2020 Mercedes S-Class Gets Huge Touchscreen, Looks Bigger Than iPad Pro 12.9 (Update #3)

Here are a few different angles of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz S-Class’ center console with the massive touch display, including from the driver’s perspective.

We also snapped another prototype of the S-Class that gives us a better look at the production LED headlamps, as well as the full matrix LED rear lights with moving indicators that follow the look of the CLS. The new images have been added to the gallery below. (Update 2/15/2019)

Automakers seem to have moved on from the horsepower wars and are now focusing their attention on a new kind of contest.

Judging from car launches in recent years, it looks like there’s a race for the title of the largest infotainment screen fitted to an automobile. Mercedes-Benz is committed to taking part in this race; just look at the humongous center screen that the all-new 2020 S-Class will have.

These are the very first spy shots of the luxury sedan’s portrait-style center screen which is the size of China. We don’t know exactly how big it is, but since the digital instrument panel is wider than on the current S-Class, the center display is at least as wide and significantly longer. From this distance, it seems even bigger than the iPad Pro 12.9, the world’s largest tablet computer.

Look closely and you’ll notice some physical buttons at the bottom of the screen. They control the driving modes, hazard lights, volume, on/off, and some other functions we can’t decipher. Most functions will be accessible via the center touchscreen. Besides the digital instrument panel and the infotainment display, the rest of the cabin is still covered.

As always, the new S-Class will be a technological trend-setter

On the outside, it’s pretty clear that the S-Class prototype features the production headlights and taillights. However, their shapes remain unknown given the heavy camouflage.

The 2020 S-Class will arrive next year with Level 3 semi-autonomous driving tech, which is a step above Level 2 systems such as Tesla’s Autopilot and Cadillac’s Super Cruise. The flagship sedan will reportedly feature hybrid-only versions using the latest 3.0-liter and 2.9-liter straight-six gasoline and diesel engines. The PHEV versions are expected to offer all-electric driving ranges of up to 62 miles (100 km).

The S-Class is also said to debut a new 4Matic all-wheel-drive system with a fully variable torque split between the axles, as well as an active suspension that will work together with a 48-volt system and a stereo camera scanning the road ahead.

Besides the S-Class, Mercedes is also developing an all-electric EQ S luxury sedan that will use a new MEA platform different from the S-Class’ updated MRA architecture.

more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien & CarPix for Carscoops

  • TheAmerican2point0

    That’s wack. Hopefully they’ll put something normal sized in the real one.

  • Yilmaz Yasar

    Wrong title. Looks bigger than my television 😮

  • Evo45

    Just add an keyboard and you have a laptop, I guess that can be done, because why not? 😛

    • Enter Ranting

      Just add a remote, and you have a television in your dashboard.

  • Sébastien

    And then people criticized Model S…

    • Always critized Huge screens. Drove the XC90 and V90, Tesla Model S, RR Velar, new Audi A6… their systems are stupidly dangerous. Maybe I can’t drive I don’t know. But they all have complicated ways to do what used to be simple.

  • EM1

    Too much of these screens. It is not an aircraft and it is too distracting.

  • Blade t

    I hope that’s not the final layout, looks out of place..

  • Adilos Nave

    That’s completely ridiculous. It’s becoming a dick-measuring contest now. It’s not a freakin’ starship.

    I blame Musk for this stupid trend towards making everything in a car touchscreen. Manufacturers love it because they save a bunch of money on development and production costs while allowing them to charge more money for the finished product. I think designers have a responsibility to the public to develop products that won’t hurt people, yet this push towards making everything touchscreen only invites more distracted driving. Can’t do anything by muscle memory or feel.

    • Enter Ranting

      Touch screens and digital displays are cheap to produce and implement. They’re a design copout. Car makers cover them with cute animated graphics, and we’re supposed to go gaga for them. I look at screens all day. They’re on everything from cheap printers to Coke machines. There’s nothing interesting or high tech about screens anymore.

  • Ok that has to stop! It’s stupid, dangerous. You’re supposed to drive, not search on a screen where to press. And by the way, this is not good looking.

  • botornot387

    Looks very underwhelming. Obviously this is a test mule and not the final product, but does not look very luxurious in the current way its integrated or oriented. Also, funny to see them take the lead from Audi. The entire car looks meh so far. The tailligts are clearly CLS taillights and the front end headlights look like a mixture of A Class and CLS headlights.

    • Merc1

      Pretty silly to try and judge the car at stage without being able to see much.

      M

      • Enter Ranting

        Well, I see that screen, and if that makes to to production, then it’s terrible. Mercedes used to be known for good ergonomics and quality switchgear.

