The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class - automotive luxury experienced in a completely new way
The S-Class stands for the fascination of Mercedes-Benz: legendary and traditional engineering expertise defines the luxury segment in the automobile industry. The new S-Class can be experienced with all the senses – seeing, feeling, hearing, and smelling – while offering numerous innovations in the areas of driver assistance, protection, and interaction. Mercedes-Benz is shaping the next generation of individual mobility for our times with innovations that place the focus on people. The new S-Class uses digitization for a car that responds empathetically to the needs and wishes of its driver and passengers. Here is an overview as a mindmap:
The ten most important new features:
The second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) débuts in the new S-Class. Another milestone as the interface between the driver, passengers, and vehicle: there are up to five screens* on board, some with OLED technology. At the touch of a button, the new 3D driver display for the first time allows spatial perception of the scene with a real 3D effect thanks to eye-tracking. A similarly impressive feature is the very large head-up display with augmented reality content. When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows ("fishbones") are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane.
Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, MBUX Interior Assist [not currently offered in the UK] recognizes and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It does this by interpreting head direction, hand movements, and body language, and responds with corresponding vehicle functions. For example, if the driver looks over his/her shoulder towards the rear window, Interior Assist automatically opens the sunblind.
The active ambient lighting (optional extra) supplements ambient lighting (standard equipment) with an additional layer of light. With around 250 LEDs it is integrated into the driving assistance systems and is able to reinforce their warnings visually. In addition, feedback is possible when operating the climate control system or the 'Hey Mercedes' voice assistant, for instance.
The latest generation of the Driving Assistance Package has new and numerous improved functions. One example is the intelligent compliance with speed limits. The new assistance display in the driver display clearly shows the operating principle of the driving assistance systems as a full-screen view.
During severe frontal collisions, the rear airbag [not currently offered in the UK] can considerably reduce the loads acting on the head and neck area of the seat-belt-wearing occupants in the outer rear seats. The frontal airbag for the rear seat deploys particularly gently thanks to its innovative construction using a tubular structure.
Thanks to rear-axle steering [not currently offered in the UK], the S-Class is as maneuverable as a compact car in the city. The steering angle at the rear axle is up to ten degrees. The turning circle is reduced by up to two meters.
More than 50 electronic components in the new S-Class can be updated with new software over-the-air (OTA). These include the entire MBUX infotainment system, the driver display, the driving assistance systems, and the MULTIBEAM LED and DIGITAL LIGHT lighting systems. This technology saves the customer time, as he/she does not need to visit a workshop for this purpose. Furthermore, the vehicle remains up to date throughout its lifecycle and is equipped for new features. The explicit consent of the user is always a precondition for OTA updates.
When a side impact with another vehicle threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension [not currently offered in the UK] within a few tenths of a second. This is a new function of PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side: It can reduce the loads acting on the occupants because it directs the impact forces towards particularly resistant structures in the lower area of the vehicle.
It is expected that from the second half of 2021 the S-Class will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode with the new DRIVE PILOT (optional extra), in situations where traffic density is high or in tailbacks, on suitable motorway sections in Germany. By taking pressure off the driver, this allows them to undertake secondary activities such as browsing on the internet or dealing with emails in the In-Car Office, and so win extra time.
The revolutionary headlamp technology DIGITAL LIGHT (optional extra) allows completely new functions, e.g. the projection of marking aids or warning symbols onto the road ahead. In each headlamp, DIGITAL LIGHT has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs with light that is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The resolution is therefore more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle.
Interesting facts & figures
Sometimes numbers say more than a thousand words.
The turning circle is reduced by up to 2 meters with rear-axle steering compared to a model without it. The maximum steering angle is 10°.
27 languages are supported by "Hey Mercedes" with Natural Language Understanding (NLU).
31 loudspeakers and eight exciters are included in the Burmester® high-end 4D surround sound system.
Comfort on the front passenger seat is assisted by up to 19 motors (8 for adjustments, 4 for massage and 5 for ventilation, one for the lumbar support, and one to move the monitor on the reverse).
