Mercedes-Benz is shaking up the steering wheel game. According to new reports, the German automaker plans to drop the traditional steering wheel in favor of a yoke-style controller, a la Tesla, in the next-gen S-Class sedan. Mercedes is also bringing physical buttons back to the wheel after owners complained the current touch-sensitive ones are just too darn finicky.
The inspiration for the new design comes from the Mercedes-Benz Vision One-Eleven Concept Car, which featured a unique rectangular controller that Mercedes believes will provide drivers with an unobstructed view of the road and their display.
Sources familiar with Mercedes’ plans told Handelsblatt the new S-Class, which isn’t expected to debut ‘til 2027, will sport a futuristic yoke instead of your standard circle. The newfangled steering device will supposedly offer drivers an unobstructed view of the road ahead. At the same time, Mercedes is rolling out a new steer-by-wire system to get rid of the old-school steering column. The advanced tech is poised to first appear in the all-electric EQS before spreading to other Benzes.
Turns out, Mercedes owners haven’t been the biggest fans of the touchy-feely buttons on current models. According to insiders, drivers have been heavily critical of the capacitive controls which can be “unreliable” and tricky to use when trying to, you know, steer and drive and stuff. As a result, the German marque will bring physical switches back to the wheel, starting with next-gen models built on the new MMA platform.
While we’ll have to wait a few years for the yoke and button changes, the tech is likely to trickle down to other Mercedes models eventually. The S-Class usually acts as a crystal ball, previewing innovations that will influence the automaker’s fleet for years to come. So if you’re not a fan of finessing touch controls or Tesla’s minimalist take on steering, you’d better get used to it.