        • Merc1

          In your opinion, you don’t know what the finished product will look like. I don’t like the screen either, but I’m willing to see what it looks like when they show it before rendering judgement.

          M

          • Marty

            Is it ok if i write Bam! Told you so! now instead of revising this thread when the car is made public?

            (If I’m wrong I will come here with a sincere apology. For me that would be a win too, since the S class won’t be as hideous as I feared :))

          • Merc1

            Have some coffee and a seat.

            M

          • Marty

            Thanks mate, but I’m making popcorn to watch the faces of people who don’t realise what stage a car is in when it is taken for testing in the Arctic. 🙂

      • botornot387

        Actually you can see a lot from these photos, but I wouldn’t expect you to understand “Merc 1”

    • Marty

      That’s not a test mule (ie a test bench for new components). It’s a prototype, or even a pre-production car. It’s used to test the whole car as a system, sort out software, system integration, tuning and such issues. It’s supposed to represent the actual product as close as possible.

  • caddy45

    Is this fake? Are they trying to troll the spy photographers…? That looks awful.

  • Daniel

    MB were once the technological trendsetter, but not for a while now. Tesla has had a huge touch screen since the Model S came to market that with OTA updates can improve and refine and enhance the user experience. Those physical buttons at the bottom on the S-Class screen means it’s more rigid and less likely to see update throughout it’s model lifecycle

    • Matteo Tommasi

      Those button mean that it’s slightly more usable than the crap we find in the Tesla

  • sidewaysspin

    Only a question of time until the whole car interior is mostly screen.

  • Marty

    Ok, I get it. Here’s what happened:
    A few MB models ago the interior designers said “ok, let’s just make the screens bigger and uglier until the bean counters realize how stupid this is and let us do our job in peace and.”

    But nothing happened so things just escalated.

  • donald seymour

    That is the most stupidest thing I have ever seen, no practically whatsoever.

    • TB

      LOL…ya can’t get much simpler & to the point than that! Oh…and yes very much accurate.

  • Bill Nguyen

    Damn.. and to think even that little LED clock on the dash bothers my eyes. I wonder how it’s gonna be years from now when cars all have bigass screens in em like this.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    That’s horrible and a massive distraction. How is it even legal.

    • Dude

      Because it’s on the driver to pay attention. You can turn off or minimize more infotainment screens in the settings.

  • Dude

    That’s just funny

  • songoku64

    Must be fake.

    • H.P. Loathecraft

      certainly not the final design

  • C Noi

    It’s gonna be 3D! God pls make it 3D with 3D glasses! Then next Audi gonna come with imax

  • ErnieB

    And I thought the Explorer’s tablet was bad.. wow! This is just a travesty!

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Jesus wept…

    • DetrinKD

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    • Belthronding

      Amen

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      and then died for our sins.
      This appears to be one of them.

  • salamOOn

    this is retarded….. no matter where it will be placed in production version.

  • Dan Facciolo

    Just give up and let us plug our own iPads already!

    • SteersUright

      Now that makes more sense, especially given the higher resolution, the ability to update, etc.

  • Bash

    WTF

  • it’s getting ridiculous now!

  • Marty

    Let’s all hope you are right. I’m not convinced, though.
    CLA, GLE or GT are not closely related to S – is there reason to believe that images of other models are better clues as to what a specific model will look like, than images of the actual car?

    If the jumbo screen isn’t part of the final product, why is there a row of high finish buttons on it? Why is it styled like the other screen? Why is it partly covered with camo? Just to troll us? As if the current MB touch screens aren’t hideous enough?

    I really hope I am as gullible as you think. That would make me happier.

    • H.P. Loathecraft

      Not even the futuristic EQC is going to be shipping with a tacky-looking giant ipad pasted over the location where a beautifully finished center console glove box is expected to be.
      Moreover, it is preposterous to imagine that MB designers chose to place touch controls at thigh height.

      The screens on the production model will be almost certainly be located as close to the horizon as possible, as they ought to be.
      https://assets.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAssets/FutureModels/Responsive/2019_EQC_Future_Vehicle/2019-EQC-FUTURE-HIGHLIGHTS_01-D.jpg

      • Marty

        Again: let’s hope this isn’t the final design.
        But only the instrument cluster needs to be placed high, just were they are in these pics.
        The rest can be were it almost always is: within hand’s reach for both driver and passenger, in the center console.

        The previous photos (with a covered center console) from this summer show horisontal vent outlets placed as high as the instrument cluster. Why would they be placed up there if there is room for them in the center console?