10 different massage programs are available in the new S-Class.
The plug-in hybrid variant of the S-Class will have an electric range of up to 100 kilometers.
The display area of the augmented reality head-up display corresponds to a monitor with a diagonal of 77 inches.
The boot capacity has increased by 20 liters to up to 550 liters compared to the previous model.
With a Cd figure from 0.22, the S-Class is one of the world's most aerodynamic cars. Its drag coefficient is, therefore, lower than before, despite a larger frontal area 200 sq. cm.
Compared to the preceding model, elbow-room for the driver has increased by 38 millimeters and by up to 23 millimeters for rear passengers. The headroom in the rear has increased by up to 16 millimeters.
The resolution of DIGITAL LIGHT per vehicle is over 2.6 million pixels.
The computing power of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) has increased by 50 percent compared to the system in the previous model. The memory bandwidth is 41,790 MB/s.
When a side impact threatens, the vehicle body can be raised by up to 8 centimeters by the E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension (optional) within a few tenths of a second. This is a new function of PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side:
17 step motors control the temperature and air distribution in the Thermotronic system. The 4-zone climate control Thermotronic Rear even has 20 step motors. These electric motors operate the air flaps.
In the Active Ambient Lighting system, there is an LED in an optical fiber every 1.6 centimeters. There are around 250 in all.
The new OLED central display measures 239.06 mm x 218.8 mm and has an active screen diagonal of 12.8 inches. The screen area is 64 percent larger than in the preceding model. The driver display measures 291.6 mm x 109.4 mm and has a diagonal of 12.3 inches.
The tubular structure of the innovative rear airbag is around 16 liters, while the total volume of the deployed bag is up to 70 liters.
The control units of E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL analyze the driving situation and adjust the suspension 1000 times per second.
The designation "S-Class" was officially introduced with the 116 series in 1972.
More than 98 kg of components made from resource-conserving materials is used in the S-Class. The number of components containing recyclates is now 120 – more than twice as many as in the preceding model. Another 40 kg or so are made from renewable raw materials.
223 is the internal designation of the new model series.
The new tool used to micro-perforated the seats operates with 16,000 needles.
The loyalty rate for the S-Class is especially high. Some 80 percent of S-Class customers in Western Europe go on to choose another vehicle from Mercedes-Benz. In the US, more than 70 percent do so.
More than one-third of all saloons of the last generation of the S-Class (model series 222; début 2013) went to China. S-Class customers in China are the youngest with an average age of 40 years. Around the world the S-Class Saloon is predominantly sold in the long-wheelbase version: around 9 out of 10 customers opt for the long version of the S-Class Saloon. All in all, since the launch of the generation that is now in its runout phase, more than 500,000 S-Class Saloons have been sold.
"The S-Class is the world's best-selling luxury saloon. With the latest generation we want to offer our customers innovation, safety, comfort, and quality as never before," says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. "The new S-Class underpins our claim to produce the best automobile in the world", states Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. "This is where covetable luxury meets the greatest possible safety and the highest level of comfort." The new S-Class can be ordered in Germany from mid-September 2020 and will be in the dealerships in December 2020.
Modern luxury attains the next level in the interior of the S-Class. The designers have created a feel-good ambiance with lounge character marked by elegance, high quality, and lightness. The dashboard with its new architecture, modern surface design, and ergonomic display arrangement is a particular highlight. But the feel-good aspect goes even deeper: With high ride quality and low noise levels as well as an extensive range of ENERGIZING Comfort programs, the S-Class looks after the well-being of its passengers. They also stay fit thanks to the effective air filtering system, which signals its newly gained capability with the new name ENERGIZING Air Control.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has become more intelligent in many areas, and the driving experience is at the next level. Digital innovations such as in MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) are joined by innovations that increase driving enjoyment while making driving even safer: among them is rear-axle steering with a large steering angle and safety innovations such as the rear airbag. As a new function of PRE-SAFE® Impulse Side, the active E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL* suspension can raise the vehicle body (on both sides) just before an impending side impact. Following systematic further development, the driving assistance systems are a further step towards autonomous driving. Thanks to improved environmental sensors, for example, the parking systems give the driver even better support when maneuvering at low speed. The integration into MBUX means that the level of visualization has now entered a whole new dimension.
