The screen's large notch probably won't be to everyone's liking.
LCD manufacturers must be thriving if we take into consideration the sheer number of cars that are prioritising all-digital displays over the conventional instrument clusters. The most recent example is the forthcoming Volkswagen Golf 8 spotted earlier this week – a mainstream car about to enter the digital era. It goes without saying luxury automakers are at the forefront of this trend, and Mercedes has this setup even on the base A-Class.
It’s safe to assume the next-generation S-Class Saloon (W223) will have the most technologically advanced instrument cluster ever installed in a production vehicle carrying the three-pointed star. A heavily camouflaged prototype was spotted the other day waiting at a red light in German traffic, which gave the spy photographer the opportunity to zoom in on the car’s digital dash.
Gallery: 2021 Mercedes S-Class Saloon screenshots from spy video
What caught our attention the most is something we didn’t notice when we reported about that batch of spy shots back in mid-February showing the inside of a W223 test vehicle. We’re talking about the rather sizeable notch at the top of the display, a notch that has been largely criticised in some of the recent smartphones. It probably serves a function as Mercedes might install some sensors in there or warning lights, but it’s difficult to know for sure at this point.
The spy video isn’t showing the saloon’s massive touchscreen display dominating the dashboard. By “dominating” we mean that it occupies most of the centre console and likely bundles the vast majority of the car’s functions. A row of controls will sit right underneath that, but even those keys will likely be touch-sensitive, much like the ones on the steering wheel. With even the new Golf getting a BMW-esque touch bar for the climate controls, it seems touch keys are the next big thing in automotive trends.
The revamped Mercedes S-Class will debut sometime next year and likely won’t be joined by the two-door models as rumours say the S-Class Coupe and Convertible will be going the way of the dodo.