The interior of the stunning Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA show car gives a good hint as to what to expect from the next-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class due in 2016, the company's chief has confirmed.
The head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche, said at the unveiling of the Concept IAA on the eve of the 2015 Frankfurt motor show that “you’re going to see elements of this design again soon in a new Mercedes-Benz sedan”.
When asked by CarAdvice whether the future vehicle – which was also described as a ‘business saloon’ by the company – would happen to be the soon-to-be-replaced E-Class sedan and wagon, Zetsche made it clear that would be the case.
“This makes some sense,” he said. “There are not so many [business saloons] we would offer in the near future.
“The technology is going in to that direction, what we show here,” he said, presumably referring to the twin-screen dashboard layout and new steering wheel with touch-based Optical Finger Navigation buttons.
According to Benz, the controls on the steering wheel coincide with the screens – so the left button controls the left display and the right likewise controls the right screen.
There’s also a new touch-pad style control system below that controls the car’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning, with a distinct lack of hard buttons which still play a big part in the interiors of many Mercedes models.
Indeed, there is a new touchpad controller for the brand’s Comand interface that is located between the front seats, and it appears to have done away with the control knob, though there are still a couple of buttons alongside.
Zetsche suggested this new interior will show the way forward for vehicles in the class.
“I do believe that it’s a significant next step of facilitating the interaction between the driver and the car,” he said.