From time to time we get spyshots that give a glimpse or hint of what a next generation car may ought to look like. Then there are rarer instances like this. Well folks, here we have a the W223 Mercedes Benz S-Class fully undisguised, exterior and interior. Looking from the front we can see redesigned headlamps that are more in-line with Merc's more current models in the line up. We also see a larger (because of course it does) front grille that from the looks of it incorporates a larger shielding to accomodate what can only be an enhanced ADAS (Mercedes aims to have this car certified as Level 3 Autonomous Driving capable).
Moving towards the back, it can be seen that the next generation S-Class will adopt design cues similar that of from the current gen CLS. It's refreshing to see that Mercedes hasn't jumped on the 'light-bar' wagon like most German manufacturers (Porsche, Audi, BMW). What isn't refreshing is if/when we find out that those exhaust tips are fake.
The interior is where the business really happens. Apart from the steering wheel, the dashboard receives a complete redesign reminiscent of the Mercedes EQS Concept shown last year. There's no doubt that the word 'Tesla' was used during the design process of this interior. This generation sees most functions moved towards the display, including the car's HVAC system. And as being touch centric as it is, the S-Class now comes without a touchpad that usually resides at the centre console on other Merc models. Gone too is the volume rocker, now in place a capacitive volume switch that's arguably less intuitive. But I'll leave that for you to decide.
Yes, ahead of the that drivers instrument panel is a heads up display. And yes, it looks like the perfect place for a cat to sleep in. This massive HUD is needed however for Merc's plans to introduce proper augmented reality to display information overlaying the driver's line of sight.
The next generation S-Class' screen and touch centric design is going to pave a new way for other models to follow suit, just like how the current gen's dual screen layout was adopted by the rest of the lineup. Like it or not, this seems to be the path that future Mercedes' will take. We can't fully judge until reviewers get ahold of it, nor can we critique its design to the full extent until officially unveiled. That said, I think its criminal to have that much gloss in a car (we don't live in dustless, aseptic voids). Being the tech focused website this is, I am intrigued to see how well the centre screen stacks up to Tesla's and the like.
Edit: Images were retrieved from a post by @mercamg0 on Instagram. Though that post is now no longer available and deleted