Just when I thought flamboyance was back, leaked pics of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class seems to indicate that the German automaker’s going another way with its flagship. It’s minimalist, digitalist, and you’ll be able to order it with about 90 square metres of glossy blackness.
I should couch my ranting here with an acknowledgment that grainy Instagram pictures of a semi-camoed car are never going to be flattering. But from what you can see in this batch of pictures, which appears to have originated with the @cochespias Instagram account, the car looks boringly generic outside and aggressively contemporary inside.
The next-gen S-Class has been leaked before and the substantial centre console screen has been discussed, but I believe this photoset is significantly more comprehensive than any looks the public’s had of the car yet.
And it looks like… lots of screens. Where do the screens even end? OK, I mean, you can tell where the screens end. But they only punctuate more shiny black flat surfaces, which are going to look amazing when you take the car out of its wrapper and will be covered in gross fingerprints about a day later.
Nice steering wheel, though. I can’t say I miss the creepy clown wheel you might remember from some other S-Classes.
Naturally, not everyone’s going to order the piano-black dashboard and I’m sure there will be other options. The car might look quite different with another skin all over the interior, after all.
I dropped one of Mercedes’ people a note asking for more details but I doubt they’ll be forthcoming. Car And Driver, which wrote about this earlier, reported that “the new S-class will debut sometime later this year,” and speculated we’ll see the car in 2021 as a 2021 or 2022 model.
The car will undoubtedly look much, much prettier when it’s trotted out officially. Professional photographs and, you know, taking the wrapping off, goes a long way toward making a car look right. Can’t say I’m enthralled at the onset, though. Mostly just sad that the design trend of “every flat surface might be an interactive black mirror” is here for the long haul.