Interior: Next Level Interior Design

Mar 9, 2016
With its emotional design idiom on the one side and intelligent interior architecture as well as highly advanced control and display elements on the other, the interior of the new E-Class ideally embodies the synthesis of the two opposite poles of emotion and intelligence.
The eye-catcher in the comfort-oriented, luxurious interior of the new E-Class is two displays each with a 31.2 cm (12.3-inch) screen diagonal and a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels. These merge visually to form a wide-screen cockpit, thus acting as a central element to emphasise the horizontal bias of the interior design of the new E-Class. As the instrument cluster, this wide-screen cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver as well as a central display above the centre console. A common glass cover results in a modern flat-screen look. The driver can choose between three different styles to select their preferred screen design for the wide-screen instrument cluster: "Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive".
The wide-screen instrument cluster is optionally available with COMAND online. Instead, the entry-level model of the new E-Class combines two tube-type round dials and a 17.8 cm colour display cluster (1000 x 600-pixel resolution) with a central display with a 21.3 cm screen diagonal (960 x 540-pixel resolution). The round dials, instrument cluster and central display are installed in a single frame with a high-gloss piano-lacquer look.
The driver can adapt the content of the central display to suit their personal preferences. With the exception of the navigation map (which always fills the complete display area), the central display of COMAND online is divided into a main area for informative graphics and animations (2/3 on the right side of the display) and a supplementary area (1/3 on the left side of the display).
The display can be backlit at night with multicolour ambience lighting – which then makes the wide-screen cockpit appear to float in space.
Touch Control: finger swipes
In a further innovation, the new E-Class is the first ever car to integrate touch controls in the spokes of the multifunction steering wheel. Like the surface of a smartphone, the two buttons are touch-sensitive and therefore respond precisely to horizontal and vertical finger swipes. This enables the driver to control every function of the infotainment system in a simple, logical and ergonomically perfect manner in a minimum of space without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. Having selected the desired function with a swipe, the driver presses the appropriate touch controls to trigger the function. Another four buttons in each switch panel are provided with the familiar functions, such as for volume control and telephone control.
A further input option, familiar from the C-Class, is offered by the Touchpad on the centre console. This, too, allows all functions to be controlled by single or multi-finger gestures (multitouch). The Touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting. The system reads out characters detected by handwritten input so that the driver need not avert their gaze from what is happening on the road. A handrest detection feature makes for added operating safety while helping to prevent incorrect inputs. Three touch-sensitive buttons are arranged behind the Touchpad and can be used to operate key functions quickly and directly (back function, switch to favourites menu, audio quick menu).
In addition, the driver can use the COMAND Controller and LINGUATRONIC voice control to control the infotainment system. They can choose at any time which input method they prefer.
The new E-Class can also be controlled by direct buttons, such as for controlling the air-conditioning system or – in another first – for simple activation/deactivation of certain driving assistance systems.
In designing the control and display elements, the aim was not only to logically group the vehicle's controls and display functions in terms of form and content, but also to upgrade and emphasise them.
New control experience
The various control possibilities are coupled with an all-new control and display concept. The goal was to closely combine intuitive use with a functionally meaningful and also attractive design. The result is that passengers in the E-Class can enjoy a new control experience with high-resolution visualisations and animations. The developers have focused on the use of newly implemented presentation and display techniques to make it easier – i.e. more intuitive – for the driver to register and experience information. For example, animated displays are used to show the mode of action of assistance systems, or of DYNAMIC SELECT. The likewise animated ECO display in the instrument cluster helps the driver to adopt an economical driving style in an easily understandable manner.
The new look also comes with a novel, clearer menu structure that makes functions easier to select and which, in many cases, leads efficiently to the desired outcome in a manner appropriate to the situation. Ergonomics and intuitiveness of use were the key criteria for the developers.
