Mercedes-Benz TecDay "S-Class Ambience: The Essence of Luxury" - The assignment: Perfection

Mar 26, 2013
Stuttgart. The best automobile in the world – every new generation of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has earned this accolade anew for itself. The logical goal in the book of specifications for the coming model was therefore: perfection to the last detail. The result is "The Essence of Luxury". This pursuit of the best or nothing is particularly noticeable in the interior: whether it is the seats or the air conditioning, the controls or the design, the infotainment or the comfort and safety in the rear – new ideas and their painstaking realisation underpin the high standards that the engineers have set for the Mercedes-Benz flagship model – and for themselves.
For the first time in the history of the S-Class, the development focus was on the long-wheelbase Saloon. Unlike before, the standard-wheelbase version was derived from this. This is because the S-Class is not only firmly positioned as a prestige saloon in the large overseas markets such as the USA, China or Japan. 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 very definitely a chauffeur-driven vehicle in Asia. The logical consequence is the number of new features specifically related to comfort and safety in the rear – in the S-Class, there is no doubt that passengers in the rear are also seated in first class.
Not that the driver lacks for anything: the very latest Mercedes-Benz research findings have been incorporated into his immediate surroundings. These clearly confirm that certain comfort characteristics have a direct influence over driver fitness and wellbeing during and after a journey. Comfort is also conducive to safety.
The new S-Class features highly sophisticated, automatic climate control functions. The seats likewise lay claim to being the benchmark in automobile engineering. In both cases this is accompanied by maximum operating convenience, ensured by numerous actuators and electric motors – there are over 100 of these in the interior alone.
Interior design: visual breadth and calm solidity
With its clear-cut architecture, the interior design of the new S-Class is the embodiment of a classic, serene and yet ultra-modern saloon car. The interior space derives its expressiveness from a distinctively flowing, sensual and elegant style. Horizontal features and lines create an ambience characterised by visual breadth and calm solidity. Where high quality and elegance go hand in hand with clarity and functionality. The interior concept of the S-Class combines driving, spatial and operating comfort at the highest level.
The perfectly coordinated use of materials and colours produces an exclusive interior seemingly cast from a single mould. There is generous use of wood trim, especially in the dashboard and centre console. Metallised switch surfaces with pearl-effect paint finishes in three colour shades to suit the interior colour particularly highlight the outstanding quality.
Passengers in the rear are also seated in first-class – the design and exclusivity of the seats, door panels and all controls are to the same, high standard as the front. As an additional individualisation feature, the "First Class Rear" incorporates a Business centre console combining personal comfort with practical convenience (integration of a telephone handset, additional stowage compartments, folding table, etc.).
New control and display concept: elegant new command centre
The radically redesigned display extends in front of the driver as a key element of the horizontal alignment. It replaces the traditional instrument cluster and combines numerous other functions in a visually and ergonomically highly sophisticated manner. The entire display appears to be free-floating, an impression reinforced by "corona effect" ambience backlighting.
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 in the S-Class. The left-hand display performs the functions of the previous instrument cluster, providing the driver with all relevant information. The right-hand display allows the convenient control of infotainment and comfort functions. Ergonomics, operating convenience and safety were the main considerations for the newly designed control and display concept.
For the S-Class, the constantly increasing need to integrate additional functions into the vehicle led to a further development of the entire operating logic. The aim in designing the control and display features was to group controls and display functions together in a coherent manner in terms of both design and functionality. Apart from the new displays, the metallised switch surfaces and solid aluminium controls are visual highlights of particularly high quality.
Seats: mobile office and centre of wellbeing
With numerous world firsts such as the ENERGIZING massage function on the hot-stone principle or active seat ventilation with reversing fans, Mercedes-Benz has raised the seating and climatic comfort in the S-Class to a new level. 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, allowing occupants in the rear to concentrate on work or relax in comfort.
A large number of innovations enhance seating and climatic comfort. The ENERGIZING massage function on the hot-stone principleis a world first. Working together with physiotherapists and psychologists, the seat specialists at Mercedes-Benz have developed a unique massage function with 14 separately actuated air cushions in the backrest, as well as an integrated warming function. There is a choice of six massage programmes, two of them using the warming function.
