Four wheels, an engine and the bits to make it all work together. That used to be a car. However, if you want an example of what the Car of the Future looks like – look no further than the 2021 Mercedes S Class, the jewel in the Mercedes Benz crown.

Not due in Australia until around the middle of 2021 this is really something special.

Every bit an S Class from a style, and size perspective but in a sign of just how important the Mercedes-Benz MBUX operating system is, and the importance of the computing power driving almost every function in the car – Mercedes Boss during the presentation even described adding the “brains” of the car to the chassis as having as much importance as the traditional marriage of chassis to engine.

And it’s true. This car has things never seen before in a motor vehicle, all because of that computing power.

MBUX Second Generation

The Mercedes-Benz User Experience debuted at CES many years ago, and gets an update here to take into account a vast array of new possibilities.

There are up to five screens on board – yes five.

  1. Driver Display – your traditional dashboard is now a 12.3 inch screen with 2400×900 resolution.
  2. Centre Console Display – forget that little 7 or 8 inch infotainment in your car – in fact forget the larger screens in current Mercedes Vehicles. The Mercedes S Class has an 11.9 inch central display at 1624×1728, or an optional OLED 12.8 inch 1920×1728 display.
    This one sits lower than the dash, making it less in the eye-line of the driver.
  3. Rear Display – Each rear seat has an 11.6 inch display as an option.
  4. Rear Display – With a 1920 x 1080 resolution, they not only control features of the infotainment, seat controls and more, but can interact with each other, with the driver able to drag and drop things onto the rear screens.
  5. Rear Tablet – as with many luxury sedans such as the BMW 7 Series or Audi A & S8’s – there’s a tablet back there too.
    A 7 inch display at 1280×800 for you to use for seat and infotainment control when you’re sitting back in comfort.

MBUX can also integrate with your smart home to check on things, and can recognise if a child seat is present and the seat belt not buckled. This is just scratching the surface.

Augmented Reality Navigation in the Mercedes S Class

So I was blown away by the Augmented reality navigation in the current high-end Mercedes Benz range within MBUX. Projecting arrows into the road in the right location using the front-facing camera on the centre screen.

I even suggested that It would be amazing if it was part of the head-up display (HUD). Well, HELLO! Just announced – that’s happening.

MBUX will now use the advanced HUD as the dynamic projection of the road navigation. Impressive, in fact magic.

Projections on the road ahead

Ok, so this is a bit mind blowing, the headlights as you’d expect are next level.

But within them is a new technology called DIGITAL LIGHT – this allows projections into the road within the headlight beam.

Imagine roadworks is approaching, your car can project an excavator onto the road surface.

Your car can detect a pedestrian along the side of the road and shine a light on them.

Stop signs, no entry signs, even traffic lights – projected within your light beam – brilliant.

Mercedes S Class Self-Driving Capabilities

Make no mistake – this is a self-driving car. But Mercedes-Benz won’t be spruiking the Mercedes S Class as such. They’ll be following the regulators approach to this every step of the way and in every country.

Rear seats of the S CLass with screens

However, it’s “expected” that in the second half of 2021, the S-Class will be able to drive using Drive Pilot where Traffic Density is high, or on suitable motorways.

And Mercedes don’t mean just it will steer or navigate, this thing will drive. Likely this car will be the first car with true Level 3 Autonomy – which is why they refer to the Mercedes S Class DRIVE PILOT as being a way of “taking the pressure off the driver” and allowing them to “undertake secondary activities such as browsing on the internet or dealing with emails in the In-Car Office, and so win extra time.”

Self-Parking the Mercedes S Class

Perhaps sooner, but regardless very possible, the Mercedes S Class will also feature a self-parking system via an app.

Mercedes S Class demonstrated driving with no driver

This was demonstrated in the launch, even referred to by Mercedes F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton – so this is no gimmick.

A nod to others like Tesla.

And yes, a lot of this sounds ever so Tesla too – and it is, but please – don’t even try to compare the Model S to this Mercedes S Class, it’s in a different league.

Pop-out door handles on the Mercedes S Class

The door handles on the Mercedes S class pop out, and that’s sure to get the fan boys talking, as does that huge centre console. But look at Mercedes from a tech angle. Apple ain’t often first – but they always do it best.

Will the Mercedes S Class be an EV?

No. But the EQS is soon to be revealed, and it is referred to as the “All Electric Sibling” of the Mercedes S Class, so expect all this luxury, in a full EV with a staggering range of 700km. That’s going to be interesting.

I loved the EQC, so no reason that won’t be just as if not more impressive.

Mercedes S Class at a charging point

In the meantime, the Mercedes S Class will come in a plug-in hybrid variant with an EV range of 100km.

How much will the Mercedes S Class cost in Australia?

Oh come on, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

A Black Mercedes

But hey, we can all dream.