A redesigned Mercedes-Benz E-Class goes on sale later this year as a 2024 model, and on Wednesday Mercedes previewed the car’s interior.
The latest generation of the premium mid-size sedan will follow the current trend of introducing digital features that go well beyond enhancing the driving experience. By also focusing more on software rather than hardware installed in the cabin, there’s the potential to add updates more frequently in the future.
Depending on the specification, up to three screens will take up space on the dash: one for the instrument cluster, another for the infotainment hub, and a third and final screen facing the front passenger. Content shown on the screens is generated by Mercedes’ own operating system, as well as the MBUX infotainment system. However, third-party apps can also be installed. Mercedes gave the examples of TikTok, Angry Birds, and the web browser Vivaldi.
A dash-mounted camera will also enable the driver and front passenger to take part in Zoom conference calls or take selfies when the car is stationary. An available Zync entertainment portal will also make video streaming, on-demand content, and some interactive experiences possible.
For audiophiles, Mercedes will offer a Burmester sound system supporting Dolby Atmos technology. Occupants will not only be able to feel the sound by way of resonating transducers, but also enjoy visual cues by means of an active ambient lighting package. A song with a fast sequence of beats would cause rapid light changes, while flowing rhythms would cause softly merging light changes.
Mercedes will also offer its relaxation system known as Energizing Comfort. The system works to alter the mood of occupants via soothing sounds, specific light sequences, and massage and heating functions.
Artificial intelligence systems are also being developed to be capable of learning what features in the car are used repeatedly, so those functions can be automated to a degree. For example, if the owner regularly plays a sport on Thursday evenings and then uses the massage function on the way home, the car would be able to learn this routine. While this feature won’t be available at launch, Mercedes said owners will be able to program some routines. One example could be a routine for the climate settings, like a “Warm me up” routine in which a specific temperature would be set and the seat and steering warmers switched on.
While the interior of the new E-Class is taking a radical new direction, camouflaged prototypes point to the exterior taking a more evolutionary path. A redesigned E-Class Wagon is also in the works, both in regular and All-Terrain guises. Don’t look for another generation of the two-door E-Class variants, though. Mercedes is preparing a new CLE-Class to replace both the C-Class and E-Class coupe and convertible models. It should debut about the same time as the new E-Class.
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