Continuing with its painfully slow tease of its new W223 S-Class, Mercedes-Benz has revealed the interior of its big limousine. The Sonderklasse is, above all else, a leather-lined express for well-heeled towkays, so the next model will come with a barrage of luxurious touches fit for a king.

The cabin design is as we’ve seen in previously leaked photos, with the sizeable wraparound wood trim seamlessly integrated into the minimalist dashboard. Dominating proceedings is the 12.8-inch portrait touchscreen, which floats above the dash and flows neatly into the centre console. The air vents consist of two slim vertical slots on either side of the wood trim, plus four rectangular vents above the centre screen.

Mercedes says that the unusually large wood trim has been inspired by a ship’s deck and flowing lines, and has been meticulously sculpted in clay during the design process. With the big touchscreen, the designers have been able to reduce the number of physical buttons into just a single strip below the display, as well as the usual Mercedes door-mounted seat controls.

The multi-colour ambient lighting system has also been upgraded. Consisting of a total of 250 LEDs, it will be exceedingly bright at 200 candelas per m2, making it visible even in daylight. It will also now respond to various vehicle functions, flashing red light for the collision warning, lane departure warning and door opening warning, along with providing an animation when the “Hey Mercedes” voice control is activated.

Comfort is an important factor for a chauffeur-driven car like the S-Class, and the new one will be even more of a sensory deprivation tank. Despite rumours to the contrary, the W223 will still be offered in standard-wheelbase configuration alongside the long-wheelbase model, but whichever one you pick, Mercedes promises increased space for both front and rear occupants.

In particular, rear passengers will have more knee room with the seats fully reclined. The seats themselves have been redesigned, with an increased range of adjustment as well as a flowing three-dimensional design that is integrated to the rest of the interior like a seashell. They feature new “comfy pillow” headrests with a built-in neck warmer at the rear.

The seats are also now heated and cooled using radial fans and come with six inflatable bladders for the massage function; the bladders sit closer to the surface to give you a more defined massage. The W223 will also be the first S-Class to come with Mercedes’ Energizing seat kinetics function, which will periodically make minute adjustments to the seating position to improve posture and comfort.


Customers can choose between five configurations at the rear, including reclining seats and the addition of either a folding centre armrest or a “business” centre console. If you spec the two individual seats, the car will come with waterfall-like wood trim between the seats.

Elsewhere, the driving position has been improved thanks to a better alignment of the seat and steering wheels, together with the increased adjustment of both. The new S-Class will also come with an Adapt function, which will adjust the seat, steering wheel and mirrors to the correct position by simply inputting your height into the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system.

Like a Mazda MX-5, the front seats will get headrest speakers that optimise the surround sound effect, as well as delivering clearer navigation instructions and telephone calls. Improved noise, vibration and harshness reduction is promised, as is a more comfortable ride through a new generation of suspension systems, including the 48-volt E-Active Body Control roll stabilisation.