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e5100cbcef27438a64795688eb99989cac0e2dcc8d435c83a330e21bc214187.png

        • JohnCarscoop

          This is very near the final design, and like you pointed out, it doesn’t make sense for the vents to be positioned up there if they were to continue the expanded screen running on top of the dash. Here’s a new picture of the display that proves its a production feature: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f4fe4902961014d1427663e8e6f7ca220bab0aa05a7edf3f59855b849971a58.jpg

          • Marty

            Thanks for the update!

            Time to abandon all hope. 🙂

          • H.P. Loathecraft

            It does indeed look more built-in in this shot. Perhaps the additional screen real estate is necessary to accommodate expanded driver interface because the next S-Class is expected to incorporate level 3 autonomy.

  • Craig

    I think the one in the RAM would suit Goldilocks just fine. Any bigger is just silly.

  • Van Hammer

    Now, car interiors are beginning to look like Times Square – displays everywhere. 😒

  • Elmediterraneo

    The MBUX introduced the touch-screen for right-sided display. Mercedes wants to take it a step furhter and the S-class is the perfect car to introduce that evolution before spreading it up on the other models.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Can’t wait to see that next generation system especially inside the Mercedes Maybach S680 V12 and the 800 hp hybrid V8 Mercedes AMG S73 !

    • Matteo Tommasi

      Hahahaha
      How old are you, 13?

  • IFDU

    With the whole screen craze in almost every vehicle, they haven’t thought to maybe start curving the screens/tablets by now?

    I mean…that technology exists now. Curving it can be great for not only viewing and visibility but also for better, more creative interior designs as well.

  • Stephen G

    Is this the new I-MAX edition?

  • Chandrasiri

    Screen epidemic. Mobile phone zombie screens. Office computer mind-numbing screens. Grandparent’s iPad screens. Now big and tacky in-your-face automobile screens.

  • TheAmerican2point0

    Still don’t like it. Real moving tachs are better than fake ones. And it still looks cheap.

    • H.P. Loathecraft

      Fair enough, and you’re not the only one.

  • Toronado_II

    A sad trend. A cruel lack of elegance…

  • Kagan

    Could be only in testing purposes.

    • Knotmyrealname

      No, not with the new pics that show the designed connection between the console top surface and the angled screen.

      • exeptor

        Maybe you are right (and it is a bit frightening), bit I still hope that it won’t look this way.

  • TheBelltower

    Kinda looks a lot like the interior of a police car.

  • Maximilian Norlande Rabbitt

    You guys are just worried about the screen. I’m looking at those taillights….This isn’t a wagon… :/

    • botornot387

      exactly. And what we can’t see is if it has a light bar connecting them. And we know how the Germans love to copy one another. Will this follow the A8 and 7 series with its own light bar

    • exeptor

      I agree (not that the screen itself is not a very bad implementation) – these taillights looks very inappropriate for S class. Let’s just hope that both elements are still under heavy development and the final product will be different.

  • Maykel

    Guess the AR windshield still ain’t ready for prime time.

  • Plutonium

    At least car has a steering wheel, and it’s not an extra cost option.

    • botornot387

      that you know of yet?

  • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

    if thats the screen..watta bunch idiots..See when Ram did their large screen they had it intergrated perfectly…this looks out of place.

    • Marty

      I’m not sure fugly in an ocean of fugly really counts as perfect integration. I think it’s cheating.

  • Michał Śniadek

    iPad Pro 12.9 is world’s largest tablet? Really? When? In 2012?

  • It’s not a screen, it’s a coffee table when you go up a very steep hill.

    • salamOOn

      “it’s a coffee table when you go up a very steep hill.”

      *when you go down hill, not up.

      • Yes, I thought of writing that but I didn’t. Why? Because that would make a point, but this screen is pointless.

  • botornot387

    This wouldn’t necessarily be the case, The S Class has always set the tone for what the Mercedes products are moving towards, not the other way around. It is more conveivable to think what’s shown here, which is very close to production is the actual product

  • Cobrajet

    I blame Tesla for this.

    • As you blame Apple for the smartphones? Trend setting is not a bad thing.

      • salamOOn

        in this case, it is.

        • serge charles

          No it isnt, I remember quite clearly everyone saying they could never use a touchscreen to type and crying about losing physical keys. Its what kept blackberry alive so long after they should have been gone. This will be the same.

          • salamOOn

            you missed one key difference….. in car you could kill somebody (or yourself) because you are busy typing (or playing or whatever) on your inbuilt car tablet.

