If you’re hoping to buy the next-generation Mercedes S-Class, we hope you like screens, as it’s going to be packed full of ‘em. This was first revealed via some spy shots that emerged a few weeks back, but now, Mercedes itself has released a series of images showing the impressive level of display real estate in the S.
We only know how big one of those is going to be (the main display, which measures 12.8 inches diagonally), but a few interesting details have been divulged, including that some will be optionally available in more pixel-dense OLED form. Let’s just gloss over the fact Cadillac has beaten Merc to it in offering this tech. Awkward.
In the front, there’s a large portrait display mounted on a diagonal plinth rising from the centre console. It runs the latest version of the MBUX operating system, with an upgraded version of the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation software.
To the side of that, there’s a digital instrument cluster offering a “spatial view,” which Mercedes says gives “a real three-dimensional effect is achieved without having to wear 3D glasses”. You might not have to look at it all that often, though, as there’s a larger, more comprehensive head-up display on the options menu. Spec it, and you’ll have an augmented reality function which will seemingly ‘project’ animated turn-by-turn instructions onto the road ahead. Clever.
In the back, the S-Class can be optioned with up to three screens. The displays for the rear-seat passengers have exactly the same infotainment functionality as those in the front, and it’s possible to easily share content between them, Mercedes says.
There are several cameras embedded in the overhead control panel keeping a constant eye on the S-Class’ occupants. Sounds perturbing, but it’s all about reading and acting on “the wishes and intentions of the occupants”. One example is that the drive might look over their shoulder at the rear windscreen, which would cause the blind to open. Or the driver could be looking for something in the front passenger seat, which the Interior Assist would recognise and help out by switching a light on.
There’s a general trend of moving away from physical buttons, with Mercedes proudly boasting about how it’s ditched 27 of them through greater reliance on speech recognition, gesture control and “gaze control” (which sounds like some kind of superpower). Thankfully, core functions such as lights and windscreen wipers are operated in the old-fashioned way, while the climate settings are permanently shown along the bottom the main display.