For over 100 years: the luxury class as the embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz brand
The S-Class is the centerpiece of the brand and stands for the fascination of Mercedes-Benz: legendary engineering expertise and a heritage of craftsmanship meet progressive digital innovation. The S-Class combines artificial intelligence with the experience gained from 135 years of automobile engineering. Around 70 years ago, Mercedes-Benz laid the foundations for this model series with model 220. Since its market launch in 1951, more than 4 million S-Class Saloons have been delivered to customers around the world. The designation "S-Class" was officially introduced with the 116 series in 1972. In the last 10 years, the S-Class Saloon has been particularly popular in China, the USA, South Korea, and Germany. All in all, since the launch of the generation that is now in its runout phase, more than 500,000 S-Class Saloons have been sold.
The loyalty rate for this model series is especially high. For example, around 80% of customers in Western Europe who previously drove an S-Class once again opted for a Mercedes-Benz model. In the US, more than 70 percent do so. Around the world the S-Class Saloon is predominantly sold in the long-wheelbase version: Around 9 out of 10 customers opt for the long version of the S-Class Saloon.
MBUX: a new dimension in personalization and interaction
No other innovation in recent years has so radically changed the operation of a Mercedes-Benz as MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). The second generation of this learn-capable system now débuts in the new S-Class. The vehicle interior is even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides: brilliant displays on up to five* large screens [three screens in the UK], in part with OLED technology, make the control of vehicle and comfort functions even easier. The possibilities for personalization and intuitive operation have become far more extensive. This certainly applies in the rear, but also to the driver: For example, the new 3D driver display allows a spatial view at the touch of a button for the first time. A real three-dimensional effect is achieved without having to wear 3D glasses.
Two different head-up displays (HUDs) are available on request. The larger HUD provides augmented reality (AR) content. When navigating, for example, animated turn-off arrows ("fishbones") are virtually and precisely projected onto the road lane. For the assistance functions, information from e.g. Active Distance Assist is shown. The image appears virtually at a distance of 10 meters. the display area corresponds to a monitor with a 77-inch diagonal.
The voice assistant "Hey Mercedes" is, even more, learn- and dialogue-capable by activation of online services in the Mercedes me App. Moreover, certain actions can be performed even without the activation keyword "Hey Mercedes". These include accepting a telephone call. "Hey Mercedes" now also explains vehicle functions and answers general knowledge questions. In the S-Class, the voice assistant can also be controlled from the rear.
Using cameras in the overhead control panel and learning algorithms, MBUX Interior Assist recognizes and anticipates the wishes and intentions of the occupants. It does this by interpreting head direction, hand movements, and body language, and responds with corresponding vehicle functions. As well as enhancing operating convenience, MBUX Interior Assist improves safety. Even before the journey begins, it notifies the driver if the camera has detected a child seat on the front passenger seat but seat belt is not fastened, for example.
With the MBUX Smart Home function, the S-Class now also becomes a control center for the home, because the homes of many people are increasingly intelligent: mobile intelligence ensures maximum operating convenience from afar. WLAN and sensors make the home capable of communication: temperature and lighting, roller blinds, and electrical appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled. Motion detectors and window contacts inform the user of welcome or unwelcome visitors.
Dimensional concept and interior design: generous ambiance with a lounge-like nature
The S-Class has always been a place for comfortable travel and relaxed working. With the new generation, the interior has fully evolved into a "third place", a refuge between the home and workplace. Nearly all comfort-related dimensions of both variants, the S-Class with a short and long wheelbase, have been improved in the front as well as on the rear seats. The sense of space is accordingly generous.