Digital-analogue revolution in the interior

Oct 28, 2020

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.

New design elements include the flat, four-square centre vents with horizontal nacelles. Two slim, vertical side vents on each side round off the ends of the dashboard. The air volume is controlled by keys with LED displays. The avantgarde geometry of the vents and their decorative nature accentuate the modern look.

The seats (see separate chapter for features and configuration) invite the occupants to sit down and relax. The flowing, three-dimensional layer design theme gives an impression of lightness. Different finishes give the seats different characters. For example, the flowing longitudinal piping of Lugano leather lends them a noble, avantgarde look, while the progressive diamond pattern of nappa leather and Exclusive nappa leather is more classical and expressive.

Mercedes-Benz introduced electric seat adjustment in 1980. Since then, many vehicle generations have featured the brand's hallmark seat adjustment switch in the form of a stylised seat in the door. This control has been completely redesigned for the new S-Class. Visible joints have been reduced by combining the trim with the seat controls. The geometry and surround lighting of the control panel make the seat adjustment control appear to float in the door panel.

The newly developed pressure sensors for seat adjustment open up new design possibilities. Thanks to the practically fixed control buttons, minimal gaps between the individual controls can be realised. This also means that very small apertures in the black panel trim are possible. This allows a slim, filigree, floating design of the control buttons. The pressure sensors also allow a continuous coupling of operating pressure and speed.

Choice of four display styles and three modes

The driver display and media display offer a comprehensive aesthetic experience The appearance of the screens can be individualised with a choice of four display styles (Discreet, Sporty, Exclusive, Classic) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service) Examples of new features:

  • In "Discreet", seven different colour schemes are available for the instrumentation, and the 64 colours of the ambient lighting are grouped accordingly.
  • "Sporty" is dominated by the colour red, with dynamic presentation of the central rev counter.
  • The new display scheme "Exclusive" in an attractive white mother-of-pearl look is reserved for the S-Class. In night mode and when passing through tunnels, the system automatically switches to a darker display.
  • In "Assistance" mode, important events, the infrastructure and other road users (cars, motorcycles, trucks) are shown.
  • The augmented reality head-up display (see separate chapter) is absolutely new, and projects important information into the real environment.