A glance at the new E-Class dash reveals few surprises, with the car’s interior designers following the lead of its exterior stylists in taking their cues from the popular new C-Class and big S-Class limousine.
That means a broad leather-wrapped and wood-finished or woven metal dash design, with silver-trimmed vent rings and gloss black accents. That theme continues into the wide centre console, again trimmed in wood or gloss black, with silver highlights.
The standout feature, and the focus of Mercedes-Benz’s communications today, is the huge infotainment and instrument display made up of not one but two 12.3-inch screens.
Those monster displays will appear only in high-spec models, however, with lower-end variants making do with conventional speedometer and tachometer gauges either side of a seven-inch multi-information display, along with an 8.4-inch display in the centre of the dash.
Mercedes-Benz has also claimed a first for the automotive industry, adding a pair of touchpads to the steering wheel controls that allow certain on-screen functions to be controlled and menus to be navigated through by swiping as one would on a laptop touchpad or a smartphone screen.
Handily, the sensitivity of the touchpads can be adjusted to suit personal preference - again like a laptop - allowing the on-screen movement to be set to slower of faster speeds.
The addition of the thumb touchpads allow for greater control of the new E-Class’s functions, in many ways replacing the Comand controller that still lives in the centre console - both for familiarity and as an access point for passengers.
The carmaker has also put major emphasis on the seats of its new E-Class, shaped with inspiration - so Mercedes-Benz says - from the human physique. There’s also three style and design looks for the seats, developed for the AvantGarde, Exclusive and AMG trim lines. A diamond-patterned look, inspired by the S-Class, will also be offered.
Mercedes-Benz has also used this opportunity to highlight one of the new E-Class’s external features: new LED High Performance and MultiBeam LED headlights.
Both are intended to give the E-Class a more distinctive light signature, while the MultiBeam LED system will also feature ILS (Intelligent Light System) and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus.
The new E-Class has been spied testing extensively in recent months, with November bringing the first images of an almost fully revealed prototype touring the streets of Germany.
A global debut for the new large sedan is set for the Detroit auto show in January, with an Australian launch expected to occur in the second half of 2016.