Mercedes-Benz revealed its sleek new yacht-inspired interior for its forthcoming 2021 S-Class today, complete ambient LED lighting that can respond to your climate control settings and alert you to dangers in your blind spots. Mercedes even claims that its new interior features can help you relax or stay awake—and may already know what you need on that front.
This pleasingly minimalist interior doesn’t just look cool—it packs some genuinely interesting tech. The dashboard, center console, doors, front seat backs and the overhead control panel all feature ambient LED lighting. Mercedes spaced its LEDs just 0.6 inches apart in its fiber optics system, meaning that this interior has enough accessory lighting to make a Vegas casino blush.
There’s a total of about 250 LEDs spread across the car’s interior, and Mercedes says that they’re ten times brighter than the LEDs they’ve used in the past and should be bright enough to be noticeable during the day. They’re capable of chasing effects and color progressions, and will adjust their brightness based on the amount of ambient light.
Better yet, those LEDs work hand-in-hand with the car’s other systems, including its safety and climate control systems. For example, Active Blind Spot Assist activates a red light animation if it senses an impending collision. The lights will also react to the “Hey, Mercedes” voice assistant, proving once and for all that Siri really needs to come up with some cooler tricks. Speaking of the voice assistant, you can either use that or the MBUX infotainment system to adjust the ambient lighting’s 20 levels of color and brightness.
An optional Warmth & Comfort package allows you to use the ambient lighting and other comfort-related features to set a certain mood in the car—complete with a corresponding “soundscape.” Mercedes claims that its “invigorating” setting can even help you stay focused on longer drives, and “relaxing” setting can help you de-stress.
An Energizing Coach available in the Warmth & Comfort package takes these stay-awake features to the next level, suggesting fitness and wellness programs based on your vehicle and trip data, and it can even factor sleep quality and stress levels into its algorithms using data from a compatible fitness tracker or smartphone.
Doing something as simple as saying “I am stressed” to the voice assistant can trigger the car’s “Joy” setting that’s meant to reinvigorate the driver. A “Vitality” program even includes a special massage. Those massage features should be easier to feel now as the seats’ six air bladders sit closer to the surface.
The lights aren’t the only safety and comfort feature stealing the show, however. Mercedes’ ADAPT system automatically calculates where a driver’s seat, mirrors and steering wheel should be positioned based on their height and adjusts them accordingly. Mercedes also touts its “Energizing” seat kinetics, which use tiny changes of only a few millimeters each in the seat cushions and backrest to improve the driver’s posture. You can optimize these Energizing seat adjustments based on the length of your trip, too. There are also speakers built into the seats’ headrests, which allows the car to direct infotainment information and other directions more directly to the driver.
Back to the obvious part, though: this interior genuinely looks looks like it’s from the future. The center infotainment touchscreen seems to float above the rest of the dashboard, but in a clean, integrated way—no aftermarket dashboard tombstone in sight. There’s one line of sleek buttons, but the rest of it is all controlled by the touchscreen.
But why should the front passengers have all the fun? Mercedes says that the S-Class can be optioned with up to five different screens in the interior if you so desire. The rear seats can also have integrated neck warmers built into their pillows.
One of the coolest options appearance-wise is the use of open-pore wood veneer in between aluminum overlays on the dashboard. Mercedes says that the S-Class’ interior design was inspired by luxury yachts, and they absolutely nailed it. Do an amphibious version next, please. The old Amphicar was cool and all, but nowhere near this luxurious.
Of course, it’s an S-Class. Expect soft leather, a quiet interior and of course, the ability to add a bespoke fragrance into its Air Balance air filtering system.