After months of spy shots and a couple of recent teasers, Mercedes is finally providing a proper look at the all-new interior of the next-generation S-Class. Forget what you know about the W222 because its successor adopts an overhauled cabin with practically nothing in common with the preceding model. Take for example the number of mechanical buttons and switches, which has been reduced by a whopping 27 compared to the outgoing S.
While the lights and windscreen wipers are accessible the old-fashioned way, most of the other functions can be activated using touch, swipe, voice, or hand gestures. As for the climate control settings, Mercedes says they're affixed to the lower section of the central display to provide quick access without having to navigate through multiple sub-menus.
There will be up to five displays available in the revamped S-Class: a fully digital instrument cluster, the 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and as many as three rear displays. Much like it's the case with the new Cadillac Escalade, OLED technology will be available for crisper graphics with more natural colors while consuming 30 percent less energy than a conventional LCD.
Another novelty brought by the W223 is an optional head-up display with augmented reality (AR) support for navigation as well as the driving assistance systems. A regular HUD is also available, but the more intricate variant is the one to get if you're tech-savvy always looking for the latest gadgets.
The AR-enabled variant has an aperture angle of 10 degrees horizontal and five degrees vertical, with the image appearing virtually at a distance of 10 meters (32.8 feet). This generous display area is equivalent to a 77-inch monitor and benefits from tech also implemented in beamers used at cinemas.
While the driver's display might seem familiar at a first glance, the digital instrument cluster available with four display styles and three modes is of the three-dimensional variety without having to wear 3D glasses. It all sounds quite complicated, so we'll let Mercedes explain it better:
"In this innovative auto-stereoscopic display, this [3D effect] is achieved by the sophisticated combination of a conventional LCD display with a special pixel structure and a controllable LCD aperture grille. What is known as a barrier mask is positioned a few millimeters in front of the LCD. It is so precisely adjusted to the head position of the viewer that the left and right eye see different pixels of the LCD.
This creates the desired impression of depth. A stereo camera system is integrated into the display. This is used to precisely determine the eye position of the viewer. Thanks to methods developed by Mercedes-Benz to adapt distances and a very low-latency system configuration, the driver enjoys a wide range of free movement. The image in the driver display is continuously adjusted."
Beyond the screens and HUD, the new S-Class will boast a more advanced voice assistant with support for 27 languages and a better understanding of what the occupants are saying. Even those sitting in the back can use it courtesy of several microphones that also help the MBUX figure out which seat the voice is coming from. You can even use voice control to change the settings of the heated and massaging seats as an alternative to using the controls on the door cards or the virtual buttons embedded into the big display.
This is the first episode of a three-part teaser campaign for the new S-Class ahead of its world premiere in September. Episode two will air on July 29 and will provide details about safety and comfort, while the third and final episode due August 12 will focus on the luxurious interior.