With more screens dominating vehicle interiors these days, does this mean the end for good old vehicle interior design?
If you haven't seen it by now, let us introduce you to the newest interior design to come out of Mercedes Benz. Well, it's not interior design per se, but this is what the 2021 Mercedes Benz S-Class will be like on the inside as the German vehicle manufacturer steps up its MBUX integration.
MBUX stands for Mercedes-Benz User Experience, and the three-pointed star company is assuming that everyone will like the new minimalistic and floating screen user experience approach.
Now, if you're like us and appreciate vehicle interior design, buttons, switches and knobs, then you would be disappointed by these pictures, because not only do we feel that Mercedes Benz was on to one of the most beautiful interiors in any vehicle this decade, but because this is probably the direction that most vehicle companies will be going towards in the future.
It is all too much tablet and phone screen for us, and everything seems just to be plonked on instead of integration into the dash or seat or anything! We bet even the so-called buttons are touch-sensitive instead of being real click buttons.
Who do we blame for this soulless screen design? The vehicle company of the future, Tesla, of course, as they were the first ones to go all minimalistic, including every sort of cabin control onto a screen.
One of the reasons why Tesla did this was because they are futuristic and different, but essentially, the reason why they went down that route was that they did not have the manufacturing might to produce buttons, knobs, latches and so on. It's pretty clever really because by putting everything onto hardware that is programmable and operated through a screen, they save a ton of cash namely on R&D, quality control and sourcing.
The questions is, why are iconic brands like Mercedes Benz doing the same thing? They've been in this game for years and probably have a big department that can churn out a better interior feel than most. Yes, it will save them money but will these screens last a lifetime? Or maybe they're not meant to?
We know so many people with classic Mercedes Benz vehicles that can still operate their climate control, radio through the original buttons and switches. Could we say the same thing about these cars in probably 10-15 years time? By then, the screen would have probably been replaced and we bet it would cost and arm and a leg to do so too.
We're all for technology that makes our driving experience better, but some things as best left as a classic experience. We know Mercedes Benz has the tendency to surprise people and produce brilliance, but we feel that this is not the route it should go down. We'll have to wait and see what it is really like when the 2021 S-Class finally debuts.
Just look at the current crop of Mercedes vehicles, they have interiors to die for and the right ratio of virtual controls to mechanical controls. Maybe the current crop of Mercedes Benz's will be the Last of the Mohicans when it comes to good old vehicle interior and controls.
We may sound like sour old men and you may like this new direction by Mercedes Benz, if so we'd like to hear your thoughts. More screens fewer buttons? Let us know.