Mercedes-Benz is gradually drip-feeding precious information about its next-gen S-Class luxury sedan. We first caught wind of the new S-Class’ augmented reality heads-up display last July, and we now know the S-Class will come with a plug-in hybrid version offering a longer all-electric range.
Next, Mercedes previewed the optional rear-axle steering system (which reduces the turning circle of the new S-class to under 11 meters) and E-Active body control suspension (a 48-volt suspension system that acts on each individual wheel).
But now, the German carmaker is showcasing what the S-Class has to offer in its interior. Mercedes calls it a ‘personal wellness oasis’ offering comfortable living space for both the driver and passengers.
“Luxury today is defined by comprehensive refinement. “A luxurious driving experience depends on a host of factors and must appeal to all the senses,” said Dirk Fetzer, Head of S-Class Product Management. “Traditionally, this included almost silent travel, but it has now advanced to include features that make life easier for customers, for example, intuitive operation and comprehensive connectivity save our customers a lot of time.”
Evidently, the smooth and silent ride is an S-Class trademark. But Mercedes went further than providing tons of space and a whisper-quiet cabin. The feel-good aspect of the S-Class’ cabin goes beyond its surprisingly minimalist interior design and ‘yacht design elements.’ Hell, it even goes beyond the plethora of screens inside the car – in which case, you can have a total of five screens inside the vehicle just in case you’re wondering – or the open-pore wood veneers.
In the new S-Class, Mercedes is pining to delight the senses, and it does it by integrating sophisticated artificial intelligence with the vehicle’s plethora of in-cabin features. The next-gen S-Class has standard interactive ambient lighting. It not only gives the cabin a soothing glow, but the ambient lighting is integrated into the driver assistance systems to reinforce the visual alerts in a more humanly manner. Additionally, the ambient lighting offers visual feedback when activating the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant or when operating the climate control.
The interior lighting is also amalgamated into the vehicle’s standard ENERGIZING Comfort Control feature. Utilizing a holistic ‘fit and healthy’ approach, the system can automatically create a more relaxing interior atmosphere based on your preferences. The goal is to make your journey as smooth and stress-free as possible, and the S-Class can ‘react’ to your moods by adjusting the cabin temperature, releasing a special scent with the active fragrance system, and choosing the appropriate ambient lighting.
Passengers can automatically adjust the seating position based on their height courtesy of those funky algorithms. Oh, and you can say ‘Hey Mercedes, I’m stressed’ and the vehicle will trigger ‘Joy’ mode in an attempt to rejuvenate your mood. Furthermore, the ENERGIZING COACH feature is powered by intelligent algorithms to suggest a fitness or wellness program based on data from your fitness bracelet or smartphone.
“Our S-class customers are highly discerning. With the new S-Class, we invite them into a completely new luxury experience,” said Hartmut Sinkwitz, Head of Interior Design. “It is underscored by our ‘Sensual Purity design philosophy and our absolute commitment to quality and attention to detail. The result is a revolutionary experience caught between digital and analog luxury.”
Befitting of a flagship model, the new S-Class has a massive 12.8-inch tilted OLED display and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, both of which are standard. Choosing the rear-seat entertainment package adds a pair of 11.6-inch screens mounted on the seatbacks along with a 7.0-inch tablet to control the vehicle’s MBUX infotainment from the rear.
The new S-Class is home to a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive sensors to let the system know if your hands are touching the wheel, particularly when Level 3 autonomy is engaged. Believe me, some of these features may sound absurd, but most of it will eventually trickle down to lesser models (even non-Mercedes brands) in two or five years, guaranteed. The S-Class has always been the pinnacle of automotive engineering on which other vehicles are based, and it will continue to do so in the conceivable future.
The good news is we don’t have to wait long to experience what the next-gen Mercedes S-Class has to offer. It debuts on September 2 and will arrive in North America by early or mid-2021.