When the journey is as important as the destination.
Do you ever wonder where luxury ideas start? How celebrities, corporate leaders and heads of state decide on the amenities they want to be surrounded by? How designers and engineers come up with innovations that move an industry forward?
They start at the top and keep building… up. Each time creating a new pinnacle.
And that is the idea behind the new S-Class from Mercedes-Benz. This is the ultimate in these widely available luxury sedans. Think: Chauffeur-driven, VIP back seat passengers and trophy cars, but a sedan that every passenger will want to drive, because it’s all that, too.
Human-Centered Design Makes the S-Class Feel Like Home
This is an idea we’ve been hearing lately: Cars that are designed for the humans spending time in them. And while this seems like an obvious idea, it takes a lot of engineering to reduce things like the jiggle-factor of potholes and speed bumps, road noise or even basics like clean air and comfy seats. Taking all that a step further is the goal for Mercedes-Benz. “One thing that our customers in the new S-Class will experience: the feeling of coming home,” said Britta Seeger, director of Mercedes-Benz marketing and sales.
Not only will the human-centered design idea incorporate engineering to make the ride smoother and more comfortable, but the goal is to create an experience that will relax you. From massaging seats, soft lighting and clean, fragrance-infused air to systems that monitor the driver and passengers, the climate and traffic, the overall idea is that the car is not just transportation but a haven. These systems are designed to “allow you to get out more relaxed than when you entered” the car, Britta said.
At Your Service: Autonomous Parking
The S-Class will lead Mercedes-Benz’s autonomous roll out with a parking feature that actually parks your car for you. Without a driver.
“Our plan is to introduce our Drive Pilot in Germany in the second half of 2021,” said Markus Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz Cars COO. This system will allow the S-Class to drop you at the door of a building and then park itself in the parking garage. S-Class models will come pre-equipped with this level 4 system; only government regulations stand in the way. Imagine… not having to cruise the level after level of a parking garage to find a space and then find your way back to the street. THAT is a luxury.
Innovation Coming to a Car Near You… In the Not-Too-Distant Future
Thisis what I love most about luxury innovation: once Mercedes-Benz develops these ideas and puts them to work in their high end sedans and SUVs, the ideas will trickle down to lower priced luxury cars and eventually, into most cars and SUVs on the road. The features you love, like driver drowsiness warnings and lane keep assist that give you a fanny tap when you drift from your lane? Mercedes-Benz brought those to market a decade ago in its high-end cars. Now, they are everywhere.
In the ‘lead, follow or get out of the way’ world, Mercedes-Benz leads. And this is what the company is innovating in the new S-Class, which is expected to roll into the market with a price tag of $100K+:
- A next-level Mercedes-Benz User Experience (or MBUX) system with an even more responsive voice activated assistant that not only recognizes your voice, but knows your face so it can tell if you’re in the driver’s seat, the passenger’s seat or riding in the rear; the voice assistant works in every seat
- Facial recognition will also recall your custom settings for seat position, climate, sound and more
- The “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant now speaks (and understands) up to 27 languages
- S-Class owners in China will be able to order food or movie tickets by asking “Hey Mercedes,” a feature that we hope will come to the rest of the world soon
- Screens for every passenger, including a system control panel in the rear center armrest console
- A new large vertical dashboard screen; it’s angled for optimal ease of viewing and use
- Head up display with augmented reality; we love the use of AR on the MB navigation system and now it’s added to the HUD system
- Customizable sound system for each seat. Set the system up for the way you like to listen (turn up the treble or bass to get the concerto or arena rock sound that you prefer)
- Gesture control – the wave of a hand to control electronics – now also operates the sunroof
- Well-being control, with features like heated massaging seats in both the front and rear with 10 different massage settings; air filtration, ionization and a fragrance diffuser; ambient lighting to set the tone for a relaxing ride
- Interior lighting is also safety feature, flashing as a warning if danger is imminent
- Different engine options include a plug-in hybrid with a 60 mile range and all electric EQS model with a 400 mile range
And if that isn’t enough, just look at the interior. Yacht-inspired wood trim, a calmer, more Zen approach to the cockpit with fewer controls and necessities like air vents and buttons streamlined and subdued. In all, the feeling is more luxe than ever. And, a new pinnacle that we can’t wait to put to the test.