The unrivalled tradition of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has roots that extend back to the beginnings of the Mercedes brand in the early 20th century. One early and very telling example is the Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP presented in 1903. In subsequent years, the product ranges of the Mercedes and Benz brands always featured several models in the executive and luxury class. The S-Class stands for the fascination of Mercedes-Benz: legendary and traditional engineering expertise defines the luxury segment in the automobile industry. The new S-Class can be experienced with all the senses – seeing, feeling, hearing and smelling – while offering numerous innovations in the areas of driver assistance, protection and interaction. Mercedes-Benz is shaping the next generation of individual mobility for our times with innovations that place the focus on people. The new S-Class uses digitisation for a car that responds empathetically to the needs and wishes of its driver and passengers.
The S-Class is seen as a trendsetter in its segment. Together with its model variants, the luxury saloon is a point of reference and an example for the automobile industry. The new generation continues this tradition. The interplay between emotion and intelligence becomes tangible, and arouses desire for the brand and for the S-Class itself. Innovation in combination with the latest technology and traditional craftsmanship make the vehicle unique.
With a short front overhang, a long wheelbase and a balanced rear overhang, the S-Class is designed as a classical saloon with perfect proportions. Other unmistakable exterior features include the stretched bonnet, the upright front end with the mounted star, the long passenger cell and the flowing C-pillar with its sculptured shoulder. The claim of the S-Class to high status is indicated by the excellent prestige measurement, i.e. the distance from the front axle to the windscreen. The wide track and flush-mounted wheels with modern designs give the vehicle a muscular look.The so-called character lines have been greatly reduced along the sides. Cleverly contoured surfaces with a sculptured look create special light effects. At the same time they embody the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity.
Modern luxury attains the next level in the interior of the S-Class. The designers have created a feel-good ambience with lounge character marked by elegance, high quality and lightness. The dashboard with its new architecture, modern surface design and ergonomic display arrangement is a particular highlight. The aim and ambition of the Mercedes-Benz interior designers was to harmonise digital and analogue luxury in the vehicle interior.
The S-Class has always been a place for comfortable travel and relaxed working. With the new generation, the interior has fully evolved into a “third place”, a refuge between home and workplace. Nearly all comfort-related dimensions of both variants, the S-Class with short and long wheelbase, have been improved in the front as well as on the rear seats. The sense of space is accordingly generous.
The desired harmony between digital and analogue luxury results in a revolutionary interior design, including associations with interior architecture and yacht design elements. The sculptured look of the dashboard, centre console and armrests appears to float above an expansive interior landscape. The systematic reduction in the number of controls underscores the minimalist appearance of the interior. A fine divide between the upper section of the dashboard and the large trim element structures the area and creates horizontal breadth. This interface is also where the active ambient lighting (see separate chapter) is located.
In addition to the up to five screens, highlights include the large trim elements in the dashboard and in the rear (with the First Class rear suite). These flow around the passengers and are a systematic further development of the wrap-around effect. One particularly attractive version of the trim is an open-pored wood veneer shot through with inlays of real aluminium that follow the contours. The “Novum” trim variant consists of a mixed metallic weave which accentuates the elegant, sporty styling.
The second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) débuts in the new S-Class. Another milestone as the interface between the driver, passengers and vehicle: there are up to five screens on board, some with OLED technology. At the touch of a button, the new 3D driver display for the first time allows spatial perception of the scene with a real 3D effect thanks to eye-tracking. A similarly impressive feature is the very large head-up display with augmented reality content. When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows (“fishbones”) are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane.
Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, MBUX Interior Assist recognises and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It does this by interpreting head direction, hand movements and body language, and responds with corresponding vehicle functions. For example, if the driver looks over his/her shoulder towards the rear window, Interior Assist automatically opens the sunblind.
Thanks to precisely designed, highly detailed interior features and certain animated functions, the rear lights contribute to the impression of high quality. They make the new S-Class unmistakable in both their day and night design.
When the new S-Class is launched, six-cylinder in-line petrol and diesel engines in various output classes will be available, with a V8 engine with integrated starter generator (ISG) and a 48-volt onboard electrical system to follow shortly afterwards. A plug-in hybrid with an all-electric range of around 100 km will follow in 2021.
Here are some fascinating facts about it:
• 31 loudspeakers and 8 exciters in the Burmester 4D sound system
• Comfort on the front passenger seat is assisted by up to 19 motors
• 10 different massage programmes
• The display area of the HUD corresponds to a monitor with a diagonal of 77-inches
• The resolution of DIGITAL LIGHT per vehicle is over 2.6 million pixels
• When a side impact threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by up to 8-inch
• 223 is the internal designation of the new model series
• In the Ambience Lighting system, there is an LED in an optical fibre every 1.6 centimetres. There are around 250 in all