          • Alessio Sa

            well sayd Salomon , wise words

  • Ary Wisesa

    I won’t be surprised if it has CLS-styled headlight and rear-light. Latest Mercedes headlights (A, CLA, CLS) are no longer distinctive enough to differentiate themselves from one another. And what’s worse is they are no longer distinctive enough to be differentiated from Japanese and Korean cars’. Just take away that big three pointed star from their grilles, and slap Hyundai/Honda/Toyota/VW badge onto it, and you can have whatever brand you like. The long tradition of big and bold headlights from W126 to W222 is toppled by “modernization”. I sincerely wish Bentley and Rolls Royce will never follow Mercedes’ step.

    • Kagan

      They haven’t since w123 and the s-class from the era.

  • StrangerGP

    It’s an abomination, I’d never buy a modern Mercedes Benz because of the fugly interiors.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Those interiors which incorporates the 2 displays side-by-side are already following of the current S-class W222. This is the next generation W223 where all the controls found the the center console are replaced by one giant touch-screen. Since the new A-class, the MBUX added the touch-screen capabilities on the central display and so the S-class will take it to the next level by replacing all the buttons on the central console. Audi already did it on the A8 and that wasn’t as bad as we think it before. I just hope they’ll keep the touchpad (the new one flat and mat) and its leather wrist-rest because I wouldn’t like to reach the display each-time and put fingerprints on it. Don’t forget that the technology’s evolution is very fast and we will see very soon curved OLED displays for better implementations on the dashboards.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Maybe the A-class introduced the MBUX and it’s touch-screen capabilities on the central media display.
    But as the flagship of Mercedes, that’s the role of the S-class to take that concept to the next level by repositioning the central display and replace most of the buttons on the central console. And just like the current S-class W222 which introduced the two side-by-side displays back in 2013, the future W223 is also showing what will be the future for the next generation Mercedes models. But the display might change over other models depending on the size or the inclination or the type of car because a future AMG GT sportscar isn’t as spacious as a luxury limousine S-class.
    Audi already did put touchscreens on the A8 and that wasn’t as bad as we think before its release. I just hope they’ll keep the touchpad (the new one flat and mat) and its leather wrist-rest because I want to keep the display clean. Don’t forget that the technology’s evolution is very fast and we will see very soon curved OLED displays for better implementations on the dashboards.

  • Maykel

    Trend setter? Screw that. Give me the Wayray.

  • Blade t

    That screen just doesn’t look integrated into the interior..

  • Jason Panamera

    Mercedes Screen Class.

    • Alessio Sa

      won the internet, but allow me Mercedes tabletclass

  • Shtekeris

    Wow! That is truly disgusting and distracting.

  • sidewaysspin

    They are trying to copy Tesla, but Tesla has one big screen and that’s it.

  • AMG44

    Dont be ridiculous now Mercedes. No way with that much screen the dash would look luxurious and classy.

  • cbATL

    This is why I would always select a BMW over Mercedes. Tacky gaudy sh!t Middle Eastern and Chinese people love. Horrendous……

    • Mynameis Taylor

      Mercedes are not tacky. Not even close

      • sidewaysspin

        Sometimes they can be, last generation A-Klass the interior was a bit horrible looking.

    • Mike anonymous

      In defense of Middle Eastern and Chinese people (I am not one, but I have lived in china as well as the Middle East). I am not sure why the public perception is that ‘they’ love this tech and these phones and screens screens screen, but that actually not the case in most places.

      People dislike the screens inside of cars just as equally as they do in most every other country.

      It’s interesting because (maybe it’s simply how mainstream media wants to paint any opposing place that is not it’s own, but) many people would think the same thing (your stating regarding ‘them’ (any other country) loving ‘screens’ and ‘technology’) about any other country. In actuality most everyone is not a fan of them as they are seen as more of a distraction and nuisance then helpful (depending on the implementation of the technology of course).

      There is a good way to implement a screen, there is a bad way, and then there is also simply too much. Most people (no matter the country, region, or nationality) already & also agree on this.

    • Adam

      Yep, BMW do make some tacky gaudy crap!

  • Mynameis Taylor

    Mercedes always have nice cars. I’m sure it’ll turn out looking top notch

  • Astonman

    Can’t wait to see the new interior. You lucky dog!

  • Bash
  • Alessio Sa

    The Tablet machine, cheap tablet instead of your instrument panel , tablet here tablet there, keep your eyes on the road… disgusting peace of eurotrash! as fake as the Germkrap ruled eurozone. I keep my alfa romeo anyday over this piece of gimmick

  • Astonman

    Which of the big name brand interiors do you think it compares most to?

  • Marwan Abdul Hak

    The taillights these days are becoming ugly with merc unfortunately and i am a die hard merc fan. The cls and A class looks like Korean from behind. Also the body panels are becoming blander. Yet still nice fronts and the best interiors

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