It seems that Zetsche is not wanting to sell the new S-Class to the driver, but more to the passenger. The new S-Class will have seats that recline 43.5 degrees, ambient lighting, massagers and foot rests. He said that he wanted more of an airline comfort and I believe he was talking about first class seating because sitting in coach there is not that type of leg room.
This car is targeting the Chinese who account for more than half of the S-Class sales. The hope is that they will be able to gain more market over there and capitalize on the 25% profit margin on this model compared to other models with less. If done correctly they will overtake Audi and BMW in the operating profit margin. The S-Class has been the clear luxury leader since its conception and in order to regain the lead as the global luxury brand it must capitalize on the Chinese consumer.