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Mercedes-Benz releases stunning first images of 2014 S-Class

Mon, 18 Mar 2013

The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, designated W222, is one of the most highly anticipated debuts of its model year. Every generation of the flagship sedan has broken new ground in technology and innovation for the entire industry, and the German automaker appears determined to raise the bar much further with its latest arrival as it promises to deliver "the best automobile in the world." Mercedes-Benz has just released nearly two dozen interior images of the new sedan, showing off style in design, craftsmanship in execution and pioneering advancements in technology.

Unlike all previous generations – the first S-Class officially arrived in 1972 – the 2014 model completely discards a traditional instrument cluster and replaces it with two high-resolution color displays in 8:3 format with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches (the outgoing model's gauges were a mix of digital and analog). The left unit displays traditional analog gauges (digitally, of course) while the right unit is reserved for infotainment and comfort settings with the automaker's all-new mBrace2 – a cloud-based entertainment and information delivery system that is rolling out this year.

Passengers will be pampered with "energizing" massage, active seat ventilation with reversing fans, heated seats, heated steering wheel and heated armrests (door and center). A total of 14 separately actuated air bladders in the backrest of the seats will provide six different massage programs. There are also "beltbags" (airbags in the seatbelt webbing – not unlike the Ford Explorer) and "cushionbags" (airbags to prevent occupants from sliding beneath the the belt).

Mercedes calls its newly developed climate control "thermotronic," as it features completely autonomous adjustment options for driver and passenger. It also includes improved filtering utilizing ionization, and an "active perfuming system," as part of its "air-balance" package, to individually customize the smell of the vehicle interior – finally making those pine tree car fresheners obsolete.

The assignment: Perfection

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

For the first time in the history of the S-Class, the development focus was on
the long-wheelbase sedan. Unlike before, the standard-wheelbase version was
derived from this. This is because the S-Class is not only firmly positioned as a
prestige sedan 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 well being 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 Page 4
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 sedan. 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 individualization feature, the "First Class Rear"
incorporates a Business center 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 Page 5
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 principle is 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 Page 6
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.

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

As a world first, the new S-Class Sedan 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

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
sedan car to be equipped with the unique Frontbass system as standard. With Page 8
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

Numerous new functions extend the multimedia options available, and
transform the S-Class into a communication centre or a concert hall as

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

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 sedan 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 Page 9
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.

By Michael Harley

See also: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class caught totally undisguised, Mercedes mulling Renault-based entry-level X-Class?, Mercedes rules out hybrid supercar, promises SLS successor.