Update: Another Mercedes-Benz S-Class video popped up on the Coche Spias Instagram page. This one is a video that depicts the door buttons, steering wheel and infotainment screen. The car is on, so you can see it all lit up, unlike the previous set of photos where the car was off. As we suspected, the latest version of MBUX is running on the screen. That steering wheel is mesmerizing to look at with its twin horizontal spokes, and the air vent design is rather unique, too. Check out the latest video below.
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Mercedes-Benz hasn't finished testing the next-generation S-Class yet, but a batch of spy shots published on Instagram have revealed the sedan well ahead of schedule. Its exterior styling falls in line with the company's current design language, while its interior seemingly brings several new technologies to the table.
Spain-based Coche Spias published the images on its official Instagram account. We don't know where they were taken, we spot alarmingly large piles of car parts in the background, but they look like the real deal. They show a pre-production version of the next S-Class (which is called W223 internally) with only small strips of camouflage covering the emblems on both ends and part of its hood. Up front, the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary, which is what we've come to expect from the flagship model. The grille is more upright and the headlights are smaller. It's a different story out back, where triangle-shaped horizontal lights connected by a strip of chrome trim replace the current car's vertical units. It's a styling cue that emphasizes the sedan's generous width.
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Earlier spy shots confirm its overall silhouette doesn't change significantly. It wears its dimensions well. Mercedes will again off short- and long-wheelbase variants, though we might only see the latter in the United States.
The interior looks like a significant leap forward, especially when it comes to technology. The driver sits behind a redesigned steering wheel with thin spokes and a wide, high-resolution screen that replaces the instrument cluster. It's mounted directly on the steering column instead of being integrated into a binnacle. On the right, the center console is dominated by a bigger, tablet-like touchscreen that will display the latest evolution of the firm's MBUX infotainment system. Three clusters of chromed air vents add an upmarket touch to the design.
The model shown in the spy shots is equipped with a rear-seat entertainment system that will be offered at an extra cost. The images reveal nothing about what's under the hood, or the electronic driving aids Mercedes will make available. We know the S-Class won't be autonomous, but it could gain level three technology. We also know it won't be fully electric, though several electrification options (including a plug-in hybrid powertrain) are in the pipeline.
We'll learn more about the next-generation S-Class in the months leading up to its official debut, which is tentatively scheduled for late 2020. It will likely arrive in American showrooms in early 2021, meaning it might be labeled a 2022 model. It will be joined by the production version of the electric EQS concept introduced in 2019, and the line-up will again grow with range-topping Maybach- and AMG-badged models. An unverified report claims the Coupe and Cabriolet variants of the current S-Class will not be replaced, however.