2020 Mercedes S-Class Will Have Significantly More Touch Technology

Interview

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury may have previewed what the new S-Class will look like.

The Mercedes S-Class has always featured class-leading technology that sets the benchmark for other luxury automakers to follow, and the next-generation model will be no different. While the exterior probably won’t look dramatically different, the interior will see some radical changes. Speaking to Car and Driver during the reveal of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, the company’s director of interior design, Hartmut Sinkwitz, disclosed some tantalizing new details about Mercedes' next flagship sedan.

The interior in the current S-Class is already incredibly opulent, but Sinkwitz said we can expect the next-generation model’s cabin to “place a greater focus on appealing to occupants’ sense of touch.” This suggests the current scroll wheel interface for the COMAND infotainment systems could be replaced with touchscreen and touchpad systems like those found in the latest E-Class. The S-Class’ dual 12.3-inch displays will also will change. Sinkwitz didn’t go into specifics, but said it's important that they evolve in the luxury sedan. There will be a new screen, but it won’t necessarily comprise of one all-encompassing large screen as Sinkwitz considers this setup “impersonal and not very warm.”

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Instead, the next S-Class model could adopt a similar screen setup to the Ultimate Luxury Concept, which displays information on two wide glass panels using the same background to make the display look more unified. There will also be significant changes to interior lighting. While the current S-Class features seven different ambient light colors, the recently updated E-Class boasts 64 different ambient lighting colors. Sinkwitz believes this already-extensive range of lighting effects can be further expanded. “There are more opportunities than we currently have,” said Sinkwitz. Look for greater uses of both direct and indirect lighting. Look for ambient lighting to expand its presence in the cabin.”

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