Interior of new flagship saloon revealed in series of official photographs
18 March 2013

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the high-grade interior of its next-generation S-class in a series of darkly lit photographs.

While appearing similar to that of the current model in a number of key areas, it has been comprehensively redesigned in a bid to provide the flagship saloon with added levels of luxury, comfort, accommodation and multimedia functions.

Key among developments is a new dashboard whose horizontal architecture and ambient lighting are used to accentuate visual width. The leather-lined facia features what Mercedes-Benz describes as "metalized" switch gear surfaces and solid aluminum controls together with a selection of wooden trims.

The company's electrical engineers and programmers compiled more than 30 million lines of code in developing new entertainment and information functions for the new S-class. The centerpiece is a new fifth-generation Comand system featuring an Intel Atom processor similar to that used by contemporary laptops, together with all the latest in Google Maps-assisted navigation.

Bucking the trend towards touchscreen operation, the major controls for the Comand system are once again based around a rotary dial positioned between the driver and passenger, as are those for the optional monitors for the rear seats. The system supports various app interfaces, but only with Apple’s iOs operating system. Support for Android and Blackberry-based systems is under development but won’t available at the time of the S-class’s UK introduction later this year.

Two high-resolution monitors with a diagonal width of 307mm perform the functions of the previous instrument binnacle and multimedia system. The left-hand display replaces the old instrument binnacle, while the right-hand display is reserved for multimedia functions. 

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Mercedes S-Class is a fine luxury car and a technological masterstroke. It is calm but rewarding

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

The new S-class forgoes the Bang & Olufsen sound system of the current model for a new arrangement developed in partnership with Burmester. In top-line form it boasts a 1500-watt output and features 24 speakers and a '3D' sound effect.  

Mercedes-Benz is claiming a first for the S-class with a so-called 'active perfuming system'. It uses an ionization function to first cleanse the air before atomisers perfume it in five-minute on/five minute off cycles to subtly alter the smell of the interior. It comes with the choice of four scents or, as Mercedes-Benz prefers, moods: freeside, sports, downtown and nightlife.

Officials from the German car maker have divulged to Autocar that development of the S-class's interior was focused primarily on the long-wheelbase model in light of the decision to shut Mercedes' under-achieving Maybach subsidiary.

Consequently the rear of the S-class now receives features such as rear seats that offer up to 43.5deg of backrest adjustment, a new massage system with 14 separate air cushions in the back rest offering six different programs, a so-called warmth package with heated armrests and door panels and active seat ventilation in which the rotational direction of the fans used to blow cooling air through the seat can be reversed for added comfort. 

Mercedes has also redesigned the seats of the new S-class. Those in the rear feature a belt buckle feeder to automatically raise and lower the buckle, an inflatable airbag within the seatbelt strap to reduce ribcage injuries in head-on collisions and, on the optional reclining rear seat, a so-called 'cushionbag' to prevent occupants from sliding under the belt in the event of an accident.

In a move claimed to bring record levels of noise suppression, the new S-class uses 150 individual sound isolation components. The body structure of the new upmarket saloon is also claimed to be 14 per cent stiffer in torsional rigidity, 11 per cent stiffer in lateral bending rigidity and 17 per cent stiffer in vertical bending rigidity. 

Join the debate



18 March 2013

That new instrument panel is really nasty.  Also, can you use Glade plug-ins?

Just thought I'd mention - elsewhere on the net there are undisguised photos of the outside.  Looks ok, in an overgrown CLA kinda way.


18 March 2013

That must be a S350 cdi standard interior.

I am sure I saw a Merc logo'd illuminated brake fluid reservoir in the middle of the dash for one of the photos?

Cynicism apart they are trying. That surround look it a big theme.


18 March 2013

I think the interior looks really sumptuous - if a bit mini-Maybach which I suppose it is.  Warmth package sounds interesting.  Not so sure about the fragrances: "sports" fragrance must be sweaty socks or trainers and "nightlife" will be the whiff of kebabs and stale cigarettes/alcohol.  Wonder what freeside and downtown will smell like - any suggestions?

Interesting too that Mercedes-Benz have ditched Bose for Burmester.  This will likely be a good move as it's a Burmester system fitted in the Veyron and Porsche now offer it as a very expensive cost-option as well (they would!).  However I have heard a Burmester sound system in a 991 911 and it does sound ridiculously great.

Lastly, Autocar will no doubt wax-lyrical and gush with superlatives about the new S-Class right up until it goes head-to-head with the new Range Rover when it will be hailed as second best to the JLR product.  Prove me wrong Autocar.

Personally, I'd have this before a Range Rover any day and I haven't even glimpsed the exterior yet.

18 March 2013

What a surprise? R32 complaining about JLR and the article is about the Mercedes S class.

Have you ever thought R32, that the new Range Rover is a world class vehicle and that it could be better than this S class?


18 March 2013

To "pychris" - No.

18 March 2013

You're not wrong Pychris.  The article is about the new S-class and soppy bollox (R32) starts to whinge about a Jag.  I like the way the dash flows into the doors but the instrument part of the dash looks a little cliff like.  Heated arm rests, Hmmmm, I never actually thought that would be a problem for the majority of owners.  Maybe it will be a welcome extra for the Russian market

18 March 2013

Good God. That new dashboard is horrendous.


18 March 2013

I remember in 2006 when MINI introduced ambient lighting to their models, everyone called it 'chav' lighting. It seems to be in so many new models now. I wonder if people will call it chav lighting in an S Class.

18 March 2013

Yep. Still chavvy, regardless of what car it's in-same as "privacy" glass.

18 March 2013

Can you confirm that this is an acronym for Council House Averse to Violence ?

If so I am half a chav.




Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week