Mercedes-Benz reveals the interior of its new E-Class, including the MBUX Superscreen that will be made available on the sixth-generation model, as part of an effort to provide it with a significantly more contemporary cabin and digital-based user experience than its predecessor.
Set for a U.S. sales launch during second-half 2023, the internal-combustion-engine E-Class follows the strategy laid out by its electric EQE sibling by offering buyers the choice of separate instrument and portrait-style infotainment displays or the optional MBUX Superscreen in a thoroughly redesigned interior.
Modeled heavily on the MBUX Hyperscreen offered by Mercedes-Benz as a premium option with the EQE, EQE SUV, EQS and EQS SUV, the MBUX Superscreen combines a free-standing digital instrument display with central infotainment and optional passenger displays – the latter two housed beneath a single glass fascia to give the E-Class a clean, uncluttered look enhanced by a reduction in the number of analog controls – many of which are now operated by touchscreen controls.
The center console (pictured, below) sits considerably higher than in the old E-Class and now incorporates a large oddment bin with cupholders.
Besides doing away with the center console-mounted control pad, Mercedes-Benz provides the E-Class with new digital HVAC controls within the central infotainment display, which features revised graphics and menus.
Additionally, the MBUX Superscreen does away with the existing fifth-generation E-Class’s four central and two outer round ventilation units. They are replaced by a ventilation band within the top of the dashboard fascia.
Among the options is a new head-up display unit. It receives a larger field and new augmented reality functions, as seen on the S-Class and the four models based on the EVA electric-vehicle platform.
Mercedes-Benz also provides the E-Class, codenamed W214, with a more advanced ambient lighting system than the outgoing model, codenamed W213, introduced in 2016. Integrated within the cowl and the dashboard as well as within the doors and transmission tunnel to provide a multilayer effect, it can be programmed to pulse in combination with music from the audio system.
Engineered in-house by Mercedes-Benz, it uses newly developed software to analyze the bass and tone, providing what the German automaker describes as an optic depiction of music within the multicolored ambient light system.
As well as being combined with the audio system, the new ambient light system is used as a warning for other functions, including the parking assistant, intersection approach system and brake assist.
In a further enhancement of the audio system, the E-Class will be sold with the optional Burmester 4D Surround-Sound system already offered on the S-Class. It consists of up to 17 speakers and four bass units fitted within the front seats.
It is also the second Mercedes-Benz model after the recently unveiled EQS SUV to offer Dolby Atmos.
The new MBUX system used by the E-Class adopts developments first revealed on the EQE SUV. Among them is the ability to install third-party apps. When it goes on sale later this year, the sedan model will come with various pre-installed apps, including TikTok, Angry Birds, Webex, Zoom, Vivaldi and Zynk – the latter capable of providing on-demand video streaming for the central infotainment display and the optional passenger display.
A so-called Dual Light Control allows the passenger to watch movies and other content on the passenger display (pictured, below) while the car is in motion. When sensors, including a camera to monitor eye movement, detects the driver is being distracted, the passenger display is immediately disabled.
Mercedes-Benz has revised the optional speech-recognition system for a more conversational interface. With a new “Just Talk” function, it now allows occupants to interact with the E-Class without the “Hey Mercedes” prompt required on today’s models. When the function is activated, a red microphone icon appears in the display to denote its operation.
Another new development is an optional camera available with the MBUX Superscreen. Mounted atop the dashboard, it allows the driver to take selfie photographs or participate in online video conferences when the car is stationary.
Although Mercedes-Benz is yet to divulge technical details of its latest MBUX, it claims it operates more quickly and seamlessly than previous versions of the in-house-developed operating system.
New to the E-Class is artificial intelligence software that allows the MBUX to adapt itself to the driver’s personal habits. By monitoring routines, the software can automatically set the temperature of the air conditioning and the intensity of the seat heaters. It will even lower the driver’s-side window upon approaching a parking station used regularly to allow you to take a ticket without having to operate the window yourself.
Mercedes-Benz also enhances its Energizing Coach system, including a function that operates the ambient lighting to help reduce motion sickness.
The unveiling of the new E-Class interior was made at a strategy update announced by Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius at the company’s Sunnyvale R&D center near San Francisco.