For the first time, so-called reversing fans are used in the active seat ventilation system. Here the rotational direction of the fan, and therefore the airflow within the seat structure, can be reversed. When the ventilation function first begins, cooler surrounding air is drawn onto the seat surface. After four minutes the fans are automatically switched to blower mode to reduce draughts and therefore ensure sustained comfort.
Another world first as part of the Warmth Comfort package is the heated armrests and door centre panels in the front and rear (door and centre armrests). The package also includes a heated steering wheel and particularly fast-responding seat heating Plus. Each occupant is able to find the ideal level of climatic seating comfort. The heating output can be adjusted using the central display or the remote control in the rear.
Luxury or reclining seat in the rear: new backrest concept
Two rear seat variants (static bench seat or individual seats with 37-degree adjustment) are available for the standard-wheelbase S-Class and no less than five for the long-wheelbase version. Unlike the conventional trailing backrest design, the backrest is adjusted separately so that the legroom and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be separately adjusted for angle and horizontal position.
The maximum backrest angle of the reclining seat on the front passenger side is increased from 37 to 43.5 degrees, giving it the largest backrest inclination in the luxury segment. The reclining seat behind the front passenger seat features a calf support which is freely adjustable for length and angle. In combination with the heel rest on the forward-folding chauffeur seat, this allows a reclined position that sets new standards in the automobile sector with respect to sleeping and resting comfort.
Three new features 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. In this way Mercedes-Benz has been able to design a comfortable reclining seat which provides a higher level of accident safety than a seat with a trailing backrest.
Climate control: many new features for a pleasant atmosphere
The newly developed climate control unit of the THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control included as standard has a mass flow regulating concept whose automatic operating principle meets individual comfort requirements for every occupant. New features include completely autonomous adjustment options for the driver and front passenger sides, also for the individual automatic modes with their climatic settings of "Focus", "Medium" and "Diffuse".
As a world first, the new S-Class Saloon has an "active perfuming system" as part of the AIR-BALANCE package. '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.
Another feature of the AIR-BALANCE package is improved filtering of the outside air fed into the vehicle interior by the climate control system, and of the air recirculating in the interior in air recirculation mode. The filter system is now even more efficient, and is able to reduce the peak levels of certain gaseous emissions while lowering their concentration below the perception threshold. Ionisation is another component of the AIR-BALANCE package, the air from the climate control unit being conducted into the interior via an ioniser. In a combined operating mode this renders certain viruses, bacteria and spores inactive (cleaning effect). At the same time the air can be freshened by an increased concentration of negatively charged oxygen ions (relaxing effect).
Multimedia features: communication centre and concert hall
A completely new multimedia generation with intuitive operation and particularly tangible functions thanks to visualisation and animations celebrates its debut in the new S-Class. Other innovations include the multi-user system, which allows independent access to the media sources of the entertainment system from any seat. The new S-Class is also the first saloon car to be equipped with the unique 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.
Several hundred developers worldwide contributed to the new Mercedes-Benz multimedia generation, compiling more than 30 million lines of programming. 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.
Numerous new functions extend the multimedia options available, and transform the S-Class into a communication centre or a concert hall as required.
The new S-Class is the first vehicle worldwide to offer a genuine multi-user system for entertainment functions. This means that there is independent access to the media sources of the entertainment system from any of the four seats – i.e. radio, TV, internet, navigation, DVD player and USB-connected devices.
The driver control function for all the seats is another new feature. The driver is able to route any audio or video source to the display and headset of any passenger. At the touch of a button the driver is also able to have one of the audio sources in use played via the onboard loudspeakers.
The innovative Frontbass system developed by Mercedes-Benz and used for the first time in a saloon car is a feature common to all the audio systems: the woofers are housed in the firewall, and use the almost 40-litre space in the cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber. As alternatives to the standard sound system with ten loudspeakers, two very high-quality audio systems are available which were developed together with hi-fi specialists at Burmester: Burmester® Surround Sound system and Burmester® High-End 3D Surround Sound system.
The interactive presentation of content is a prominent new feature of the navigation function. The new navitainment functions include an animated compass, the "Driveshow" for passenger information as in an aircraft, and the display of Google Maps on the head unit and in the rear.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, interior
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, interior
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, interior