maybach is providing a clear preview of the first fully electric series-production model for the tradition-steeped luxury brand. The SUV concept vehicle is based on the modular architecture for luxury- and executive-class electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and takes the exclusivity of Maybach into a locally emission-free future,” Daimler writes. “The near-production one-off shows identifying features that are characteristic of Maybach – such as the elaborate two-tone paint finish – but with its innovative drive technology, also takes a step towards a significantly more progressive way of presenting the brand. In the interior, the rear becomes a comfortable place to work or rest thanks to Executive seats and the Chauffeur Package. Added to this are exclusive details such as the new door panels, the armrests of which are designed like high-quality sideboards. There are also trim elements in white piano lacquer and materials in deep-sea blue, which create a feel-good atmosphere on board as if on an elegant yacht.”

Here’s what was being hyped at IAA 2021:

Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.
Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.
Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.
Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.
Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.
Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.
Concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS at IAA München 2021. Image courtesy of Daimler.


Audi rolled out its own unrealistic concept car in Munich. The Audi grandsphere concept irritated from first site, because it so obviously is untethered from reality. Yes, it is sleek, and the seats look great, but what of this electric concept car will get off the drawing table? “The private jet for the road,” as Audi introduced it. Yeah … no.

“Like a first class flight, the 5.35 m (17.6 ft.) long grandsphere sedan combines the luxury of private travel in the greatest of comfort with a comprehensive onboard experience offering. Level 4 automated driving makes new dimensions of freedom possible: in this mode, the interior turns into a spacious sphere of experience without a steering wheel, pedals, or displays. And the front seats become a first class lounge with maximum space, freer views, and access to all the functions of a holistic digital ecosystem that the Audi grandsphere is integrated into.”

Sounds wonderful. Completely not happening. What’s the point? Here are screenshots of the image gallery, since this vehicle is little more than an image gallery:

The future? Or just someone’s imagination of the future?

Then you’ve got the BMW i Vision Circular.

No comment.

Oh, wait, you thought that concept vehicle was ridiculous? Mercedes would like to challenge, and it’s going for gold.

The Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR’s subheading: “operating the user interface with the power of thought.” Don’t believe it? Check out the pictures and you will be convinced ….

… well, convinced that there is nothing realistic about this vehicle.

What. Is. The. Point?

This last Mercedes looks a little more realistic, even if massively expensive, but it is indeed a concept vehicle, and that means that it’s a concept that will never be turned into reality. Designers, go wild — IAA is coming up!

Here’s the Concept EQG:

The other funny thing about these concept vehicles, by the way, is the amount of work that goes into describing them, despite the fact that they are not worth describing in great detail. Some words from Mercedes: “Visually, the concept car combines the unmistakably striking look of the G-Class with selected design elements typical of all-electric models from Mercedes as contrasting highlights. The 4×4 qualities of the “G,” which have always set the highest standard, will not only find their way into the age of electric mobility, but will be developed even further in some areas. The Concept EQG thus offers a promising preview of what a Mercedes-Benz G-Class with battery-electric drive will be capable of.”

BMW took a different approach that is sometimes thrown in. It brought out an old-timer.

Who doesn’t love a class car with an electric motor? Still, though, no one is going to be able to buy this. …


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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