Mercedes-Benz S-Class Interior Design
Mercedes-Benz has today officially disclosed a series of images revealing the inside of the new S-Class. Documents accompanying the photos reveal a design intent on balancing technological innovation with increased luxury.
For the first time in the history of the S-Class, the development focus has been on the long-wheelbase saloon. This is because, whereas in Europe and North America the owner of an S-Class is frequently behind the wheel themself, the flagship model in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car portfolio is more often than not a chauffeur-driven vehicle in Asia. A logical consequence is the implementation of additional new features specifically related to comfort and safety in the rear.
Not that the driver lacks for anything: the latest Mercedes-Benz research findings have been incorporated into the interior layout that now boasts over 100 actuators and electric motors, all designed to offer maximum operating convenience.
Mercedes’ designers claim the introduction of horizontal features and lines across the dashboard create an increased sense of visual breadth. The redesigned display extends in front of the driver as a key element of the horizontal alignment. It replaces the traditional instrument cluster and the entire display appears to be free-floating, an impression reinforced by “corona effect” ambience backlighting. The visually prominent dashboard is characterised by the double-S curve.
Two high-resolution colour displays in 8:3 format with a screen diagonal of 30.7 cm (12.3 inches) form the new information centre. The left-hand display performs the functions of the previous instrument cluster, providing the driver with all relevant information; the right-hand display allows for the control of infotainment and comfort functions.
Wood trims, especially in the dashboard and centre console, are interspersed with metallised switch surfaces and solid aluminium controls. For passengers in the back, a “mobile office” incorporates a business centre console complete with telephone handset, additional stowage compartments and folding table.
As is typical with all new S-Class developments, Mercedes is claiming numerous world firsts such as the “ENERGIZING” massage function based on the hot-stone principle and active seat ventilation with reversing fans. There is a choice of five different rear seat variants including an executive seat with a backrest angle adjustable by up to 43.5 degrees.
Three new features also improve safety in the rear: in the belt buckle feeder an electric motor automatically raises and lowers the buckle. The beltbag is an inflatable seat-belt strap that is able to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by lessening the strain on the ribcage. The reclining seat is fitted with a cushionbag as standard. This prevents the occupant from sliding under the belt in the event of an accident.
As another world first, the new S-Class has an “active perfuming system”. ‘Active’ means that the perfuming system is switched on and off manually, with manual adjustment of the intensity. The perfume atomisation system individualises the smell of the vehicle interior. It neither changes the interior smell permanently, nor are perfume molecules deposited on fabric surfaces or clothing.
The fragrances for the new perfume atomisation system were developed by Marc vom Ende, a senior perfume specialist for the fragrance manufacturer Symrise in Lower Saxony. Having already created world-famous perfumes such as “IcebergHomme” and “Alain Delon”, Marc took inspiration from the interior of the S‑Class for the Mercedes-specific perfumes:
“When I started the development work I paid a visit to the interior designers in Sindelfingen. We had a very interesting exchange of views which caused me to deviate from the approach I had envisaged. Originally I wanted to work with the smell of leather, but then realised that the car itself smells of leather, and that my fragrances must go hand in hand with this. A visit to the research workshops allowed me to see the brand from a completely different point of view, and gave me new ideas for suitable fragrances. The presentation of the F800, for example, inspired me to create the perfume DOWNTOWN MOOD. The car is so delicate in structure, so light and airy, and I went home with the idea of this perfume in my mind.”
Other innovations include a communication centre and “concert hall”; the new S-Class is the first saloon car to be equipped with the Frontbass system as standard. With this system, the woofers are installed within the bodyshell and use the almost 40‑litre space in the cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber. Mercedes’ electrical engineers and programmers compiled more than 30 million lines of programming in order to build the new info-entertainment system. The centrepiece of the new COMAND Online system is the Intel Atom, a processor whose performance fully equals that of components in the latest laptops.
The interior design of the new S-Class was also influenced by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Interior Design Studio in Como. Using the so-called “appreciation model”, the designers were able to give free rein to their imagination and look for ways of translating these ideals into series production features.
“Mercedes-Benz design has reversed its approach in recent times. It is no longer a matter of subsequently upgrading and enhancing a functional interior. Instead the so-called “appreciation model” is at the start of the process. Here the designers first put their creative ideals into practice, then look for ways in which their ideas can be translated into series production. This produces a more harmonious and higher-quality result, ” says Dr. Götz Renner, head of the Customer Research Center (CRC) at Mercedes-Benz.