Although it has yet to provide any exterior images of its all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the automaker has released some official shots of the interior of this fully redesigned flagship sedan that's due to arrive in showrooms here later this year. Designed to replace the ill-fated and now-departed Maybach as the pinnacle of M-B's product line, it's no surprise that the upcoming S-Class will establish new benchmarks for luxury and creature features. Specifics for U.S. S-Class models have not yet been finalized, but we're told that most of the elements outlined here will be standard or available on this side of the Atlantic, as well.

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Beyond the expected bounty of fine polished wood and supple leather trappings, the 2014 S-Class offers new and innovative touches throughout the cabin. Dual high-resolution color displays that appear to float in space replace conventional gauges and switchgear, the left unit keeps the driver informed on basic vital stats while the right groups controls for the various infotainment/comfort functions. A new-gen COMAND telematics system powered by an Intel Atom processor adds more speed and flexibility to more fully exploit the new and improved navigation system, while the similarly enhanced multimedia setup can now be controlled from any seat in the house. Those seeking more sonic sensation than can be delivered by the car's standard 10-speaker sound system can step up to either of two Burmester alternatives, the High-End 3D Surround Sound upgrade reportedly bringing 24 speakers and 1,500 watts of power.

Fully redesigned, the primo heated/ventilated front buckets in the new S-Class incorporate 14 separately actuated air bags in the backrest and offer six different massage programs, two with heating. A new Thermotronic multi-zone climate control system uses a mass-flow regulating concept to serve up custom-tailored comfort for all and an optional Warmth Comfort package adds heating for the steering wheel as well as the front/rear armrests and door center panels. The S-Class also will offer a new Air-Balance package that provides for even more efficient filtration of incoming air. It incorporates a new "active perfuming system" that permits manual adjustment of a scent atomization feature that can temporarily change the smell of the interior.

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Moving to the aft quarters, S-Class buyers will be able to opt for a standard fixed-back three-across bench seat or two individual seats with backs that power recline 37 degrees in the standard-wheelbase car or an industry-best of 43.5 degrees on the passenger side in long-wheelbase versions. Along with a plethora of conventional air bags, the new S-Class has rear-seat shoulder belts that incorporate inflatable mini-bags similar to the ones offered on various Ford and Lincoln SUVs that can lessen the potential for ribcage damage in the case of a severe head-on collision.

Mercedes indicates that additional mechanical details on the new S-Class as well as the first official exterior photos are due to be released in May.

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