Currently reading: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: new images showcase comfort-focused interior
Second-generation MBUX system features fewer buttons, augmented reality and sensor-activated functions

Mercedes-Benz claims the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is set to make its debut later this year, will feature  a “revolutionary” interior design that will offer new technology and design features aimed at enabling unprecedented levels of comfort.

The German firm has previously confirmed the seventh generation of flagship saloon will be the first to feature a new version of its Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment. Mercedes has now released a series of new official teaser images of the interior, and given further details of some of the new ‘luxury and well-being’ design features.

Mercedes says the interior of the new S-Class has been designed to offer “a feel-good ambience with lounge character”, with the firm saying it has taken design cues from both interior architecture and yacht design. It claims the interior offers “a third place” that serves as a “refuge between home and workplace”.

There is an entirely new dashboard design, featuring an ergonomic display arrangement. The interior includes large trim elements built into the dash and offered in the car’s rear as part of the ‘First Class rear suite’. They are made from open-pore wood veneer with aluminium inlays.

97 Mercedes s class interior official dashboard trim

Mercedes will also introduce new versions of the ‘Energizing Comfort’ features in the car. They include a new air filtering system, which will filter out fine dust, pollen and odours, and in certain markets will show the exterior air quality.

There are also additional programmes that alter various interior settings, such as the massaging seats. The new ‘coach’ function can sync with fitness and wellness trackers to suggest comfort settings for planned trips by analysing data about an owner’s sleep quality or stress level.

Mercedes notes that in the S-Class’s primary markets - the US and China - the car’s owner customarily sits in the back, so it has “systematically designed the new edition of its flagship model with the rear in mind”. As such, rear passengers have access to the same infotainment functions as those in the front, controlled via up to three touchscreens - each of which can be specified with OLED technology and haptic touch feedback.


Read our review

Car review

The self-proclaimed 'best car in the world' gets a touch more luxury, a heap of new technology and a mild hybrid electrical system, but is it enough to hold off the latest attempts from BMW and Audi?

Back to top


40 Mercedes benz user experience infotainment system

Increased use of sensors plays a big part in the system’s update. The exit warning function can detect when an occupant wants to leave the car, the interior’s ambient lights flash red when another vehicle approaches a blindspot and the front passenger seat can detect whether a child seat is correctly secured. 

The S-Class can also automatically adjust the seats and mirrors to suit the driver, raise and lower the rear roller blind when the driver looks over their shoulder and operate the sliding sunroof according to hand gestures. 

There are 27 fewer traditional buttons and switches in the new S-Class compared with today's model, with a heightened emphasis on swiping, voice control and hand gestures. Some functions, however, such as the headlights and windscreen wipers, can be operated using familiar physical controls. 

The MBUX system’s trademark “Hey, Mercedes” voice recognition function has been upgraded as well. It can now be used to explain where the car’s first aid kit is located and connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as traditional functions such as accepting a phone call or displaying the sat-nav map. If a driver says “I’m tired”, the system will activate an ‘energising’ programme, or if a rear passenger says the same phrase, a ‘wellbeing’ programme. 

Back to top

As part of the upgrades, Mercedes has also tightened the security of its infotainment. As well as requiring a PIN to enable certain functions, it will use a combination of fingerprint, face and voice recognition to give access to individualised settings or verification of digital payment processes.

MBUX can be connected to the Mercedes smartphone app to allow for owners to set up to seven different profiles - with preferred automatic seat, radio and lighting settings - and activate them by scanning a QR code on entry. These can then be transferred via the cloud to other Mercedes models equipped with the same system. The cloud software also allows for Smart Home-equipped appliances and domestic systems to be controlled from within the car. 

Augmented reality will feature, too, projecting three-dimensional directional arrows onto the road ahead to reduce the need for the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. 


2021 Mercedes-Benz EQS previewed in new official images 

Mercedes-Benz GLA 220d 2020 UK review 

Mercedes-Benz to sell Smart factory in France

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Speedraser 13 August 2020

New isn't necessarily better,

New isn't necessarily better, nor necessarily worse. I only care whether I like it, whether it's good or bad, whether it's better or worse. Touchscreens are worse than buttons or knobs. You can operate a button or knob by feel -- while still looking at the road. That's good. You MUST look at a touchscreen to operate it, so you must NOT be looking at the road. That's very bad. Good thing they have all these extra "safety features" to try to prevent you from crashing while looking at the touchscreens rather than the road, and to "protect" you when you do crash while looking at the touchscreen rather than the road. And cameras watching me, and the car deciding what it thinks I want to do??? Please no. Sadly, none of the new stuff appeals to me at all. In fact, I don't want it -- these "features" make driving much less enjoyable for me. I used to love the debut of new cars. Now, they almost never appeal to me. It's increasingly likely that all my car purchases going forward will be older cars, as new models interest me less and less. Leave me alone and let me drive.

Antony Riley 13 August 2020

Looks like a Blackpool

Looks like a Blackpool amusement arcade No sorry the arcade has more class, .So your driving away on a dark winters night and all those screens will bloody dazzle you !! Sorry Guv didnt see that oncoming car as I was watching  all the screens trying to up the car heat temperature. 

Andrew1 12 August 2020


"Rolls Royce is a British company owned by Germans. There's a big difference. British are still designing the interiors."

Surely you mean the talented immigrants in Britain.