Tech secrets of the all-new Mercedes S-Class explained

Published: 30 July 2020

► Merc's new S-Class infotainment
► My MBUX system in detail
► Full debut in September 2020

More details of Mercedes' new S-Class limousine are revealing themselves ahead of the car's official unveiling in September 2020. So, how do you go about teasing a new generation of a luxury icon? By showing off just what it can do.

First, Mercedes explained its new My MBUX infotainment system. Now, it has gone into detail about what lies under the skin.

So, what exactly is under the skin?

Well, Mercedes says that the new S-Class will be available with the brand's E-Active Body Control suspension system. The technology comprises a fully-active 48v air suspension system, which made its debut on the GLE SUV (albeit not available on models in Europe). The trick suspension system allows the new S-Class to tilt into corners to maintain an equilibrium while on the move, and do its very best to tip-toe over speed bumps - much like the Audi S8's predictive active suspension. The technology also raises the ride height by 8cm when sensors detect a side impact is imminent, in order for the chassis to take the brunt of the crash via the door sills, rather than the doors themselves.

S-Class rear wheel steering

Rear-wheel steering will also be an option with Mercedes claiming that, when equipped, the system can ensure that an S-Class has a similar turning circle to an A-Class hatch.

Look at that big screen…

Yes – the Merc’s new interior debuts a brand new way of displaying information. As we revealed in some earlier spy shots, the S-Class’ new central infotainment screen is flush with the centre console and flexes upwards on the dashboard, keeping the rest of the front fascia clean. It’s available with haptic feedback and super-crisp OLED technology. That clean interior design approach extends to the use an augmented reality head-up display and 3D instruments.

Mercedes S-Class instruments

Hey Mercedes!

Merc’s voice assistant has also had an upgrade, allowing for even more natural speech; if someone says they’re tired, one of Merc’s ‘Energising Comfort’ programs can be activated, for example. When certain prompts arise, like an incoming call, the ‘hey Mercedes’ activation phrase is not required – someone can simply say ‘accept call’. Mercedes says its voice assistant can be used in 27 languages.

The voice assistant can be also used like a Alexa or Google Home, so you can ask it general knowledge questions and get answers via the internet. Also like smart speakers, you can link up your car to your smart home network and activate smart devices in your home from the car.

Mercedes Energising Comfort: does it work?

An augmented reality head-up display?

Absolutely. It’s a step on from the brand’s augmented reality navigation via the central infotainment screen. The ‘AR-HUD’ tech effectively makes the windscreen a 77-inch display in itself and, like the version before it, displays arrows ahead of you when a turn is coming up. It also reads lane markings and can display arrows pointing which lane you should be in, too.

S-class AR-hud

New personalisation options

The new MBUX technology is designed to be more personalised to each occupant (hence the ‘my’ tag) and introduces a number of biometric security measures like fingerprint and face scanning tech and individual voice recognition. An occupant’s Mercedes Me account can be scanned via a QR code, instantly interlinking the account with the car. Driver displays and colour schemes for the infotainment system can be personalised, too.

Getting comfy…

Merc highlights that up to three screens are available for the rear passengers, with individual content accessed by the Mercedes Me account (via those aforementioned biometric detection systems) can be displayed quickly and shared between all occupants.

Mercedes S-Class rear infotainment

The voice assistant can be activated from the rear, too, and gestures like glancing over your shoulder can close the rear sun blind. The car even guesses your size and weight when you sit in the drivers seat and pre-positions the door mirrors.

When will we know more?

Mercedes confirmed that the new S-Class will make its official debut in September 2020.

Check out our Mercedes reviews here

By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches