UPDATE: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class has been revealed. Click here for all the details.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class promises to be the "best automobile in the world." That's a tall claim in a world recently stocked with hybrid supercars, hyper-luxury/hyper-performance convertibles, and much more. We'll have to wait until May 15 to find out.

We already know the S Class will offer an autonomous steering system as well as a fresh exterior design. Here, we get our first official look at the new S Class's interior. Mercedes-Benz calls it "The Essence of Luxury."

It certainly looks luxurious--and high-tech, as well.

Aesthetically, the new S Class isn't a major departure from existing Mercedes-Benz design themes. Instead, it's a refinement. Fine wood, leather, and metal surfaces ensconce the cabin, with familiar control layouts. The seating surfaces look particularly lavish.

Some of the features highlighted in the images include a rear-seat entertainment/productivity suite with dual rear screens, individual massaging/reclining seats, and ample room. The individual rear seats feature a new backrest design allowing 37-degree of recline (up to 43.5 degrees on the rear passenger side).  A rear bench seat is also available.

A "world first" for the S Class is the new Energizing massage system available in the seats, which uses the "hot stone principle" and 14 separately actuated air cushions in the back rest, plus heat, to yield a new massage experience. Six total massage programs are available, two of which use the heating system.

Hand-crafted elements are also implied, from the stitching of the steering wheel cover to the leather door coverings. Mercedes appears to be attempting to bridge the gap between mass-production and bespoke creation.

Other notable elements in the gallery include a Burmester sound system with intricately etched door speaker panels, an all-digital instrument panel display, a 12.3-inch wide and high-resolution center display unit with Splitview dual-display technology, and advanced dual-zone Air Balance climate control with ionization.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class interior

2014 Mercedes-Benz S Class interior

Two Burmester sound systems are available: Burmester Surround Sound and Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound.

Another "world first" is the Warmth Comfort package, which heats the door armrests and panels of all four doors. Each heat setting is individually controllable, and the package includes a heated steering wheel.

Looking even farther ahead, next year should see the debut of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S Class Coupe as a replacement to the current CL Class.