With user experience and connectivity ever more in the spotlight, Mercedes-Benz has set up two new centres to address the digital future: "Digital Graphic & Corporate Design" and "User Interaction". These centres are closely networked for designing the control and display concepts, i.e. the user interface, for current and future vehicles. This is because, alongside a workplace and private environment, the vehicle interior is increasingly becoming a "third place", a living area in which passengers can enjoy contemporary luxury. With the new department, Daimler is responding to the global trend of "Digital & Connected Life" and thus the rapid advance of digitalisation in all areas of life.
Focus on information from the Head-up Display
A Head-up Display is a new feature in the E-Class. As in a jet fighter, it projects important information directly into the driver's field of vision on the windscreen, ensuring that there is less distraction from the road ahead. The system provides information on speed, speed limits, navigation instructions and messages from DISTRONIC.
The driver can adjust the height of the virtual image so that it can be easily viewed. On vehicles with seat memory function this feature stores the individual settings. A range of display content can also be enabled or disabled, and the brightness of the display adjusted individually.
Interior as expression of emotion and intelligence
The interior of the new E-Class combines the elegance of the luxury class with the modern sportiness of the C-Class. The design idiom of the new executive saloon is characterised by an interplay of strong solid bodies with sculptural surfaces and an avant-garde clarity and extensiveness of control and display zones. This gives rise to an entirely distinctive, contrast-rich Mercedes-Benz design language that optimally reflects the design philosophy of sensual purity.
The horizontal, low-lying trim part of the instrument panel with its elegantly sweeping form and flowing lines creates a visual sense of space. The wrap-around of the wave motion into the door linings provides a continuation of the horizontal emphasis on width with timeless sweeping forms. This is typical of the design of Mercedes-Benz saloons from the C-Class to the S-Class. Four circular air vents as in the S-Class make it additionally clear that the new E-Class is closely focused on the luxury segment.
Above the low-lying trim part is a formally coherent and separate solid body, which is forceful and sporty in appearance, as if the upper part of the instrument panel is floating in space. Free-standing yet successfully integrated, the wide-screen display stands in front of the upper part of the instrument panel. Ultra-flat and smoothly glazed across its entire area, the high-resolution screen is of a uniquely superior quality of manufacture. It lends the interior an avant-garde quality that forms a contrast between the design of state-of-the-art consumer electronics and the classically elegant automotive design of the passenger compartment. With its emotional design idiom on the one side and intelligent interior architecture as well as highly advanced control and display elements on the other, the interior of the new E-Class perfectly embodies the synthesis of the two opposite poles of emotion and intelligence.
Depending on the transmission variant, the new E-Class comes with two differently designed centre consoles. Models with automatic transmission have a straight-through centre console, with a dynamically rising, high connection to the cockpit, by a control panel in a "Black Panel" glass look. Other controls, such as in the doors, also feature the "Black Panel" look. Conversely, models with manual transmission are provided with a centre console in the form of two separate trim parts.
Intelligent material design
Modern and high-grade materials define the both sporty and elegant style of the interior. They include open-pore woods, wood in a yachting look with flowing lines as a contemporary interpretation of inlaid wood and a novel metal fabric. The use of authentic materials is also continued in the leather-covered doors and the beltline for selected lines. Another Mercedes hallmark clearly in evidence is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.
Just as carefully composed is the material and colour concept with various shades of brown, including new attractive colour combinations such as nut brown/macchiato and saddle brown/macchiato.
Lighting atmosphere with 64 colours
The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the optionally available enhanced ambience lighting. With 64 colours, it offers a host of possibilities for personalisation. It adds touches of light, for example, to the trim parts, central display, front stowage facility on the centre console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, mirror triangle and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system).
Seat design: first class
A further highlight of the new E-Class is its seats, which create an ergonomic, sculptural impression with their torso form, uniting Mercedes-Benz's typical suitability for long journeys with a sporty look. The seats are differently designed depending on the line:
  • even the basic fabric version emphasises the luxurious ambience of the new E-Class.
  • The sporty bias and adapted contours of the seats for the AVANTGARDE line, the centre sections of which are transversely stitched, put the accent on sportiness with good lateral support and back-ventilation (optional).
