The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is still the best full-size luxury sedan, but considering it has been on sale since the 2014 model year, it’s time for a redesign. From what we’ve heard, it will go on sale next year as a 2020 model, potentially with an SAE Level 3 driver-assistance system. Now, thanks to our spy photographer’s latest shots, we also know it will come with a massive touchscreen.
We actually got our first glimpse at the 2020 S-Class’ cabin last summer. But while we could clearly see the digital gauge cluster, the center console remained completely covered. And even though there was no way to tell how large it would be, the cloth camouflage looked like it was hiding a Tesla-like vertical touchscreen. Now we know. It’s huge.
That said, it’s probably not quite as large as it appears at first glance. If you look closely, it looks like there’s a pretty thick bezel surrounding the screen itself, potentially cutting the total screen size by a couple inches. Underneath the screen, you can see a row of what appear to be capacitive-touch buttons, including a touch control area that likely replaces a volume knob.
The good news is, the lack of a volume knob probably won’t affect the driver much since the steering wheel appears to still use a scroll wheel to control volume. And while the layout of the steering wheel controls looks pretty similar to what we get on the current S-Class, it seems Mercedes has gotten rid of physical buttons for those controls. The German automaker also appears to have kept its column-mounted shift lever, although the stalks themselves are clearly all-new.
Considering how far from production this prototype looks, we’re pretty sure the production version won’t be revealed in Geneva next month. If we had to bet, we’d put our money on a Frankfurt Motor Show reveal this September.