  • The newly developed seat for the AMG Line impresses with a backrest with sporty side bolsters and a wide shoulder section for added lateral support.
  • The EXCLUSIVE line comes with longitudinally stitched centre sections, colour-matched to the overall seat sculpture in fabric/leather combination or nappa leather.
Also available is a diamond-patterned designo seat in the centre section with perforations similar to the S-Class seat and the enhanced lateral support of the sports seat.
Furthermore, the following additional options, among others, are available for the seats:
  • Seat Comfort package with electro-pneumatic 4-way lumbar support, manual seat cushion depth adjustment by around 60 millimetres for individual adjustment of the thigh support as well as electric seat angle adjustment. The Seat Comfort package meets the criteria of the German association Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.
  • Fully electric seat with Memory package with novel electric seat cushion depth adjustment offering an adjustment travel of 60 mm as a one-part cushion without gap. The package also includes 4-way lumbar support and electronic head restraint adjustment. The controls for seat adjustment, heating and seat ventilation are integrated in the door panel.
  • Climatised seats for driver/front passenger with reversing seat ventilation for the front seats; electrically heated seats are also part of the seat ventilation package.
  • Active Multicontour Seat package for the front seats. This includes the following functions: Energizing Massage, dynamic seat, multicontour backrest and – new – the active cushion. The scope of functions also includes fast seat heating Plus and a 6-way comfort head restraint that allows the occupant to adjust the side bolsters in order to provide the head with comfortable lateral support.
The functions of the Active Multicontour Seat package in detail:
  • Multicontour backrest: allows infinitely variable adjustment of the side bolsters for individual adaptation of the contour of the backrest.
  • Dynamic seat: offers additional lateral support when cornering by inflating the side bolsters of the backrest on the outside of the curve.
  • Massage functions: have been extended for maximum comfort.
The massage functions include:
  • Active Workout backrest and Active Workout cushion – these two new functions call on the driver/front passenger to actively participate by pressing back, thereby helping to strengthen the supporting muscles.
  • Hot Relaxing Massage shoulder – treats the occupant to an intensive massage with additional heat, similar to a massage with the application of hot stones. Individual air chambers massage the parts of the shoulder and back in different sequence and intensity.
  • Activating Massage and Mobilizing Massage – activate/stimulate tired areas of the back.
  • Wave massage – makes a wave-like transition through the backrest into the cushion and, in various intensities and speeds, offers a completely new massage experience for back and bottom.
Further innovations in comparison with the previous model are the heatable armrests for the driver's door and the centre console as Heat Comfort package.
The rear bench seat in the new E-Class Saloon comes with the option of a three-piece backrest. It comes with a 40% - 20% - 40% split and is therefore more versatile than in the previous model series with 60% - 40%. A further innovation is the through-loading feature by folding forward the entire middle 20% portion of the rear backrest. The centre armrest in the 20% portion of the rear backrest houses a stowage box as well as two hinged drinks holders.
In addition, a tablet holder is optionally available for the rear passengers. This holder is accommodated in a shaft on the back of the driver's backrest above the map pocket. It serves to accommodate the holder and supply the devices with power.
Stowage concept for more interior space
A sophisticated stowage concept with extensive stowage options contributes to carefree travelling. The stowage volume in the standard specification has increased from 26.3 litres for the predecessor to now 27.7 litres (manual transmission) or 34.8 litres (automatic transmission).
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior with ambience lightning
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior with ambience lightning
Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse, KEYLESS-GO package
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Widescreen instrument cluster: Style "Progressive"
Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse, Widescreen instrument cluster: Style "Sport"
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Widescreen instrument cluster: Style "Classic"
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Instrument cluster
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Speakers
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Touch-Control
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Widescreen Cockpit
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Widescreen Cockpit
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Widescreen Cockpit
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior, leather black/saddle brown
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior saddle brown/macciato
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior saddle brown/macciato
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior saddle brown/macciato
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, design sketch
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Interior, leather black/saddle brow